By: Bonny Masson and John Eames
Rating: * * *
Free heel and telemark skiing... Personally I always thought that it was only for the “pros”; I would see the occasional person ripping down the slopes without their feet tied down and strapped to the skis. They could move around as they pleased. At first I thought that these people were using cross country skis, which I thought was really odd. And then I realized that there is a whole other type of skiing that I didn’t really know about. Ever since then, deep down I always wanted to do this; it was on my internal bucket list. Honestly, I never thought I would, because it seemed very difficult. But this article convinced me otherwise.
This article is about all you would need to know to start free heel skiing, and to also maybe inspire a few other people along the way. It talks about the surprising ease and the general idea of this new way of skiing. One thing that this article pointed out to me, that I didn’t exactly realize is that the feeling of these skis is much more free than the traditional alpine skis. In those types of skis your foot is locked in, without much wiggle room... until you either have a devastating fall or pack your bags and head home. Bonny and John also mentioned that it is a mix of cross country and alpine. So if you are taking some enormous mountain or even a large and bumpy hill, way out in the middle of nowhere, when you will be equally on flats and downhills, this could be the perfect solution.
Personally, now that I have read this article, I’m really intrigued. I’ve always found it somewhat bothersome that my feet were stuck into my skis and I didn’t have much option in moving about, and I really was trapped in my skis. Since I now have the experience of nordic skiing and really have gotten used to having my feet partially free from the skis, it is going to be difficult to get used to the motionless feeling of alpine skis. However I am a little afraid that if I take a jump or become airborne, that my skis might not perform the same way I would like them to. The other disadvantage is skiing backwards... that might also not work too great! I really think that the next time that I go skiing I might either look for a cheap pair of these skis, bindings, or even some rentals. I’m both intrigued and inspired, now that I know that this form of skiing isn’t as complex and difficult as I thought it would be. So in conclusion I think that this will hopefully make a noticeable difference in performance and feeling when I ski.
“All about free heel and Telemark skiing” (date not specified)
Bonny Masson and John Eames