Q&A by R.E. & Ben Dolenc
A new telemark specific magazine. Why? Because
we deserve it. Susie and Matt talk turkey.
Descender: How did Telemark Skier come about, and what were your
Matt: Telemark Skier is an idea that Susie Sutphin has had brewing
for several years. Now you'll have to verify this with her, but
her direct involvement with Couloir began because she had an interest
in starting her own magazine. She was living in Summit County, Colorado
at the time, learned about Couloir and ultimately decided it would
be easier to learn about the world of magazines rather than launch
into it blindly. At the 2002 Winter Outdoor Research show in Salt
Lake City, Jeff Wright of USTSA and Susie had a conversation that
rekindled Susie's original magazine idea. She sold Craig on the
idea, and then one day this spring while we were skiing at Alpine
Meadows she asked me if I was interested in throwing my hat into
the ring. So...she's the ring leader.
Susie: I don't know about ring leader.
It is definitely a team effort and without everyone's contribtibution
the concept would have stayed just that, a concept. It is a truly
a dream come true to see this idea come to fruition. During this
production process, I keep having flash backs to the day six years
ago when I got the idea to start a tele-magazine. I think I was
having a quarter-life crisis on deciding what I was going to do
with my life when it hit me. It's a good feeling when you see your
goals actually get reached.
D: . Who is the target audience?
Matt & Susie: If you look at the numbers
of participants across the North America compared to other outdoor
activities/hobbies, the sport of alpine skiing is a niche market.
Keeping that in mind, telemark skiing just may qualify as a super
niche market. We titled the special issue Telemark Skier because
we have every intention of making it appeal to telemark skiers,
all telemark skiers. There have been some misconceptions that we
were producing a "new school" Freeskier/Freeze type magazine.
Sure, we will cover the current progression of telemark skiing with
profiles of athletes and stories dedicated to the new state of freeheel
exploits at events such as slopestyle, but without ignoring the
roots of telemark skiing. Telemark skiing has a heritage linking
back through the years to Sondre Norheim, Fridtjof Nansen and more
recently, yet equally nostalgic to many, Alan Bard. In abstract
sense, telemark is about soul. If we can place that soul on the
pages of the magazine then we've done our jobs well.
Make it Happen Cap'tn. The Crew @ Telemark
Photo courtesy of Telemark Skier Magazine
D:. How do you see the magazine evolving
along with the emerging telemark demographic?
Matt & Susie: At this point Telemark
Skier is a venture into the unknown, tentative turns in a whiteout.
We feel telemark skiing has grown enough to support its own publication-
plenty of individuals have agreed with us- but it remains to be
seen what type of support the publication receives. The goal of
Telemark Skier is to inspire and promote the sport, and as the sport
continues to evolve so will the magazine. The cult of personality
is key to the success of the magazine. As much as we're interested
in the gear that defines telemark skiing, it's the people who shape,
personify and redefine the sport that keeps it fresh and innovative.
You'll see one issue this year and with the support we already seeing,
Telemark Skier will have anywhere from two-four issues next year.
D: Telemark films showcasing "fresh"
aspects of the sport have had success over the past few years. Why
do you think it has taken some time for a magazine to cover this
Matt & Susie: Money. Filmmakers like
Josh "Bones" Murphy and Nat Ross barely have the proverbial
two pennies to rub together. Yes, they're capturing and producing
images that showcase the modern aspects of telemark skiing, but
they receive very little support monetarily. Companies that specialize
primarily in telemark skiing products have little money available
to subsidize other ventures, such as Unparalleled Productions, Tough
Guy Productions or Telemark Skier. Nonetheless, telemark skiing
is growing and should be able to support efforts such as movies,
magazines and websites that promote the sport.
D: Who gets the first copy off the press, Craig, Matt or Susie?
Susie: I'm not that strong of a morning
person and advanced copies of tend to make early appearances at
the office, so I'm a long shot. If I was a betting man, I'd say
either Susan Schnier, Couloir's senior editor, or I will have the
first copy in their hands. Either that or Jose at the printer in
Denver who binds the magazine!
D: Your work is appreciated. Go Big!
To learn more about Telemark Skier Mag:
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