Happy Thanks’Jibbing everyone! “What the hell is Thanks’Jibbing?”, you’re probably asking yourself. Simple. It’s what you should be doing during the early season because there are two ways you can spend Thanksgiving. The first is doing a bit of light jibbing around your local mountain or your backyard hill before eating an outrageous amount of food, and the other is sitting around with some fresh metal hardware holding your extremities together because you were trying to get rad in the backcountry when there’s nothing but dust on rocks. One of these Thanksgivings is fun and the other involves you rationalizing a growing companionship with pain pills. I’ve done both. Pick the former.
When you’re jibbing on freeheel skis you might as well do some tele-specific tricks to show your bondage-binding brethren what’s up. So here are tips on a couple tricks to up your freestyle flair.
As a bonus, you don’t need the world’s greatest super park to do the two tricks described here. A small rail, roller or cat track will do. And here’s a quick tip on gear setup before we get to the jibbing. I find most tele tricks a bit easier to do with a fairly neutral binding, so if you have an adjustable binding like the Bishop 2.0 it may be worth moving the pivot to the middle setting or at least decreasing the preload on your heel throw.
The Tele-Slide is basically sliding a rail with the uphill knee dropped in a telemark stance. It’ll impress onlookers, but it’s a pretty simple trick if you combine the basics of sliding a rail and making a tele turn. It’s easiest to learn on a slight down rail or box.
- Pop onto the rail and with skis fully perpendicular to the rail.
- Lock onto the rail directly underfoot with a strong, wide stance, looking to the end of the rail.
- In one motion drop the uphill knee and bend the front knee until you are in a solid telemark stance.
- Make sure to keep a 50/50 weight distribution and look to the end of the rail until you finish. It’s easy to overweight the uphill ski and slide out, so focus on keeping weight over the front ski as well.
The Tele-Butter 360 is a super fun trick that you can do on any roller, cat track or jump knuckle, anywhere on the mountain. The basics of the trick involve doing a nose butter 360 with both knees dropped simultaneously, entering and exiting the trick moving forwards. It looks cool and you hardly leave the ground, a perfect early season combo.
- Approach the feature (roller or cat track) at a moderate speed with a solid, wide stance.
- Give a slight pop and turn your shoulders to initiate a 180 spin.
- As you are rotating, drop both knees simultaneously towards your ski tips. Try not to fully load the skip tips until you are at 180 degrees and facing switch so you don’t catch an edge.
- As you feel your binding springs load and you hit the deepest part of your drop, give a solid pop off your toes and initiate the remainder of your rotation with your heads and shoulders.
Those are a couple of my old-man-approved telemark jib tips. If you have some favorite freeheel moves, let us know in the comments.