Telemark skiing is a ski technique that combines elements of Alpine and Nordic skiing. Telemark skiing is named after the Telemark region of Norway, where the discipline originated. Telemark skiing is the original and oldest form of skiing. Telemark equipment crosses Alpine and Nordic ski gear. Generally, Telemark skiers use Alpine skis with specially designed Nordic style bindings that fix only the toe of the ski boot to the ski, thereby creating the “free heel.” Telemark turns use a distinct lunging motion to engage the ski in a powerful yet graceful arc.
Originally made popular as a mode of backcountry transportation, Telemark skiing is now a world cup sport focused on carving. At its core, the Telemark discipline combines elements of Alpine racing, Nordic skate skiing, and ski jumping. World Cup Telemark is offered in a number of race formats, including “Classic”, “Sprint Classic,” and “Parallel Sprint.”
World Cup competition is organized by the Federation International de Ski Telemark committee (“FIS”), and also by national sport committees such as the United States Telemark Ski Association (www.ustsa.org), and the British Telemark Ski Team (www.gbtelemark.co.uk/).