Ty Dayberry talks about the old days (circa 1998) when he telemarked in women’s leather boots on skinny skis. Now 21, he throws down double back flips and 1080s in slopestyle contests. The South Lake Tahoe, California-based skier took home enough prize money last season to buy himself a brown Jeep Rubicon—not bad for a freeheeler. We caught up with Ty to find out why, exactly, anyone would want to telemark in a halfpipe.
How does having a free heel affect your technique in the park?
The learning process is definitely longer more extensive. I sometimes will drop my knee in the transitions in the pipe to keep solid edge contact, and other time I alpine turn. It’s definitely apparent that I am on tele skis when I tweak out grabs or throw in truck drivers.
What is the dumbest thing anyone has ever said to you about being a telemark skier in the park?
“Your bindings are broken, dude!” I get stuff like that all the time. “Are those cross-country skis?” or “Don’t you fall on your face when you go backwards?” I wish I could think of more; the comments are pretty much endless.
Do you dress the part of a jibber with 9XL tees and all that?
Hell no! You can’t go into the backcountry wearing seven tall tees. My clothes might be baggier than some telemarkers but my friends and I are straight-up skiers. We’re not into acting like thugs, putting on a fashion show, or any of that shit. We were raised as skiers.
What do you do over the summer to finance your winters of skiing?
This summer I have a paid landscape architecture internship with the Forest Service. I have been doing some auto-CAD drawings, trail maintenance, and GPS plotting. I am also working on my A.A. in Spanish.
Three-song playlist for riding park?
I’ve been listening to a lot of Bay Area rap recently.
Andre Nickatina, “4am on the Bay Bridge”
Mac Dre, “I’m a Sav”