Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Tele turns

This photo is a bit like looking in the mirror to me.  One of the (endless list) of kind, enthusiastic and helpful French organizers/telemark fans sent it to me post race.  

I've said this before, and I see no reason to modify it.  Nothing about telemark racing is easy.  Carving tele turns in gates, launching a jump 25+m, landing tele and going into gates again, carrying speed into, and hopefully out of the big loom when your legs feel like rubber, then XC skate sprinting for a finish challenges a lot of skills and is just plain hard.  

The best guys make it look easy.  I watched one of Phil Lau's runs, who's the World Cup leader at this point, and it just looked easy.  Like why is everyone else straining themselves? The other top guys too - it's an art form. 

He carves more singular and better lines around steep icy gates than I can on a freshly groomed blue run. It's amazing to see.  

I see in this picture a guy who found by chance (or did it find him?) a fantastic sport filled with fantastic people.  He tries to listen to input from everyone and translate it through to fast turns downs course.  It's easier said than done. I quote often that I feel I'm winning, but that isn't the case as a World Cup racer.  

Skiing is about angles. I've been working on generating more angle. I can't tell from the picture what part of the course I was at, but I see a guy looking down the course, with an outside edge at an appreciable angle and a flexed ski, and an inside knee just a few inches off the snow.  I am not winning, but that's a tele skier that's given'er his current best.  I'm proud that I've learned to carve tele turns at this level.  It's a magical feeling really.  It's a feeling my life would be less complete without. 

I wholeheartedly thank the Telemark Ski Canada people, our Helly Hansen and Auclair sponsors, the French hosts who both love and currently rule this sport, and these beautiful little towns in the alps for having us. 

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