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>But with all the corn and mashed potatoes of the past couple weeks, I
decided to free my heels.  Wow.  Finding that dynamic balance has been kind
of elusive, but when it clicks, it's been fantastic.  Here's my struggle
and the
question that comes with it.  When I fall on teles, it's often over the
handle bars, and often with little prior warning.  What gives?  How good do
you have to be before you can determine WHY you fall?  Help.

>Thanks heaps,


Going over the handlebars results from getting most or all your weight on
the front ski.  It's particularly insidious in mashed potatoes; you get
forward on the lead change and the grabby snow slows down the lead ski
making it worse and over you go.  Alpine crossover skiers have a very
difficult time time learning to weight the rear ski.  Alpine technique is
outside ski dominant and in the telemark turn the front ski is the outside
ski.  The experienced alpine skier automatically puts most of their weight
on the lead ski.  This results in a lot of bail-outs to parallel and a lot
of "fake-a-marks".  Weight distribution can be varied quite a bit in the
tele, but ideally it should be near 50/50.  New alpine crossovers are often
90/10 or worse on the front ski.  In the heaviest mashed potatoes it works
well to literally sit on your rear heel and use the front ski as a rudder
to just feather the snow to start the turn (i.e. 10/90).

Getting down on the rear ski is _hard_.  Since it is so hard, in the
beginning,  you have to try for more than 50% on the rear ski and then
(maybe) you will get enough.  The position and the muscles involved are
foreign to almost all other athletic activities and so it can literally
take years to get good at it.  Not to be discouraging, I had fun all the
way.  The power of the tele turn comes from the rear foot.  Think of
powering down - not back, and you will be started in the right direction.
Also don't try to use the calf muscle, relax it and let the achilles
stretch.  Try to keep your rear heel as low as possible.  Get the power on
the ball of the foot, not the tip toe.

Here are some signs that you don't have enough weight on the rear ski.

1.)  Your rear ski wanders, as if it had a mind of its own.

2.)  You hear or feel the tail of the rear ski slapping the snow after
you've made a lead change.

3.)  You overturn going past perpendular to the fall line, often followed
by a backwards fall down the hill.

4.)  The tip of your rear ski goes behind the boot toe of your front ski.
Physiologically it is all but impossible to get enough weight on the rear
ski with this much fore aft separation.  Try for half that.

5.)  Going over the handlebars.

I've experienced all this and more.  Still I keep coming back because it
feels so good when I get it right.

Denis

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