it was PolSport skis, straight, heavy and stiff @160, circa 1983 i think (i'm two years older, hehe). I was a kid, the year was like 1990 or 1991, and it was heavy somewhat wet knee-deep snow between the trees. Noone in our group could ski it off-"piste" that days, except me. I made my first tracks, nicely arced, then studied 2nd-3rd runs on those same tracks, then made another tracks, and so on - experimented. That hill wasn't too steep, tho... Prior to that i've been on skis for a couple of days - maybe six or seven, some years before, all on "piste" (well, there were no "piste" per se in USSR because there were no snowcats, no grooming). After that "piste" was uninteresting (till i tried carving).