History of Skiing: Norwegians get Sporty
Welcome back to History of Skiing. If you haven't read Part One, get caught up here.
We ended last time in 750 A.D. with the short, wide Finnish ski. Jumping to 1600, the Norwegians begin using pairs of skis made of different heights. One is long for gliding, the other short and covered in fur to push along the glide ski. A pole is used to steer, and create drag while going downhill. By the mid 1800's (roughly 1850) the cambered ski appears in Telemark, Norway. Being bow shaped, the ski's mid arch distributes weight evenly across the ski. These thinner, shaped skis made turning easier, and the ski a more efficient means of transportation.
In 1868, sidecut is introduced to skis. The Telemark ski narrows underfoot, while maintaining the wide tips and tails. Skiing as a sport slowly beings to develop, under leadership of Sondre Norheim. Twenty years later, skis are being made of hickory- a wood able to produces thinner, more flexible skis. This period also sees the immigration of [Norwegian] ski makers to the Great Lakes region of the United States.
Late in the century, 1893, the first two layer laminated ski is produced. H.M. Christiansen used a tough wood base, such as hickory or ash, and lighter spruce or basswood top layer. Unfortunately, the skis tended to delam in a few days time. The turn of the century has the French Army attempting the first series production of Telemark styled skis.
Ending in 1928, with the introduction of segmented steel edges, by an Austrian, and the creation of an aluminum skis in France. Edges allowed for better grip on snow, and still let the ski flex. However, the edges had to be screwed in, and often caused more hassle than ease skiing them.
Read more at http://www.newschoolers.com/news/read/History-Skiing-Norwegians-Sporty#U2IDYUArcXIDTllX.99