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The ski industry lost a giant...RIP Ed Chase

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 


I say a giant, not only for what he contributed to racing but Ed was a big man, well over six feet tall. Ed was a mentor of mine and was one of the people I would seek out every time I went to the SIA show. Ed and I would talk gear for as long as we could at the show, many times well past the doors closed. Ed was also a member here on Epic, while he only had one post it was a powerful one putting an end to one of the more controversial threads on Epic. "Phil Mahre used Volkl's with K2 Topsheets"


Originally Posted by elc View Post

I happen to have been the Mahre's K2 ski serviceman beginning with the US Nationals at Copper Mt in Feb. 1976 until their retirement at the end of the 1984 World Cup season. I was not only with them for every one of their World Cup, World Championship, and Olympic victories, I worked directly for K2 and the engineers and ski makers there. ALL the skis used by Phil and Steve were made on Vahon Island, WA. All the slaloms, all the ELC's and other GS constructions (didn't know about those, eh?), and all the downhills. The skis were built primarily by two guys: Paul Norton and Dale Gimblett. Most were designed by Al Davignon.
The slaloms evolved from the K2 Five into the VO Slalom, which was a foam core, wet-wrap torsion box construction with cracked edges. Phil and Steve chose foam core skis over wood as the foam gave them a quieter feel. We tested identical skis of wood core and foam core, and they always chose foam. The core gave feel primarily, as the torsion box was the key. As Volkl has preached wood, wood, wood for as long as I can remember, it's pretty absurd to claim they'd be able to build World Cup quality slalom skis in a material they were unfamiliar with. Traveling as closely with the Mahres as I did, I can assure you they never visited the Volkl factory. The Mahres did test Fischers at Mt. Hood Meadows in the summer of 1976 at the insistence of their head coach. They never formally tested another brand during their career.
I also can attest that K2 was usually finishing skis for testing as race models very frantically, and I often threw new skis in a ski bag just in time to fly or drive off to the next camp site where they would racers, trainers, and backup skis. I also mounted all the bindings on their skis as well as tuned them, and would certainly have known if a ski was not of K2/Vashon origin.

Ed will be missed not only by me but everyone one who has met or worked with him. 


As I get more information, I will add it. 

Edited by Philpug - 8/17/15 at 8:05am
post #2 of 6

I will miss listening to the great conversations between the two of you.  

post #3 of 6
This is sad news indeed. I had the pleasure of knowing Ed and did business off and on (depending on brands) for many years. He was always a pleasure to talk with, humble and knowledgable at the same time, a rare combination.

Always made time to chat whether you were an account or not. His lifelong passion for our sport and his contributions make for a fine legacy and he will be missed.

post #4 of 6

"You only live once ....Get on it ! "

post #5 of 6

SkiRacing posted a very nice article about Ed, including some great photos with Phil Mahre. 


Ski Industry legend Ed Chase


Really worth reading. 

post #6 of 6

Be sure to check out the comments at the end of the Ski Racing story. Many of those commenting are, or were, major players in the ski industry along with friends from Ed's Middlebury days.   It's nice to see so many people from over the years taking the time to make these remarks.  Ed touched so many people and was truly unforgettable.  I miss you already big guy.

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