Telemark Skiing has been called "the world's oldest new sport". Telemark skiing has also been denominated "the most rhythmic and flowing way to descend a snow covered mountain". Telemark skiing is all about the stoke, the sensation, that feeling of excited exhilaration that comes from getting into the groove of the tele turn.

Exists many aspects to this sport. For some, part of the stoke comes in the form of an endorphin high, that special feeling one gets after a hard workout. For still others, telemark skiing gives access to places to play, places where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul, to interact with wildlife, to feel the forces of gravity, the energy of a gathering storm. Other tele skiers seek out the kind of senses sharpening adrenaline rush one gets from skiing really challenging terrain.

A lot of telemark skiers observe a big part of the stoke to be in the friendships they develop with other members of the tribe, and for some a big attraction is the challenge of learning a new approach to skiing their local resort or terrain park. It can be an almost ethereal experience in those moments when everything comes together: function, form, time and space. Yet it is almost uncanny how something as intangible as this stoke can come to dominate a big part of so many of our lives.Yet that is, in fact, exactly why we do what we do.


  • Skis
    Telemark skis are similar to alpine skis, and many Telemarkers use alpine skis. In recent years, they have been getting significantly wider. Many Telemark skis sold today are more than twice as wide as the skinny Nordic skis used just 15 years ago. Recently asymmetric skis have been produced specifically for Telemark. Since the weight of the foot that is bent during the Telemark turn is placed under the toe rather than between the toe and heel, the outer edge of the assymmetrical skis is shortened by cutting out a bit of the tail and modifying the radius accordingly.

  • Boots
    Leather boots are still used by some, but plastic is now the usual choice. The boots have a plastic "duckbill" at the front, which interfaces with the binding. While most telemark skiers use cables to attach boot to binding, the duckbill has three reinforced holes in the bottom to attach three-pin bindings. As a general trend, Telemark boot makers have been creating stiffer plastic boots each year, with more buckles.

  • Bindings
    Bindings hold the Telemark boot to the ski by the toe only. Three-pin bindings are now rarely found, having been overtaken by cable bindings that have a spring-loaded cable to hold the boot in the binding. These usually have a heel throw to attach the cable assembly to the back of the boot. Also available are hinged plate bindings, combining the lateral stiffness of a traditional alpine binding with the flexibility of a traditional Telemark binding. Telemark bindings have followed the trend of boots, becoming more performance-oriented and stronger to stand up to the large, stiff boots and skis.

  • Skins
    For those taking to the wilderness, climbing "skins", synthetic or mohair rather than sealskin, are used on the bottom of the ski to climb uphill.

Telemark Skiing Telemark Skiing

Competition Events

As a competition event, the sport is governed by the International Ski Federation Telemark Committee. The Telemark disciplines are:

  • Telemark Giant Slalom Similar to Giant Slalom, but including a jump marked for style and distance.

  • Telemark Classic Classic involves a Giant Slalom section, a jump (with time penalties of up to 7 seconds for errors), a 360 turn, and an uphill sprint.

  • Telemark Sprint Classic After completing a downhill section, the skier turns 360 and sprints for around 200m using the classic cross-country skiing technique.

  • Telemark Sprint Classic Telemark competitions in unprepared snow. Gates and "reipelykkje" (360). Telemark equipment. Backpack (5 kg senior, 3 kg junior), helmet. Free style.