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Compared with skiing bumps on alpine skis, busting moguls on telemark gear is like juggling chainsaws. That free heel makes everything much less predictable-and a lot more exciting. Learning to relax in bumps is the most important element to skiing them on tele gear. So, go easy and go slow.
If your legs are stiff and tense, you’ll be thrown off- balance into the backseat before the second turn (see “wrong”). Instead, relax your legs and focus on your technique. The telemark stance is designed to absorb impact (ever seen a ski jumper land a 130-meter flight?), so use this to your advantage. Sink deeper into your drop in the troughs (Fig. 1). This will have the combined effect of absorbing the bump while creating a sharper turn, slowing your descent.
Remember to extend your legs between turns (Figs. 2 and 3) so you can absorb the next bump while relaxing and keeping the upper body facing down the hill (Fig. 4).
Luke Miller is a professional telemark skier sponsored by K2, Garmont, and Smith. He has seven top-five finishes in telemark freeskiing events and currently coaches extreme camps at his home mountain, Arapahoe Basin, Colorado.