Vintage Skis make List of Most Influential Gear of all Time

May 23, 2012 2 min read

We're always keeping our eyes peeled for the Vintage Skis and things related to what we like - and do here at Vintage Winter.  Recently, we reviewed "the newest list" - entitled The Most influential Gear of All Time (860 B.C. to Today).  Selected twice are our beloved Vintage Wooden Skis for various Technology improvements. Below are some excerpts from Outside magazine and a few links to get you to the pictures.  

See Outside Magazines highlight of Vintage Downhill Slalom Skis 

Sondre Nordheim is considered the father of modern skiing. Born in the small village of Morgedal in Telemark, Norway, Norheim displayed an early talent for the one-day sport—at that time it was mostly used for transportation—and craftsmanship. As a young boy, Norheim made what may well have been one of the world’s first ski jumps, launching off the roof of his parents’ cottage on two straight pine skis made by his father. But he soon found that he needed better equipment to tackle steeper hills and to make tighter turns, so he experimented with a tight fitting birch binding and ended up shaping a short, curved, flexible ski for easy turning in soft snow. In 1868, when he was 43, Norheim won the first Norwegian national skiing competition in Christiania (now Oslo) on skis he built himself. It took almost 40 years for Norway’s neighbors to adopt skiing as recreation, but by 1924, the ski jumping and the Nordic combined events were a part of the inaugural Olympic Games in Chamonix. 

See Outside Magazines highlight of Metal Edge Skis 

One day in 1917 Rudolph Lettner was preparing for a steep, icy run just south of Salzburg, Austria. To his dismay, the worn-down edges of his hickory skis wouldn’t hold an edge. He elected to slide down, and found that he could only control his momentum by digging in the metal tip of his ski pole. That experience hatched the idea for a metal-edged ski. After nearly a decade of tinkering, Lettner found that he could preserve a ski’s flex by screwing small steel edge segments to the wood. He built a ski that could cut through snow for tighter, faster turns. Though he patented his design in 1926, the market was soon flush with similar models, and by the early 1930s, metal-edged skis were ubiquitous.

Well, there you have it.  Another reputable source singing the fine praises of wooden skis.  If you'd like to see our current collection of Vintage Downhill, Jumping and Primitive wooden skis, click here.  

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