Still Telemarking, huh?


telemark skiing, looking like a dork
Telemarking? Seriously?  Are people really still telemarking?”

“Yes, my friend, unfortunately they still are.”

“Why, Joey, why would anyone perform this hideously archaic form of gay ski ballet?”

“Well, lend me your ear friend and allow me to explain.

You see, it’s actually very simple.  This savage breed of homo erectus happens to be a group of obnoxiously atrocious skiers.  Having realized this disheartening fact long ago, these poor wretched bastards consciously ‘give’ themselves a handicap (i.e. tele gear) and by doing so daftly shout out to the world “Hey, look at me, I’m special, I’m different, I’m on Teles!!  Well, of course I can’t keep up or land anything, I mean, c’mon man, I’m on f@$kin’ Teles over here!!!”

sticker, telemark skiing
The psychological implications of this deranged state, called tele, are extremely sad and should be quietly tucked away into a cushy, not-too-steep, ski hill asylum somewhere in Vermont that serves vegan organic granola-on-a-stick and has daily support groups for incompetence.  Yet, these horrible douchenuggets continue to slam their problems directly into our faces at our local ski resorts every day while flaccidly trying to convince us that telemarking is all about ‘soul’. 

“What’s ‘soulful’ about sucking at skiing, Joey?”

“Well, you have a point there good buddy.  It turns out that absolutely nothing is ‘soulful‘ about sucking at skiing.

Fortunately, I was able to do some research into the ‘soul‘ of telemark skiing and it turns out to be the exact same sort of ‘soul‘ that 8-track tapes, horse-drawn carriages, and pit outhouses have in common.  ‘Soul‘ as it refers to telemarking is, in it’s essence, an out-dated, inadequate, godawful, worthless, defunct, low performance version of it’s new age counterpart.

“But, Joey, what does it all mean?”

“Ok, I can see that I’m confusing some of you.  So, here it is, spelled out for you simply:

In place of actually ripping and keeping up with the boys, you can spend an extra thousand bucks on flimsy tele gear and you’ll never have to stomp a landing nor keep up with your buddies again.

In a very sick way, it’s ingenius!  Tens of thousands of crappy skiers save face every year by showing up to the lift a minute behind their ski buddies and proudly proclaiming “Dude, I was tele-shreading that slope back there soooooo hard brah, did you see those tuuuurrrrnnnnnsssss!?”

“Wow, it’s worse than I feared.  So what can we do to help them, Joey?”

“You’ve got a great heart buddy.  But, unfortunately, very few of these savages ever recover from this abominable disease.  The only thing we can really do is pray for them.  Pray they all start skinning up to that great telemark Valhalla in the sky and never come back to bother us again.”

Want to learn more about the lameness of telemark skiing?  Read on:

Here are 3 quotes from the great Andrew McLean, the most hard-core backcountry skier on Earth, on telemark vs. AT in terms of Weight, Safety, and Functionality:

“It is one of the engineering marvels of the world how a tele binding with half the function and parts of an AT binding can weigh over twice as much.”

“AT bindings use a mechanical system of springs and cams to release the skier at a predetermined load. Tele bindings stick with their organic roots by using your ACL as a biological release mechanism.  The AT system is reset by stepping back into it, and the tele system is reset by stepping into an emergency room.”

“For years, telemark binding designers have struggled to find a balance between having freedom on the uphill and control on the downhill. The result is a nearly perfect division of performance: the uphill inefficiency is equal to downhill instability.”

  • Mel

    Anybody know what happened to telemarktips.com. Heard mitch quit, and in looking for new site, found this. You all rock, I mean, you got anger, hate, love, joy, sex (hot_tele_chick – call me) and me….

  • Joey

    It was awesome to read about a pro skier crying that tele bindings are too heavy… Man up son. And you only need a release if you don’t know how to ski, some pro. Get on my level. I will beat my alpine friends down the hill on my teles. And send it bigger and stop it. Just cause its too hard for most alpiners only makes it even better! Free the heel, free the mind!

  • Scott

    Wow! so much butthurt over a very funny and sarcastic post. Lighten the fuck up people, its called humor; you really can`t tell that the author was using comedy??? Pull the sticks out of your asses and learn that it is okay to laugh at yourself once in awhile and not go around taking everything so super serious. Between the pseudo political correctness and the outright butt hurt, the reactions of some on here are as funny as the original article.

    • Jon

      Haha what’s worse, getting but thirst over lies and deceit or getting butt hurt over people getting butt hurt? If you think the butt hurt comments are funny the. Quite crying about them!

  • curmudgeon

    Amusing article this old curmudgeon has thoughts…

    New School skier, telemark hater…former snot bag with that emo spikey hair who broke thier arms and collar bones trying to land a kickflip off a 5 stair and then rebroke them later that winter trying a grind a hubba off the back of the lodge. You finally slinked away and and came back next season on alpine gear ….I care not…fall off a cliff if you want…NOT MY SCENE.

    I am here to have the blue sky overhead, 6″ of fresh underfoot and the feel of crisp air in my lungs for JUST ONE MORE DAY….

  • h8knuckldrgrs

    Tele. AT. Alpine. No one gives a shit.
    We need to find some unity and get those fucking texan snowboarders off our mountains before it becomes an amateur hour freak parade where no one who values their health will go for fear of being run over by one of those stupid ski trikes.

  • Wadsworth Shuttlecock

    There are definitely great teleskiers out there. I was able to see the Tele Freeskiing Competition at Alpine Meadows a few times, and there were some pretty rowdy skiers doing technical lines on Keyhole and landing solid airs. As for the speed thing, I remember a few times when teles hit hollywood off of scott and pretty much straightlined it down. But maybe they seemed fast because I have a tendency to do gliding wedge turns when I do blues and blacks.

  • anaonymous coward

    hahahahahahahahahah these were the best comments I have ever read on unnoficial. Sooo many butthurt teleskies it is amazing. Ive skied tele before and I hated it. i could not do as many things as I could on my regular skis. And the main thing is I could not go fast! I could not bomb or straighline in tele skis. It sucked. Ill see you on the hill where Ill be waiting 5 plus mintues for you to catch me.

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  • telemonster

    Okay, first of all, you like to call your selves skiers? Telemark started the entire world of skiing. Without it nobody would be a skier. And the stuff in the article that says we are slow, can’t stomp anything, and it’s all about soul, is wrong. I skier faster then most people I know, and I tele. I compete in big mountain comps, and stomp the landings regularly. The soul part of tele goes along with all skiing. Everyone is out there to have a good time. Skiing should be fun. I see it as a stress reliever. Why is everyone so against each other in this world of winter sports? We are all riding some sort of mechanism to enjoy the mountain. Who cares what it is? I have made an early career for myself because of tele.

  • Jake

    Good shit,
    I couldn’t resist the shit talking myself.

    Just wondering what happens when a telemarker kicks your ass up and down the ski hill? Or a knee dropping yee ha barrels past your backseat hip swinging noodle legs? Or perhaps stomps the cliff you just backslapped on. If it hasn’t happened yet – it will. Alpine skiing is for people not brave enough to fall the 1,000,000 times necessary it takes to learn how to ski for real (freeheel of course).

  • J.T. Robinson

    I’d like to thank Joey for single handedly making more people interested in Telemark skiing then I can while touring around the world trying to spread the Freeheel love. I have made a career as a Telemark skier, and attitudes like this in the Alpine world have been around forever, and have always turned more people into Freeheelers then they have turned away. Scorned by “Bro-Brah Joey’s” they then get on the chair with a stoked freeheeler and fall in love with our small core community of folks who simply enjoy their art, and take pride in not trying to be so “Bro-Brah” cool all the time. That seems more exhausting then freeheel turns.

  • Ty

    too bad I shred x10 harder than ANYBODY who left a comment and I shit on the hater who wrote this fucked up article. if you ever see me on the hill or in person, come let me know how gay telemark skiing is…. unofficially, I’m not going to read anymore of this network….

  • austen

    i grew up on nordic skis. from age 4-13 i was a downhill nut. season pass every year. thanks dad! from age 13-29 i was all snowboard. only one day of skiing in 16 years. (i thought keystone was board friendly. had to rent skis). 3 years ago i got a crappy tele setup and did 1/2 day boarding 1/2 day tele. this year i am all tele. ALL TELE. I ENJOY TELEMARK MORE THAN ALPINE, SNOWBOARDING AND NORDIC. my very first day of telemark i could keep up with my old crew of snowboarders. there are fewer limits with telemark. period. so fuck you joey. i see you are competing for the top douchebag. and the prize is a fisting by andrew mclean. you sound like a self entitled swamp crotch jock. you say that tele guys are arrogant fags. you are an elitist piece of shit. go toke a douche nozzle you queef stain rump ranger.

  • john

    If you prefer fixed heel, I think you should do it. It is all about personal preference. I would never poo-poo your choice. But don’t poo-poo others’ choice to do tele. Why I ski tele:
    1) I ski tele because I feel the sensation of the turn is more fun. It is certainly a different inner-ear kinetic experience. Better? I dunno…that depends upon personal preference, but unquestionably different. And for my taste, more fun.
    2) I think it is safer. I do see a lot of pages saying tele has a lower injury rate (and most tele skiers use non-release bindings). see: http://www.ski-injury.com/specific-sports/nordic. I have to imagine the injury rate differential would be even greater if more people used the release tele bindings which are now available.
    3) More thigh and butt exercise.
    That said…people should ski whatever they want and not poo-poo others’ choices. Ski what you want and leave other people alone.

  • jman

    I ski most of the time at Bridger Bowl in Montana. I doubt there are many areas with a greater percentage of telemarkers and the average ability level of all skiers is pretty darn high, as well. The thing is, you never hear any of this crap on this ski hill. Telemarkers are neither particularly admired or denigrated for their choice of equipment. But if I ever get to the point where I want a dose of either one, all I have to do is travel 50 miles to the destination ski area at Big Sky. There I’ll find plenty of the silliness represented in the above comments.

  • Josh

    Your girlfriend cares that I tele.

    Seriously though, my tele bindings (22Design Axl) don’t weight twice as much as AT. My whole set up is way lighter than most of what my AT buddies ride, and my Axl’s are bomb proof. Actually, my AT buddies generally have more problems out in the field than me.

    Also, I guess you’ve never heard of NTN bindings (New Tele Norm) that do release and are rock solid.

    I’m not sure I understand your attack on tele. Maybe it’s tongue in cheek, or maybe you just don’t have the skills or patience (or both) to get good at tele. That’s too bad.

    I’ll keep not caring that nobody cares that I tele. We are all bound by our passion for riding the mountain, and we shouldn’t be attacking others for how they choose to descend. Leave the attitude in the city, braaahhh.


  • hipps in CO

    How many telemarkers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?


    One to screw in the lightbulb and the other two to sit back and say, “Hey man, niiiice tuuuurrrrrrns!”

  • Sick Blade

    Really, the only way to shred is on some skiblades, maybe a skibike on deep pow days. I just don’t see the point if you can’t pull a standing 720 in the bumps, although i would be willing to strap into some teles to spend a day chasing hot tele chick around the mountain.

  • Hot tele chick

    Just for the record, I’m a woman on tele gear and typically I’m not only keeping up with the guys on alpine gear…I’m waiting for them (and no, they don’t let me go first so they can stare at my ass).

    I alpined for years, but I find tele more versatile and more fun. Plus it’s way more comfortable on my feet and easier on my knees.

    That, and, while anyone can be a decent alpine skier on today’s equipment… I look like a way sexy badass rippin’ turns in the steep and deep on tele gear (at least judging from lift line comments and the number of hoots I get when I schralp the bumps under the chair!).

  • LMAO in CO

    Lovely, just lovely. Based on the comments it sounds like more than a few folks need to develop a sense of humor. Starts with not taking yourselves sooo seriously. It’s called satire – and pretty well done at that. Thanks Joey!

  • I enjoy this debate.....Metaphor time.

    See alpine skiing is comparable to spin fishing, doesn’t take much effort and you can be over weight, drink a beer, and not try very hard and you will be good.

    Telemark skiing is comparable to fly-fishing, you need to be actively involved in the process, casting takes years of practice, you cannot be lazy as you need to wade a river, unless you are in a drift boat (this also takes skill during a catch) and it is more satisfying because you are using a fly, that could have take a couple hours to tie prior to really perfecting the process.

    Maybe alpine skiers are focused on the end result (looking good) as opposed to the experience?

  • Meant to Move Fitness

    I had a great laugh reading this. However, If you spend any time in LCC, UT, you’ll see plenty of tele skiers that keep up with the best alpiners. Furthermore, tele skiing promotes turning and that’s what skiing really is. After spending 23 years resort and back country tele skiing in the Wasatch, I’m now skiing in New England and when i’m on the hill (either resort or bc) there are few that can out ski me. For what it’s worth…

  • stan

    i don’t care that nobody cares that i tele. it’s not about the gear, it’s about the glide…

  • Darrell

    Check this out

    He’s 21.
    Maybe someday he’ll grow up and get a training heel, but he seems to be doing just fine for now

    • billy goat

      The dude in that video is on NTN bindings (aka tele bindings for old people). I hate to tell ya, but that dude is not very special. He physically cannot drag a knee on the ground – those pins won’t allow it. I tele on hammerheads and 7tm only because I like the 2’s – twice as low, twice as fast, and twice as drop dead sexy. And I also do it so my friends can keep up with me.

  • Christ Child

    The author is exactly correct. Tele skiing is for gays and people who completely realize they will never approach 1/8th of my skiing talent. I’m the best mothereffing skier at Bridger Bowl and have 2 degrees in Spatial Technologies and Overall BeingTheShit so I would know. One of my very good friends used to tele and was sponsored by big name companies like Smith, Linken, Flylow, and has appearred in a plethora of movies including UnParelled II, and many of the PowderWhore films. While I do think it’s great to be original and different it’s a whole other thing to realize you’ll never be as rad as a badass like me, and when you’re wondering if you can send the living shet out of Bumble Bee shoot and stomp the landing with telegear and realize you’ll die, then do the right thing and at least attempt to be a subpar alpine skiier. Teleskiing can suck the dark yellow urine from my large man sword – yup I said it.

  • Knee Dippin Forst Fairy

    Hats off to Anonymous Garandad Skier from Back In The Day. What a great post. I learned on leather boots and skinny skis because I wanted to go in the backcountry. I spent a decade happily suffering at Squaw Valley learning to be decent. I miss spending the day under the snow sometimes. I sure appreciate the new skis, it keeps me in the game. I like that my knees are still good. I think fixed-heel gear is hard on your knees. I love Tele but now I hate the weight and the stupid duck-toe. I’ll never quit but I’m the first to say :
    ” Fix the Heel, Fix the Problem” You can go huck your meat for glory and leave the forested glades to us loonies. But more importantly, thanks for the great tales Grandad and the laughs ski-web-nuts.

  • Griz Kid

    Yes, Telemarking is more difficult than Alpine skiing, it takes better balance. Yes, Telemarking is more tiring; I think it uses about double the energy as Alpine. What most alpine skiers don’t understand is that Tele is a completely different game. It’s like comparing mountain biking with motorcycle riding. When I get tele turns dialed in, it feels I’m dancing with the mountain and I could care less how fast anyone else is going.

  • anonymous

    Telemarking was an everyday useful technique when I started skiing in 1947, on wooden skis without steel edges that had leather beartrap bindings. You guys just do not know what skiing was like in those days with boots that were closely related to today’s hiking boots – no ankle support.. – There were few lifts. I started on Mt. Waterman in So California and went to Alta for powder. Hiking from Alta across the mountains one undid the cable and went telemark style. Redo the cables for downhill.
    That almost went by the boards when I splurged and bought my first pair of Head skis ($50), with Skifree bindings and cables. When modern bindings and plastic boots came along, the ski hills went to hell with all the moguls.
    One could still telemark in deep powder down the Squaw Headwall, in the days when fewer that a couple of dozen people could ski it. The Headwall lift then had 12 seat facing outwards – one set going up the other coming down.
    Plenty of capacity. Nice pleasant enjoyable skiing, quite unlike the downhill of today with the latest gear.
    Last time I skied in 2003, my seven year old grandson was nice enough to wait for me as I slowly came down the hill in grandfather style, with the latest gear, rented for the week.
    Before the first chair went in at Mammoth, the serious guys would hike up the hill for the first run, then taking the rope, that required 10 people to lift on a wet spring day. The first chair lift went in there in 1956. – But later with lifts to the top of mammoth mountain, it was nice to just do downhill.
    You guys just don’t know much about skiing in the old days when it was a peaceful, enjoyable pastime. – But I do remember the first time I managed 20 runs in a day down Wildcat in powder at Alta.

    • anaonymous coward

      hahahahahahaahaah idk if this was a joke but this made me laugh the hardest out of all of the comments and the article. AT on.

  • Sir Farlor Loves Bacon

    Most Tele skiers suck. Most Alpine skiers suck and the same with snowboarders. It’s not about what you ride on, it’s about how you ride. I tele, and this whole article and posting frenzie made me laugh! Keep it up! Have fun and drink a PBR every day!

  • Janne

    Hah. Nice post! I dig it! (Struggling through my own first teleamark season…after some 30 years of alpine…)

    Check out this footage (opening segment). I guess it is something Scandinavia…plenty of guys here that are as good (if not better) than alpine guys on teles:

  • Holmtech

    Why the alpine animosity against the tele skiers? It sounds like tele-phobia because there’s no real reason for it. Do you feel the same against snowboarders?

    I’ve alpine skied for 28 years, switched to telemark two years ago and took to it instantly. Until you’ve tried it (and I mean given it a real effort. Half a season or so) you have no idea how it feels. Yes you don’t have as much control, but you can get close. You eat $h!t more but you get used to it. It isn’t meant to be easy, but it is quite enjoyable. I now spend 2/3 of my days on tele skis, and both of my sets of tele skis are fatter than my 2nd gen Seth Pistols. I can honestly say that I am more comfortable on my tele skis than my alpine skis now. I’m not quite as fast as on alpine skis but I have no problems keeping up with my buddies, nor would I have trouble keeping up with most of the D-bags posting here.

    Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Have you ever noticed that there are never people who have tried tele skiing who will bash on it? Maybe you should give it a shot? Or are you tele-phobic?

  • Simon Mason

    Wow!! Since when do tele skiers have to justify their choice to small minded homophobes. I enjoy many types of skiing because its fun not because other people think its cool or not.

  • FingerLing

    I don’t care what “you” people say, I think Joey’s cute – and Joey, I like pastries too, … wanna share my muffin? And Sventele, STAY AWAY FROM JOEY! If I catch you hang’en around, I’ll pull out every strand of your thinning hair!

    And remember Joey, I bend both knees.

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