In the last couple of years telemark skiing has grown significantly in the United States, due largely to the development of telemark equipment. Modern plastic boots and cable bindings have transformed tele skiing from an esoteric, backcountry pastime to a mainstream, lift served sport. Ultimately, the popular growth of telemarking has made it far easier for a beginner to learn. That is not to say that learning the telemark is easy, but with a few tips you’ll be well on your way to being the envy of all your alpine friends.

Here are some pointers to get you started:

1. You need a tele setup. If you don’t already have one check out “Your First Tele Setup”.

2. The best place to learn is on an easy slope at a lift served ski area where you can get as many runs in as possible.

3. Get out there and do it. Before you read a how-to book or take a lesson, go out there and try it out. You’ll probably be amazed at how far you get.

4. Watch other tele skiers and try to imitate them.

5. If you already know how to alpine ski, you’re in luck. Many of the same rules and techniques apply.

6. Buy “Allen and Mike’s Really Cool Telemark Tips”. It’s a great reference for both the beginner and the advanced and costs a quarter of a lift ticket.

7. After giving it a try on your own, take a lesson. A good instructor will be able to pick out what you’re doing wrong much more easily than you will.

8. Practice, practice, practice.

9. And finally, don’t get discouraged. Even though it may not seem like it, you get better every turn you make.

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