By Jasmin Taylor
I started out in Telemark skiing after a brief stint in Ski Cross and Alpine but something about the freedom you have in Telemark caught my inspiration, motivating me to master and harness it. I started skiing at age 10 on the artificial slope in Ipswich, and progressed to the race team competing in regional, then national races.
In fact, my favourite moment on snow is probably the first time I ever skied on it. I thought “wow, this is much more slippery”. It’s funny because most skiers in the world would never imagine that snow isn’t slippery, that way of thinking is reserved for those that start out on plastic dry ski slopes. Soon after, I began training on snow with the British Ski Academy where I tried Telemark for the first time, with now GB Telemark Coach; Sebastien Mansart.
The most important mental attribute for success in Telemark, in my opinion, is determination and having the will to do whatever it takes to find your best. A sport like skiing requires adaptability as there are so many uncontrollable factors; weather, snow conditions, course setting, other competitors (I could go on).
Though, I find the concept of ‘getting in the zone’ a strange one, I think of it more as a readiness to push for the limit. In my experience it has come from self-confidence, clear perspective, and the love of what you’re doing. The way I find that is through constant work.
I continue to be inspired by my Coach (Seb) and the rest of the team I work with on a regular basis such as my Psychologist (Manos Georgiadis), Physiotherapist (Alasdair Jones) and S&C Coach (Dan Donnelly). Yet I take a lot of pride and inspiration from my boyfriend, family, friends, team-mates, and sponsors who join me on the good and bad days we all have.
If you want to try Telemark, then I would like you to know that it is a unique discipline in its own right so it takes a little bit of perseverance to find the true beauty of it but once you find it, you won’t look back! It is easier on joints, although at a recreational level it’s certainly more of a workout and the equipment can be adapted to Alpine, and Touring if needs be.
I would say, start telemarking on cable bindings (there is a new system called NTN which stands for New Telemark Norm) as it is easier to find the initial Telemark stance. There are Telemark festivals throughout summer (normally) and many French resorts supply rental equipment and instruction.
The British Championships is also a great place to learn, race, meet new people and a lot of fun. You can find out more here: https://www.awsa.org.uk/telemark/