Improving your telemark turn on cross country skis

Performing the telemark turn on light cross country ski equipment is a challenge for many nordic skiers. By the progression shown in this video skiers should be able to learn this elegant turn on their cross country skis. Thanks to Cross Country Newfoundland and Labrador, Rossignol skis and boots and Infinity ski poles for their help with these videos.Keith Nicol is a CANSI Level 4 ski instructor and runs X-C ski instructor courses in Atlantic Canada. For more information on CANSI contact: You can contact Keith Nicol at and you can check out his nordic skiing web page at:


k2nicol says:


It is just a basic binding for regular trail skiing. I am using classic skis and boots.

Steve Doe says:

Great drill.
Looks like it takes the advanced telemark technology out of the equation, and focuses on pure Nordic skill.

QUESTION 1: Will the lift operator allow me to ascend without metal edges?
QUESTION 2: Do cross country skis have runaway straps?

k2nicol says:

It is a very stable position so that is why it is used.

Shadrach Malooly says:

I ski telemark and I practice some telemark transitions on my “classic” cross country skis and would offer a note of caution. A lot of additional lateral strain is place on the knee joint (even in the pisted grooves of a langlauf course) as the support of the lower leg is reduced…. that said, it does look quite cool.

k2nicol says:

There is likely not info out there…in Canada we model our teaching of downhill skiing on x-c skis on what Canada’s alpine instructors are doing. Not sure about other countries and how they approach this but I assume they might be the same thing. Hope this helps

Filippo Pagano says:

Great to see all the Tele flics it makes me feel proud. As one of the telemark teaching innovators it gives me great pleasure to
see all of these videos. When I started we only had wooden skis. What a challenge. As fiberglass skis were developed with thin metal edges it made it easier to ski on packed powder and crud. It was in the mid 1970s that I had the thought of bringing this technique to the skiing public in establishing the First Telemark Ski School at a ski area in the eastern U.S. at Bromley Mt
That school and tradition lives on there today.
Telemark Fil.

Erwin van der Werve says:

What would you say is the effect of the telemark turn as opposed to normal skiing. Am I correct in assuming that bending the mountain knee allows the lower foot to have more weight on it/be more stable? Or would you just fall forward because the heel is loose doing a ‘normal’ alpine turn.

k2nicol says:

HI: You can certainly use them at an alpine ski area…the video above was filmed at Marble Mountain Ski Resort in Newfoundland. The success you will have will depend on how easy it is to flex the ski. I used softer flexing classic skis in this video since I find them easier to turn. Many people use skate skis to do telemark turns on the trail.

Tomas Kasanicky says:

Beautiful shot, but my opinion is that the smoothness of this ride is because of the type of snow and preparation of the slope.

Jeffrey Wong says:

nice. I’m sending the link to people I know.

SeadartVSG says:

Nice easy demo.

k2nicol says:

The slope and snow type certainly help….when you are starting out try the turn in good snow conditions. Once you are comfortable with the turn you can try it when conditions are not quite so good.

Isamolle says:

Thanks for the video!

Tim Cline says:

I learned tele & all the other ski turns on xc track gear. I still believe it’s the best way to start. Terrific videos. Ty!

emirddlbj says:

hi… could you please help me… i’am student of Faculty for Sport and physical education in Sarajevo… right now we have winter sports, and i got to research something about “analyses of basic and parallel turns in Nordic skiing”… it is very hard to find anything about that… or i don’t know to search 😀 if you could help, i would be very grateful…

Kelvin Wang says:

he makes it look so easy! I went for an entire day and still can’t fluently do this! HOW! I practice and can’t get this right! how do u do a telemark turn on cross country skis? do you know how much it hurts to lunge every time you turn? this is the case for nordic skis (skis that you can lift heels)

lassehoei says:

This must be skiing nirvana. What kind of binding was used?

David Sanders says:

this is going to hurt, learning this.  🙁

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