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Telemark skis recommendation

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Been a long time reader of this forum but it’s my first time posting.

I know there are gazillions other posts about all mountain skis recommendation but I don’t think there have been a tele specific one recently.

My understanding is that telemark skis are typically shorter and softer as telemark skiing is generally less aggressive. I also tend to ski less aggressively when tele as the possibility that the bindings won’t release when crashed is always at the back of my mind. Not to mention I tire out much quicker if I go aggressive!

Plus not all skis can have tele bindings mounted. Black-crow skis for one can’t. https://www.black-crows.com/na/us_en/warranty/ Their warranty doesn’t cover “Damage to Freebird skis from using telemark bindings (as the ski construction is not designed to withstand the levels of torsion resulting from the leverage created by telemark bindings on the ski).

So Blackcrow is out. Head Kore has some really good reviews but seems a bit stiff. Besides the lack of metal in the core makes me wonder if I could mount tele bindings on them. Mantra again is quite stiff.

I have whittled down to two: Nordica Enforcer 93 or Rossignol Experience 94? I could also get the 88 version. I have nothing against 88 but currently have a pair of Brahma so wanted to try a different width. I plan to spend 50/50 on/off piste.

Currently leaning towards Enforcer 93. What length though? 177? I’m 183, 75kg. Advanced skier, intermediate telemarker. Tour occasionally. Will mount ntn freedom (yes aware this binding is not the best for touring – that could be the topic of a different thread!)

In theory I could go for a piste ski/powder skis instead and use QK or BF. I do like the versatility of all mountain though.

Open to other skis recommendation of course Smile
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+1 to this. Also looking to buy telemark all-mountain skis.

Saw you have brahma already otherwise would have recommended that to you. Currently skiing on Brahma with TTS binding. At times the skis could feel stiff. Probably need a bit more work to ski them than softer skis.

I was always under the impression that you can use any alpine skis for tele. Didn't know you can't do tele on Blackcrows. Was looking at them.

I guess short skis make sense since the telemark stance makes the skis "longer". Never thought about it before.

My research also points to enforcer. Seems like a pair of high performance skis but at the same time not too stiff. For touring there are lighter skis out there though sounds like you might not tour all the time so maybe less of an issue.
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Welcome to SH's and good questions....

Tele skis need to have solid heavy wood cores and a Ti layer is very helpful to avoid bindings pulling out. I managed to do this on a pair of skis with a lightweight core this year not realising. Also quiver killers are a good idea whether you intend to move bindings around or not as they improve the pull out strength of the screws via more surface area by something like 40%. The cost of adding QK's is small compared to breaking a ski...

My understanding is that you should go a bit longer and stiffer with Telemark skis than your normal Alpine setup. cant recall why though Wink

have a look at this thread which is a nerd fest of ideas https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=32456&highlight=
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skimottaret wrote:
Welcome to SH's and good questions....

Tele skis need to have solid heavy wood cores and a Ti layer is very helpful to avoid bindings pulling out. I managed to do this on a pair of skis with a lightweight core this year not realising. Also quiver killers are a good idea whether you intend to move bindings around or not as they improve the pull out strength of the screws via more surface area by something like 40%. The cost of adding QK's is small compared to breaking a ski...

My understanding is that you should go a bit longer and stiffer with Telemark skis than your normal Alpine setup. cant recall why though Wink

have a look at this thread which is a nerd fest of ideas https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=32456&highlight=


Interesting - I actually thought skis should be exactly the opposite, i.e. bit shorter and softer. Intrinsically telemark skiing is less efficient and you can't flex as well as you do in alpine skiing and hence I thought soft skis work better? Length might be less of a factor. Guess shorter skis are easier to control and also euanovsky's poin above on the telemark stance.
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I ski the enforcer 100 as my daily tele driver. Probably the ski I've gelled with the most in many years.

I'm skiing the 177 and I'm 66kg and 173cm tall.

I've not skied it but understand that the 93 is supposed to be similar in feel if a little stiffer.

My take on tele skis these days is that length and stiffness are personal decisions, but I think that skis with a more rounded flex work best as you are less able to drive the front of the ski hard with Tele, so I tend to avoid skis with soft shovels and super stiff tails.
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@freethemind, I cant find the links but when I was looking at new skis i read in a few places that you should go longer and stiffer. I would agree that it seems the opposite. I went with fairly stiff Kastle MX 84's and love em...
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P.s. I think you are going to find the 177 too short. I've never heard anyone suggesting that you should ski shorter skis for Tele.
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P.p.s. why the freedom binding. Outlaw skis and tours better. Lynx even better for touring. TTS options also excellent.
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I have 2 pairs of Volkl 98s which I love as a piste and off piste telemark ski. I have 75mm 7tm tour bindings on one pair and ntn meidjo on the other. I've had no problems with bindings pulling out of this ski, however I've had the 7tm binding pull out of a movement touring ski.
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A few random thoughts:
- I wouldn't worry about bindings pulling out. I ski tele aggressively and have broken ~10 sets of tele bindings (almost all breaking metal parts of the binding), and have never pulled a binding out of a ski
- Re ski length. My view is this is should be primarily based on the force you put through the ski. Do you think your ability / ski style means that you put noticeably less force through a ski when teleing v. alpine ? If so, go a length shorter than you would for alpine. Otherwise I'd go the same
- In what conditions will you ski off-piste ? If it's mostly when you're pretty sure there's soft snow then you'd want a wider ski than if you're mostly off-piste because you are touring and dealing with whatever snow you find on the way down
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skimottaret wrote:
@freethemind, I cant find the links but when I was looking at new skis i read in a few places that you should go longer and stiffer. I would agree that it seems the opposite. I went with fairly stiff Kastle MX 84's and love em...


http://www.telemarktracks.com/telemark_equipment_reviews/telemark_skis.html suggests shorter and softer skis. Though I do also remember reading something that suggests longer and stiffer skis. It's confusing!
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BenA wrote:
P.s. I think you are going to find the 177 too short. I've never heard anyone suggesting that you should ski shorter skis for Tele.

The other size is 185 which will be taller than me. Not a problem but I have never skied with skis taller than me before!

BenA wrote:
P.p.s. why the freedom binding. Outlaw skis and tours better. Lynx even better for touring. TTS options also excellent.

Long story short I got given them as gift... Smile
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I've been QKing my standard alpine skis to take Tele bindings as well for several years so I can use just one ski for both Tele & alpine, so never really worried about whether it was a tele-specific ski

Currently skiing my old-faithful set of all mountain Salomon Sentinels with 22 designs Outlaw-X which is a great setup Very Happy
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freethemind wrote:
BenA wrote:
P.s. I think you are going to find the 177 too short. I've never heard anyone suggesting that you should ski shorter skis for Tele.

The other size is 185 which will be taller than me. Not a problem but I have never skied with skis taller than me before!


The 185 will measure about 183 in reality so the same height as you. What are the sizes of other tele skis that you have skied and how do they stack up?
When I started I was on ~165cm skis. Now I'm a fairly strong tele skier, my shortest skis are 172 (touring) and longest 182 (bigger for skiing fast in open spaces)
I'm 173 skiing the 177 @66kg.

freethemind wrote:
BenA wrote:
P.p.s. why the freedom binding. Outlaw skis and tours better. Lynx even better for touring. TTS options also excellent.

Long story short I got given them as gift... Smile

They are fine - just better options if you are paying money for them Smile
Actually I think I may have some spare cartridges for Freedoms - I'll check and see what colour they are and if you want them you can have them.
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Hmm -- interesting read... I agree with stiffer, but longer? I'm 60kg and about 170 tall, and I ski on Mantras at...170. I've also got Tuas (remember them ?) at 178 and have previously skied longer tele and alpine. Other than looking a bit of a wimp last week going out with a bunch of Alpine fat ski lovers I find that about head height, and 95/96 underfoot lets me do pretty much everything? If I had something with more of a rocker I'd go longer I suppose. I think as long as you have a stiffish ski pretty much anything works better for tele anway... Outlaws and TX-Comp, btw Very Happy
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@ski, good that you concur stiffer is the way to go, I wasn't 100% sure... in terms of longer if you ski telemark head height I would be surprised you would do the same in Alpine tech or race skis. I tend to recommend nose height for piste and all rounder alpine skis...
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Interesting my instructor told me telemark skis are softer! Also considering buying new skis. M5 seems to have some good review. How does that compare to enforcer 93? Kore 93 also seems to be decent but now not so sure about the telemark binding and the lack of metal bit...
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viv wrote:
A few random thoughts:
- I wouldn't worry about bindings pulling out. I ski tele aggressively and have broken ~10 sets of tele bindings (almost all breaking metal parts of the binding), and have never pulled a binding out of a ski


I have busted a good 7 or 8 Alpine skis and pulled the bindings out of one telemark ski (dynastar course pro) Toofy Grin Toofy Grin Seriously though there is a reason why Black Crow won't warranty using their lightweight skis with tele bindings...

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skimottaret wrote:
viv wrote:
A few random thoughts:
- I wouldn't worry about bindings pulling out. I ski tele aggressively and have broken ~10 sets of tele bindings (almost all breaking metal parts of the binding), and have never pulled a binding out of a ski


I have busted a good 7 or 8 Alpine skis and pulled the bindings out of one telemark ski (dynastar course pro) Toofy Grin Toofy Grin Seriously though there is a reason why Black Crow won't warranty using their lightweight skis with tele bindings...



I've emailed Black Crows actually and they confirmed none of their skis are suitable for telemark (or mount it at your own risk). This is their reply.

"Thanks for your message, yes you're rising a good point. Indeed our skis are not made for telemark bindings, even our all-terrain ones.
So yes you can mount them but if you have any problem, will can't take the skis under warranty. I'm sorry. "
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BenA wrote:


The 185 will measure about 183 in reality so the same height as you. What are the sizes of other tele skis that you have skied and how do they stack up?
When I started I was on ~165cm skis. Now I'm a fairly strong tele skier, my shortest skis are 172 (touring) and longest 182 (bigger for skiing fast in open spaces)
I'm 173 skiing the 177 @66kg.


I think I've tele on skis ranging from around 168cm all the way to 180cm.

BenA wrote:

Actually I think I may have some spare cartridges for Freedoms - I'll check and see what colour they are and if you want them you can have them.

Oh that'd be great Very Happy
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Sorry still a bit confused I can see people are agreeing on stiffer skis for tele but what's the theory behind stiffer skis for telemark? Surely you can be aggressive on tele but you can't tele as hard as alpine skiing?
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Some useful information on what considerations for Tele skis here...
https://www.telemark-pyrenees.com/product-categories/telemark-skis
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^^^I don't agree on stiffer skis for Telemark. If anything i'd say softer as most people ski slower on tele.

I also think a rounder flex is better as it is harder to drive the tip on tele. Stiff tails condem you to skidding around rather than carving a clean line. Fine if you are into that kind of thing. They also stop you flexing the ski nicely in powder.
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The Scott Slight 93's and the Superguide 95's make great tele skis - sold loads of 'em over the years to the freehealer brigade. Great on the down and on the up with a bomber construction for light skis (jocking thick titanal metal layer in the mounting area that blunts my drills Evil or Very Mad).
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@freethemind,
Quote:

what's the theory behind stiffer skis for telemark?


As you don't have a heelpiece the ski is able to flex more with a tele binding than an alpine. I've had several sets that I've changed from Alpine to tele - ranging from 155 FIS slalom skis to 180cm powder fatties ---- they all ski softer as a tele ski. I'm not very tall or heavy either.
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^^^The short length underfoot may be able to flex more than on an alpine mount, but that's ~15% of the length of the ski. What about the rest of the ski?!

Bottom line get a ski you can flex. 90% (verified official statistic) of teleskiers that I see are skidding their tails around on the slopes unable to flex them properly at the speeds that they are skiing.
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@BenA, I think we'll have to agree to differ. Having skied several pairs both alpine and tele, that's the feedback I've felt. From the tele skiers I've seen and taught I've never come across a ski that was too stiff, but I have come across folk oversteering a too-soft ski.... but this is tele so there is more than one way to peel the banana.
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I demo'ed a few skis today. Thought I might share my thoughts in case anyone is interested:

Mantra M5 - It is as good as what the internet reviews say. Damp and responsive. Stable at speed, carve well. More agile than I thought in moguls. Better than I expected overall. I skied 184cm

Enforcer 93 - Was looking forward to this but was disappointed. Contrary to what most reviews say I don't think these skis carve as well as M5. Also felt I was slightly overpowering the skis at times (didn't think it'd be possible!) Didn't do as well on ice as Mantra and didn't feel as stable. I skied 185cm

Stormrider 95 - These skis blew me away. Always heard good thing about Stockli and they lived up to my expectation. Felt very smooth and fluid, like I became a better skiers with these skiers without being a better skier. Handled really well on ice and good maneuverability. I skied 184cm

Kore 93 - They are light and responsive. After SR95 it was like meh for me but they ski well. Nothing to complain except not as damp as some other skis. I skied 180cm (the bigger size wasn't available). After reading that comment re tele binding on Black Crows skis not sure how well it will work on Kore 93 where that's no metal.

They didn't have Experience 94 or FX96 or Mindbender - would have liked to try those too. Toofy Grin

Didn't take any of these off piste off piste. There's no powder!

For me SR95 hands down. However for that price I can almost get two pairs of skis! Not sure if I can justify splurging on them.

I took Mantra M5 out again near the end of the day to compare. Some small but noticeable difference to SR95 but the price point is much more friendly (would say a better price to value ratio). I'm seriously considering getting them (will wait till end of season for discount! Is it better/cheaper to get skis from the mountain or through internet shop like Sport Conrad?)

Caveat: I tested on alpine rather than tele binding (surprise surprise). So not sure how these skis would fare under telemark setting. I'm not as good at tele as alpine so not sure if I can flex M5 the same way! Embarassed
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A very educational read thank you all - I love the M5's (at 184 with Shifts not Tele bindings) and I assumed that they would not suit Telemark at all, but as usual - never assume!
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@euanovsky, I have an older Mantra (similar to the M5) -- teles very weil indeed Happy
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 Poster: A snowHead
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I tele and have used a variety of ski lengths and flexes, my eldest races on tele.

Most people use a softer ski to tele than alpine, even in racing, but not all. The bindings do take a hammering. I've broken several, so has my son. The skis also take a bash- son's racing skis lasted a couple of weeks (owch).

Telemarking is very tiring (for me) and it is a whole lot easier with as light a ski as possible. Also I am a lot slower on tele gear- everyone is and so the forces you use to flex the ski and keep it on edge are lower, that is unless your technique is absolutely world class.

I really wouldn't worry about whether or not a ski or brand warranties tele bindings, especially if you are a novice or if you use inserts. However it would be a bit daft to put tele binding on a sub 1kg skimo racing ski. I'd just look on ebay- get something that suits and experiment, alternatively as you suggest ust get you alpine set with inserts for both, or substitute alpine bindings for tele.

Most importantly just tele. Commit to it and don't have alpine bindings at all. More important a decision than thinking about one ski or another.

Lost of people have problems with the binding screws pulling. This is reduced with QKs and or with plates spreading the load and with more screws. Freedoms seem to have a particular issue.

I started off with foamy 1080 foils and cobra bindings- the binding broke before the skis. Then some atomic sweet daddy's (also I think a foam core- not sure) and Targa bindings- nothing broken. Then some Line Prophet Flites and cobras- cobras broke. Then some Fisher Rangers (I think) and Hammerheads- (can't break Hammerheads) ow Whitedot Ranger CarbonLite with Hammerheads- which bizarrely I've raced on (badly- but I didn't come last). Whitedots excellent, very light, easy turning. Versatile.
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ski wrote:
@BenA, I think we'll have to agree to differ. Having skied several pairs both alpine and tele, that's the feedback I've felt. From the tele skiers I've seen and taught I've never come across a ski that was too stiff, but I have come across folk oversteering a too-soft ski.... but this is tele so there is more than one way to peel the banana.


If you are an instructor / teaching I'm surprised by this, but agree that there are plenty of ways to peel the Tele banana and respectfully accept your different point of view (while secretly thinking that you are bonkers)
NehNeh
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ed123 wrote:
Most importantly just tele. Commit to it and don't have alpine bindings at all. More important a decision than thinking about one ski or another.


This X1,000,000
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euanovsky wrote:


Stormrider 95 - These skis blew me away. Always heard good thing about Stockli and they lived up to my expectation. Felt very smooth and fluid, like I became a better skiers with these skiers without being a better skier. Handled really well on ice and good maneuverability. I skied 184cm

Embarassed


Thinking about the Stormerider 95 ..... are they as good as people say and would they work as a 50/50 piste / off piste as their website suggests more off an off piste ski
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@alti - dude, a client was on these last week and really loved em, he binned his ranger 98's in preference..
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@alti - dude, I didn't have a chance to take them off piste as there were no snow so I can't comment on their off piste performance. I didn't have any issues with them on piste and they carve well.
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I'm looking for some piste tele skis. I had Kniessl Red Star 178cm, 68 u/f, but found them to be too stiff for my old legs. So want something softer and probably no longer than 170 - 174cm.
Head Super Shape variations seem to be quite popular.
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i have some k2 sideshow in a 174 that are pretty easy to move around...I’m looking to upsize, but had loads of fun on them. No repairs, no base grinds etc. Great condition. Drilled for NTN (I can supply plates if interested) and also Outlaw X.
Also have a pair of Storm Inferno in 165 that I’ve had great fun on - I can recommend a slalom ski for some nice short radius tele turns!
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