OK, I went back to the first store, where at least the trial floor is a
little bigger than in the other, and spent a couple hours trying the K2
Escapes, and a pair of Salomons with a detachable (at the heel) plastic
support over a pretty light boot. Conventional, except for the
detachable heel support. I went with the Salomons.

The Escapes were too long. Trying to turn them was like trying to turn
an ocean liner. And too stiff. Putting enough pressure to bend the sole
and lift the 2 rear wheels required you to put a *lot* of weight on your
back foot. The Escapes are meant to add power to your stride. They are
not a graceful telemark skate.
I came to think that the need to separate front foot and back and get
down low, that I felt from skis, did not really apply to skates. How
interesteing to read Denis say that you don't even need it on skis.
Makes sense, especially the part about quicker turns. On skates, I think
the tiny little separation you can get with legs stiff, just toe to
heel, is all you need. Of course, if you *can* bend your knees, as I
hope with the flexible Salomons, so much the better.
The Salomons felt extremely light and maneuverable on my first test run,
mostly curvy slaloms on level asphalt. They have a very short wheelbase,
the opposite of the Escapes. I rockered them and they turn on a dime.

Dana, a guy in the shop today said he'd seen people teleing on
rollerskis a lot in Aspen. Didn't know any brand names. Wasn't even sure
if they were factory or basement. Said some had a narrower wheel than
the 4" steamrollers, as he called them. Also said he saw one with a
tractor belt system instead of wheels.
By the way, Dana, why wouldn't you want ratcheted wheels? Planning on
skiing backwards? Do they add a lot of friction? I'd of thought they
were a neat way to get instant, easy kick and glide, at no physical
cost. Are you *absolutely only* interested in skating?

Denis Bogan wrote:
> One of the rare things I get praised for in PSIA tele clinics is the way I
> use the flexibility of the ankles.  If you think about it, you get a better
> feel for the edge of your rear ski this way, and you can be quicker getting
> into the next turn.  Having a high heel is often coupled with a long
> fore-aft separation of the skis.  That has several problems.  It makes it
> difficult to properly weight the rear ski, closes your hips to the fall
> line, and slows your next turn because it takes longer to change the lead.

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