Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:29 pm Posts: 25 Location: California (now Norway)
oooo...tough call. here's my experience:
i started out snowboarding, ... then tried tele this year. it took two runs. i'm hooked.
Ok... from a pin-head (does anyone even know what a pinhead is anymore?). I've been tele'ing for umm a decade. Honestly, it only took a year of turns and I had it down... that was on leather laceups and three pins skinny skiis. Now, with better equip... it's all the easier. I would highly recommend it, and I wouldn't bail on learning the tele turn. Honestly, I ski anything with it, and never alpine turn - in fact I find that really awkward. The fact is, when your on the steeps in a tele turn, your center of gravity is low, your stable, and you have a large surface area under your skiis. I would argue it's the most stable turn out there... but I don't even want to go there... I'm just providing some insight here, not trying to make a point. THe fact is we all ride whatever we ride because we love it, it's groovy, and it makes us smile... don't matter how. So, now for a bit more about the tele 'ing (just 'cause I love being able to talk about it here on a splitter site )
First point. When skiing, I much prefer to 'ride' with snowboarder vs. AT, I think the style of tele and sb is much more similar, the terrain they dig, etc. So for that reason I would say go with tele... I think it will feel a bit more natural to you.
Second, as stated above:
although elusive for a beginner like me, the tele turn is super cool...it almost feels like you're turning nose-side on a snowboard...it's also smooth and graceful and dynamic and fun.
This is really true I think. OFten I ride with my poles in my pack. It's super fun on nice rollin' deep powder terrain to just cruise low-style and let your (*ahem) knuckles drag...
BUT, you can also make alpine turns on tele equipment...which is the beauty of that gear- it's so versatile.
Versatile, yes... but don't even go there, just learn the tele turn! (see above)
Finally, I will make a concession here... tele is simply NOT as EFFICIENT at CLIMBING as AT... so if you're trying to go super steep, that's a drawback..
BUT, for long tours, I would say tele is more efficient because your really don't need your skins except to climb. Recently I was on a tour and we were on a lake, the dude on the AT set up had to put on skins. I think it has to do with how the physics work, since your're on a hinge, rather than flexing the ball of your foot. On tele gear, you can still weight the ski, and I was actually kick and gliding out of there.. no skins. So that's nice.
The basic thing is, just have a good time! Stay in shape (we could all be in better shape)... and ride what makes you happy. I keep swearing I'll try a day with alpine (it's been years since I've done it), but when it comes down to it, it's just one less day on my tele gear...
Finally, a concession to AT folks who might be lurking... don't get me wrong, as I was saying earlier, 'it's all good'. There's a few AT folks I ride with and we can all hang... I think sadly one point Eco raised is really true... it's fitness that will separate us fastest.
cheers... sorry for the rambling.. too much ccccoffee