Daredevil telemark skier, Andy Parisod, is in New Zealand studying Business English at Languages International. I interviewed him to find out more about telemarking and what he is doing here in New Zealand. Telemarking is an exciting sport. Don’t miss Andy’s video below!
Can you tell me a little bit about your background and telemark skiing?
So my name is Andy Parisod, I come from Switzerland and I speak French. I’m 23 years old and my passion is telemark skiing. I started skiing at 3 years old and I switched to telemark in 2009.
Telemark skiing is a derivative sport of skiing. We use a different type of boot with a hinge in the middle of the foot. We also use different bindings where the heel is not attached to the ski.
The real difference is the feelings you have when you ski; you’re closer to the snow and the combo boot-binding is not as stiff as a traditional ski. It’s also a small community so telemarkers are usually friendly with the other telemarkers. You can also hit jumps and you have different types of tricks that you can’t do with a traditional ski.
If you want to put an image to my words, here’s my best-of reel.
Why did you decide to take an English course abroad?
I think it’s important to learn foreign languages; it’s especially true with English because there are more and more things that you can only read or see in English. It’s also a language that you can use all around the world and it could be important when you look for a new job. I think it’s also good for opening your mind, meeting new people and discovering different cultures.
Why did you choose New Zealand?
That’s a good question; I have a couple friends who told me that New Zealand was beautiful, because they’ve been here for a month or two. So I started to look at the places I could go when I was planning to come here, and I said to myself “You have to stay there for a while”. The other reason is maybe that I can have a year without summer which is pretty good when you do a winter sport. [Editor’s note: New Zealand does, of course, have summers, but when it’s summer in the northern hemisphere, it’s winter here.]
What are your telemark skiing plans here in New Zealand?
My plans are pretty simple. After my 6 weeks at school, I want to travel down to the South Island and stay there for the winter season to keep editing videos, take photos and keep training.
Why did you choose Languages International?
It was recommended to me by Boalingua (which is a Swiss independent language travel company) back in Switzerland.
Why did you choose the English for Business Course?
I’m always interested in learning new things, so the first day, when I had to choose a specific course, I thought the Business Course could be interesting for me, and it is. Learning new vocabulary even for Business is never useless I guess.
What is it like here?
I think Languages International is a good school, and the teachers here are great. They teach, but they are also very nice so it’s easy to ask question and to have good answers. As I said, the Business Course is truly interesting… I am learning new concepts and new vocabulary every day.
About New Zealand I don’t really know now because I’ve only been here for two weeks, but the small part I’ve seen is beautiful. (I’m excited to finish the school and to start traveling here). The people here are also really friendly, in my home stay or even in the street.
What are your plans for the future?
Well I will be here in New Zealand for 6 months and after that I’ll go to Australia for 3 months; it’s going to be my little summer, surf and road trip. And then I’ll go back in Switzerland in December. Here’s the link to my blog, if you want to follow me and see my photos and videos http://321daystrip.wordpress.com/ The blog is in French.
Do you have any tips for someone who wants to try telemark skiing for the first time?
First of all most of the telemark skiers are good skiers, it’s not obligatory but it’s probably easier to start by learning how to ski. After that rent boots and telemark skis for 2 days and take a couple hours with a ski instructor who can show you what to do… And then it’s up to you, do you like it? Go for it!
But first of all, you have to go see this http://www.worstcrew.com