Telemark knee pads? Really?
YES. If you are a telemark skiers, I think you should DEFINITELY wear kneepads when you ski.
Why? Because if you break your knee-cap, which can happen, youre going to be bumming for a long long time. Knee caps are fragile, very important, and worth protecting.
When youre dropping a knee in fresh powder theres always a slim chance that your rear ski will hit something in a strange way and get smacked into your rear knee. Or maybe your legs get tired and you drop too low into a turn a hit your knee that way. Or, as happened to one of my buddies, maybe youll take a big crash, feel your knee slam into the tip of your ski, shake if off, ski down to the medical clinic, then find out youve put a several inch gash into your leg just below your knee.
There are several different types of knee pads. Hard shell, soft shell and home-made are the three I hear about most often.
Hardshell: Black Diamond and Arctyrex both make hard-shell telemark knee pads. They each strap on with 2 straps and do a find job of protecting your knee. The only downside for me was that over time they each cracked and started to chew up the inside of my ski pants.
Softshell: A few companies (661, POC,and others) are making mountain bike knee pads out of a material that is soft and forgiving if you push on it slowly, but which becomes hard if you hit it sharply. The stuff is awesome. Most of these pads are made so that they dont restrict knee movement so you can pedal efficiently with them on.
My pads: I wear the 661 EVO Knee Pads. They rock. I used them for a week of touring and they werent at all restrictive. And as an added plus they wrap around the knee and give it support and keep it warm. Theyre great mountain bike knee pads and even better telemark skiing knee pads.