Competitive Disciplines > Telemark Ski Racing

Telemark Ski Racing

Telemark skiing is a discipline of skiing that combines elements of Alpine and Nordic skiing. Telemark skiing is named after the Telemark region of Norway, where the discipline originated. Generally, Telemark skiers use alpine skis with specially designed bindings that fix only the toe of the ski boot to the ski, thereby creating the "free heel". Traditionally, the heel was attached to the front of the binding by a hinged cable, which held the ski boot firmly in the binding.  More recently, however, a newer style of bindings has been developed which have become the norm for the racers and which are generally used with a GS ski with a < 25m radius.

Telemark Racing Overview

Telemark Racing was governed by the International Telemark Federation (ITF) until 1995, when telemark skiing was officially recognized by the Federation International de Ski Telemark committee (FIS). Telemark skiing has now been a World Cup sport for nearly 20 years. The Telemark World Championships are held every 2 years, with an annual World Junior Championships.

Telemark racing combines elements of alpine racing, nordic skating, and ski jumping. World Cup Telemark has a number of race formats, including “Classic”, “Sprint Classic,” and “Parallel Sprint.” A typical Telemark race consists of:  a Giant Slalom section where all gates must be negotiated in the telemark position; a jump where a minimum distance must be attained and which must be landed in the telemark position,  a cross-country skate section and a 270 degree banking turn known as the wrap or loom.  Penalties are severe, with a 3 second penalty for not making the jump and a second for each time you come out of the telemark position in the Giant Slalom section.  The Classic discipline is a single course of around 2-3 minutes duration, while the Sprint Classic comprises 2 runs of about 1 minute each. The Parallel Sprint is a knock-out competition, with two parallel GS courses merging into a single skate and loom section.

Telemark Competitive Pathway

Telemark racers can have very varied backgrounds.  Some come from an alpine racing background, others are experienced telemarkers who learn to race and it is also possible to enter the sport with a cross-country background.  One of the best ways to get into the sport is to try it out with a club, for example the Scottish Telemark Club who hold regular sessions at Braehead in Glasgow and have telemark equipment which you can borrow.  Other opportunities to try out the sport come at annual telemark festivals, held indoors and often associated with a race.    Several British Team members were identified as potential athletes at these festivals and were encouraged to attend the British Championships.  Each year the Championships is organised by the army and is preceded by a week of technical and race training by top telemark coaches.  The race has a development section for those new to telemark racing and is a great way to start.

Scottish Athletes in British Ski Team



A team: Sion Bingham

B team: Robbie Houston

C team: Magnus McIntosh



Scottish telemark club -

Army Winter Sports Association -



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