Boy, that was hard to spit out, but yeah, I learned something this morning from a telewhacker, and we weren’t even backcountry skiing — nor skiing at all. (And it wasn’t the first time that’s happened, although the last such event involved snow under the feet).
I was having some coffee (decaf, day 42 with no caffeine), waiting for an appointment, and had a nice conversation with old friend and telemark evangelist innovator “Tele Ned” Ryerson (author of PDQ Telemark for Kids). Our talk turned to biomechanics, as Ned is passionate about a movement theory he’s been working on that involves how your eyesight and head movement help control the rest of your body. He really got me thinking about trying out some new things while trying to sustain my ski skills for this coming winter of backcountry skiing. Mainly, staying centered on the skis and leading with subtle head movements and eye action.
It’s the centered part that’s so much more elegant without messing around with the telemark split stride and lead change, especially in the backcountry with a pack and difficult snow. On that Ned and I differ (sorry to state the obvious).
But when has everyone ever agreed about ski technique? Of course, Ned’s example of this concept in practice was Bode Miller (at least the eye and head part). Perhaps Bode will soon be telemarking as well? Good stuff — makes me excited to go ride the lifts and work on technique for backcountry skiing.