Wooden skis from the skies

This is the World Famous TelemarkTalk / TelemarkTips Forum, by far the most dynamic telemark and backcountry skiing discussion board on the world wide web. We have fun here, come on in and be a part of it.
User avatar
Johnny
Site Admin
Posts: 2027
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2013 6:11 pm
Location: Quebec / Vermont
Ski style: Dancing with God
Favorite Skis: Redsters, Radicals, Objectives and all Asnes skis.
Favorite boots: ALFA Guard Advance, Scarpa TX Comp
Occupation: Full-time ski bum

Wooden skis from the skies

Post by Johnny » Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:10 am

familleminer3.jpg

My hometown, now with over 70,000 inhabitants, was once a very small hamlet on the old Mountain street. We owe the entire development of the town to the Miner family. They settled here in the 1880's and they are responsible for pretty much everything the town has become. Back then, the Miner Rubber company was the center of all activity around here. They were the most influential family around. Even today, all the major landmarks in town are named after the family: The Miner Bridge, the Miner Park, the Miner Golf, the Miner Footbridge, The Miner Forest, The Miner Farm etc. 

MinerFarm1929.jpg

The Miner Conservation Forest is a very special protected area. Very special ecologically and very special for me. This used to be my playground when I was a kid. I know these woods like the palm of my hands.  Either by the golf course or the cemetery, it gives access to over 1400 acres of wild XC skiing paradise... Rolling hills, open fields, glades, cliffs, evergreens and hardwood, it really has it all for the freakiest of the freak XC ski enthusiasts. And perfect for family fun, as you can see...

IMG_6175.JPG
IMG_6145.JPG

Last month, I had the unique chance to get my hands on the only known pair of skis belonging to the Miner Family. The original Miner property was a 500 acre forest, a farm where the whole family settled more than a century ago. So I am sure they must have been avid XC skiers. But it also seems that the last generation of Miners were also downhill skiers, probably skiing the Shefford Valley on the East side of town where I first learned to ski, some 42 years ago...

townships-small.jpg

Coincidentally, I have been looking *everywhere* for a ski like this... For so many years, without success. And here they are, finally, fallen from the sky. Nice standard laminated wooden skis, BUT with full metal edges. Dude, those woodies with metal edges are so freaking hard to find now. My guess is that they must be from the sixties according to the style and design. I have absolutely no information or clues about the manufacturer. Anyone can identify them? According to Skimeister Greg at Wooden Skis, they would more probably be from the 40's. But he was not able to identify them either. Could they really be 70-80 years old?!? Please help!

IMG_9826.jpg

Funniest thing is, they have a painted wooden base (?!?!?) How the hell were you supposed to wax and sharpen over a painted base? That was the way they were back then according to Skimeister Greg. They are in pretty bad shape, but potentially still skiable. They just need a little love, something we have in stock here... Ok ok, they need a hell lot of love actually. They are delaminating everywhere. According to Skimeister Christophe, glues and quick epoxies just won't be enough. They need the full fiberglass royal treatment in order to make them strong enough for downhill action. No, they are not destined to be hung on the wall. They have a much brighter future: To get back on the Eastern Townships slopes as soon as possible!

IMG_9834.jpg

Restoration of the Miner Family Skis in progress... To be continued... If I can find the time to work on it... But first I need to make up my mind that I will probably have to get my hands sticky and dirty, figuring out how to play with fiberglass cloth and resins... More-than-probably with a little help from my friends... In fact, more-than-probably exclusively with a little help from my friends... 

IMG_9824.jpg
/...\ Peace, Love, Telemark and Tofu /...\
- Never trust a guy who recommends T4s and pins
"And if you like to risk your neck, we'll boom down Sutton in old Quebec..."

User avatar
Woodserson
Posts: 1744
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:25 am
Location: New Hampshire
Ski style: Bumps, trees, and steeps and long woodsy XC tours
Favorite Skis: DH: Voile V6, Altai KOMs, XC: Asnes Gamme 54, Classy Woodies
Favorite boots: T2Eco, T4, Alaska
Occupation: Retro Rager-grouch. Flailmeister. E99 Nerd
Has liked: 1 time
Been liked: 3 times

Re: Wooden skis from the skies

Post by Woodserson » Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:01 am

Hmmmm

1st: Really interesting and fascinating story. I really like how it all ties together! Like a good rug.

1a: Age... Those are the replaceable edge segments, where a skier could unscrew a broken edge and reinstall a new one. They must have a date when they started hitting the market. Find this out and it will put an bookend on the year, at least the earliest.

2nd: the skis are not as bad as I thought, at least the shovels. Originally I only saw a close up picture of the tail. The tails are showing some of that really scary vertical delamination. This is typical because people stand skis or shove them in snow piles and the water gets in off the floor or whatnot and goes up the grain. The paint job is so nice it would be nice to keep it. I wonder if some glass on the tails, behind the binding, and leave the shovels up to snuff? They won't take much, a good slightly flexible thickened marine epoxy in the cracks, clamp, and then maybe even just 2oz of glass on top to distribute the stress.

User avatar
fgd135
Posts: 33
Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2020 3:55 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: Wooden skis from the skies

Post by fgd135 » Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:25 am

First of all, congratulations for finding a pair of antiques that might still glide and turn!
Secondly, how does the flex feel? In my experience, wooden alpine type skis were rock hard in the flex department.
Finally, give this guy a call or email and he might be able to ID your treasure, he's the local guru of the old ways:
https://www.vintageskiworld.com/antique-skis-s/31.htm

User avatar
Johnny
Site Admin
Posts: 2027
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2013 6:11 pm
Location: Quebec / Vermont
Ski style: Dancing with God
Favorite Skis: Redsters, Radicals, Objectives and all Asnes skis.
Favorite boots: ALFA Guard Advance, Scarpa TX Comp
Occupation: Full-time ski bum

Re: Wooden skis from the skies

Post by Johnny » Mon Aug 03, 2020 12:09 pm

Woodserson wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:01 am
1st: Really interesting and fascinating story. I really like how it all ties together! Like a good rug.
People need something to read... Better make it fascinating while at it... 8-)

Woodserson wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:01 am
1a: Age... Those are the replaceable edge segments, where a skier could unscrew a broken edge and reinstall a new one.
Brilliant isn't it? Repairability score: 10/10. The complete opposite of things today.
The paint was quite cool, I admit... But in too bad shape to keep... (They already went thru the belt sander...)

fgd135 wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:25 am
Secondly, how does the flex feel? In my experience, wooden alpine type skis were rock hard in the flex department.
It's not bad actually! They are still very stiff even after all these years, but not much than modern racing skis. The tails are actually quite soft... Despite being quite heavy for a NNN-BC XCD ski, I think they will be fun to ski... But that is arguable. At 1830g each, with full-wrap steel edge, they are still lighter than a lot of modern DH skis...!

Hey, I took a look at that vintage ski shop... Super cool, but man, look at those COLORADO PRICES! I would make a fortune grabbing all the old wooden skis here and selling them back in CO...! 8-)
(I will email him, thanks for the tip!)
/...\ Peace, Love, Telemark and Tofu /...\
- Never trust a guy who recommends T4s and pins
"And if you like to risk your neck, we'll boom down Sutton in old Quebec..."

User avatar
Nitram Tocrut
Posts: 233
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:50 pm
Location: Quebec, Canada
Ski style: "Doorstep" backcountry skiing and groomed trails
Favorite Skis: Asnes Ingstad and FT62, Fischer Europa 99 and Madschus TL-70
Favorite boots: Alpina Alaska 75 mm
Occupation: Organic vegetable grower and many other things!

Re: Wooden skis from the skies

Post by Nitram Tocrut » Mon Aug 03, 2020 1:17 pm

Nice story Johnny! Thanks for sharing!

Now the big question... Are you gonna truly those skis and say that they are the best ever xcD/XCd or XCd ski like you so many times wrote in your revjews lol:

Can’t wait for the snow to try those new Onjectives... the best ski according to you back in 2016 8-)

But seriously, I am always looking for old pair of skis and this is how I got my 2 pairs of old E-99 and some great Madschus skis. I still have to restore and old pair of wooden Asnes I got for free.

So glad I found this forum to share my « geekiness » but not too happy with the GAS syndrome I got on the forum :shock:

User avatar
Johnny
Site Admin
Posts: 2027
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2013 6:11 pm
Location: Quebec / Vermont
Ski style: Dancing with God
Favorite Skis: Redsters, Radicals, Objectives and all Asnes skis.
Favorite boots: ALFA Guard Advance, Scarpa TX Comp
Occupation: Full-time ski bum

Re: Wooden skis from the skies

Post by Johnny » Tue Aug 04, 2020 8:38 am

Nitram Tocrut wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 1:17 pm
Are you gonna truly those skis and say that they are the best ever xcD/XCd or XCd ski like you so many times wrote in your revjews lol: Can’t wait for the snow to try those new Onjectives... the best ski according to you back in 2016 8-)
Nah... They are very far from being the best... They are heavy, bulky, edges are near impossible to sharpen, they cannot be glide-waxed etc. But they are woodies, with edges, and skiable, which is pretty freaking cool to me...!

If it wasn't for the low-rise tips of the Objectives, they would be the ultimate XCD powder skis...! (You grabbed a pair? You'll see, Voile skis are very good to cool down even the worst case of GAS....)
/...\ Peace, Love, Telemark and Tofu /...\
- Never trust a guy who recommends T4s and pins
"And if you like to risk your neck, we'll boom down Sutton in old Quebec..."

User avatar
Johnny
Site Admin
Posts: 2027
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2013 6:11 pm
Location: Quebec / Vermont
Ski style: Dancing with God
Favorite Skis: Redsters, Radicals, Objectives and all Asnes skis.
Favorite boots: ALFA Guard Advance, Scarpa TX Comp
Occupation: Full-time ski bum

Re: Wooden skis from the skies

Post by Johnny » Tue Aug 04, 2020 8:38 am

A few things I forgot to say about the Miner Woodies:

- Skimeister P-Bex (who is over 80yo) came here yesterday... According to him, they are definitely NOT from the sixties, but much older than this... ("Why in the world do you want to ski these old planks?!? " he said with a disgusted face...)

- Before sanding them, I noticed the letters APA left on one of the sidewalls... Made in jAPAn? In the 40's? Geeee... They might be more exotic than I thought... Not impossible, since the Miner family was probably the richest people around... Importing Japanese skis in the 40's was probably not easy... Or they brought them back while traveling...?

- To my big surprise, they have this thing called NORDIC ROCKER! &?!@%?!@%&?!!! I couldn't believe it... Even though they have a small alpine single camber (which is still very active after several decades!), once compressed it opens the tips just like magic. In the VERY same Asnes/Fischer way. Unfreakingbelievable. Could it be an old forgotten "technology"?!? And they simply brought it back since the world has forgotten? Or is it just nature, time and exposure to the elements which magically turned these single camber woodies into Nordisk Magick? Wow, wow and wow. This unidentified ski maker would make a lot of money suing Fischer for patent infringement... I feel like truth is slowly unfolding before me...

__IMG_0553.jpg
/...\ Peace, Love, Telemark and Tofu /...\
- Never trust a guy who recommends T4s and pins
"And if you like to risk your neck, we'll boom down Sutton in old Quebec..."

User avatar
fgd135
Posts: 33
Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2020 3:55 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: Wooden skis from the skies

Post by fgd135 » Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:47 am

Excellent! Just need some snow!

User avatar
lowangle al
Posts: 1394
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:36 pm

Re: Wooden skis from the skies

Post by lowangle al » Tue Aug 04, 2020 7:16 pm

That does look like Nordic rocker for sure and it would be neat if they were made like that, but it could have developed from use. I had a pair of Karhu XCD-GTs from the mid eighties that developed it. I took them to the shop in the late nineties and when the tech squeezed the bases together the tips came apart like that. He told me the skis were no good. I was sorry I got rid of them because they sure turned good.

User avatar
fgd135
Posts: 33
Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2020 3:55 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: Wooden skis from the skies

Post by fgd135 » Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:47 am

Those 1980's Karhu skis were notoriously famous for losing camber, primarily because of their relatively soft foam-injection cores. Both versions of the XCD, and the related model, the partial edge Kodiak, behaved this way--a few seasons of use(if they didn't break first) and, one day--poof! flat camber. Other contemporary XC skis with foam cores behaved the same way--Trucker, (Boulder and Aspen) also Swallow(from Japan), along with Rossignol tele skis...the use of foam core technology was in it's infancy and was not at all perfect.
Fischers, Epokes, and other laminated wood core XC and tele skis from the era are usually still going strong, 30-40 years later.

Post Reply