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1940's equipment with modern technique -MA?.

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Mostly this post is just for fun, but maybe it would be interesting to some to contrast the limitations of the circa 1940's equipment with someone skiing modern technique.

My friend Oliver is an accomplished skier & racer.  He is an occasional Masters racer who usually qualifies for the super-seed at intermountain races.  He placed 2nd this year at the Nastar national championships in his Platinum division.  He is a design engineer for a local ski company.

last day 2010 010.JPG


He was skiing today on what I would guess, is 1940/50's equipment.  Wooden skis with no metal edges, cable bindings & leather lace up boots.  The run is a steep black diamond run, with warm slushy ungroomed snow.  He gave me permission to post the video.



Whadya think?

JF
post #2 of 22
. What would Allais do ?  This in fFrench but is a great video of that equipment in the hands of a champion of those times
post #3 of 22
Gee, those skis look a little like the K2 Mod design with that raised hump in the middle.  Was just looking at what may well be exactly the same ski hanging on the wall at Crystal Mt. today and wondering how it would be to ski them.

Certainly looks like more modern technique applied to those old boards.  Be interesting  to find an old video to know just how people actually skied that kind of ski Back In The Day.  Dang, I wanna try those too!

And perfect outfit to the weather shown.

.ma
post #4 of 22
Oops, Garry cross-posted and answered my question while I was thinking about it!

.ma
post #5 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelA View Post

Oops, Garry cross-posted and answered my question while I was thinking about it!

.ma
I was surpirsed to see much of the modern skiers movements evident in the Allais video. His wide stance and moving both feet together with unweighting to get them around at the same time. I expected a narrower stance. I think the metal edges changed skiing quite a bit. For these folks a stable stance helped keep them on top of their skis without the ability to drive an edge into the snow much
post #6 of 22

looks Akward. Some of it is limitations of equipment, some of it is unfamiliarity with the equipment.
Skis probably need more speed and a little harsher edging.  Stance is probably too wide.
For comparison Andrea Mead Lawrence from the early 1950s



 

post #7 of 22
Interesting video. What stands out quite strongly is that he has an overly wide stance, he is rushing past the fall line and he is massively skidding. His hips are rotating outwards and he is banking. He initiates his turns with a slight hop but he really pivots his skis aggressively. Not much up/down movement. I wonder what the "modern technique" connection is. I just see a guy skiing with old equipment using old technique. I use the word "old" technique since I find no other word for it. Its not new technique anyway IMHO.

I understand the limitations of the equipment. My conclusion is that modern technique requires modern equipment. Shaped skis and sharp edges. Boots that support your feet and bindings you can trust. Carved turns and skier balanced over outside ski. Movements of confidence and offensive skiing. 

Thanks for sharing.
post #8 of 22
Whad I think?  Thank goodness for modern boots! 
post #9 of 22
 Looks like me when I try to go down something steep with my BC touring rig. Your friend skis better than me, but it reminded me of a few runs I took this past season.

Thank goodness for leather boots. I wouldn't want to use them every time, but once in a while is great fun, exciting, scary. If you only ski in stiff plastic boots, you're missing something.
post #10 of 22
 wide stance isnt modern and never was modern. 

Better than I can do Id be scared of ripping my leg apart on those skis and boots.
post #11 of 22
 I wouldn't say he's using modern technique. The exaggerated up unweighting, wide stance and the upper body rotation were how these skis were turned in their time. I guess the equipment requires such big aggressive movements to force the skis around. Modern techniques had to wait for modern equipment.
post #12 of 22
Those skis look really short compared to what I thought was common back then, no?
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Dang, I wanna try those too!
 
That is exactly what I thought too.

Quote:
My conclusion is that modern technique requires modern equipment. Shaped skis and sharp edges. Boots that support your feet and bindings you can trust
 
Good conclusion.

Quote:
 wide stance isnt modern and never was modern.
Actually, Oli normally skis with a pretty narrow stance.  The lack of metal edges & boot support contribute to the wider stance & straight outside leg. 
You would have liked the "early rise tips" I detected on these skis.

  Quote:
Those skis look really short compared to what I thought was common back then, no?
 
 
Not really very short.
Oli retro.jpg


Thanks for the comparison videos.

JF
post #14 of 22
Ok, that first picture was very deceiving.  Not short at all.
post #15 of 22
He is skiing with as modern a technique as the equipment will allow.  What is the Navy adage, 'You do not rise to an occasion, you settle to your level of training'.  Think that as a good skier moves deeper back in the gear locker their technique evolve to the needs of the equipment. 

Wasn't it Warren Miller movie "50", where they took a bunch of current hot rods and turned them loose on retro gear?  They pretty much all started skiing narrower stance, unweighting, skidding turns.  This is the same idea, farther back in the locker.

Wonder what would happen if he skied with his current boots on those skis?
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelA View Post

Gee, those skis look a little like the K2 Mod design with that raised hump in the middle.  Was just looking at what may well be exactly the same ski hanging on the wall at Crystal Mt. today and wondering how it would be to ski them.

Certainly looks like more modern technique applied to those old boards.  Be interesting  to find an old video to know just how people actually skied that kind of ski Back In The Day.  Dang, I wanna try those too!

And perfect outfit to the weather shown.

.ma
 

They are ridgetops. You could work the wood on the top of the ski to adjust flex.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post

Interesting video. What stands out quite strongly is that he has an overly wide stance, he is rushing past the fall line and he is massively skidding. His hips are rotating outwards and he is banking. He initiates his turns with a slight hop but he really pivots his skis aggressively. Not much up/down movement. I wonder what the "modern technique" connection is. I just see a guy skiing with old equipment using old technique. I use the word "old" technique since I find no other word for it. Its not new technique anyway IMHO.

I understand the limitations of the equipment. My conclusion is that modern technique requires modern equipment. Shaped skis and sharp edges. Boots that support your feet and bindings you can trust. Carved turns and skier balanced over outside ski. Movements of confidence and offensive skiing. 

Thanks for sharing.

Skiing of the '30s was done with lots of upper body rotation and swinging of the arms to get the skis to turn. Hopping wasn't happening that much and the turns skidded, but from beginning to end of turn. His traverse works against him, as he has to start each turn from a traverse, not a transition. I think Oliver needs to be more aggresive using stronger rotation and more forceful edging. Of course, care and protection of the skis (and knees) may have been foremost on his mind.

With practice, I'm sure Oliver could do better. I have the Benno Rybizka's 'The Hannes Schneider Ski Technique' if Oliver wants to learn the Alberg Technique.

Hannes Schneider was renowned for his pipe, but I've never seen a photo of him actually skiing with it in his mouth. He is always posing. Or in a caricature, as on the pin from the annual Hannes Schneider Meister Cup race:

Img_1569.jpg

There was a classic ski race at Beaver Creek the weekend before last: the inaugural Jimmie Heuga Memorial Vintage Ski Race. Pro photos at: www.photojimspix.com. Oliver ought to plan to join us next year! He could win an Epic Ski Pass. The supporters and sponsors of the race provided some old gear to get out on so those without old gear can still participate. I've skied Horseshoe Bowl at Breck on a fine spring day on 1940's wood skis with screw on edges, leather boots and beartrap bindings. It is exciting and fun!

classic ski guy 2.jpg

I was skiing a more modern style than as I had edges although the boots offered no more support than canvas hightops. I was trying to make the skis work with parallel technique and they actually performed fairly well on this edgeable snow. Without good pressure, the skis would just slide sideways. The key was aggressive movements of the ski edges into the snow, not significant up/down movements to release the skis.
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger View Post

He is skiing with as modern a technique as the equipment will allow.  What is the Navy adage, 'You do not rise to an occasion, you settle to your level of training'.  Think that as a good skier moves deeper back in the gear locker their technique evolve to the needs of the equipment. 

Wasn't it Warren Miller movie "50", where they took a bunch of current hot rods and turned them loose on retro gear?  They pretty much all started skiing narrower stance, unweighting, skidding turns.  This is the same idea, farther back in the locker.

Wonder what would happen if he skied with his current boots on those skis?

At the JHMVSR, they had old wood skis with modern bindings and boots. The advantage was significant, of course. I think the risk is that the skis will get damaged from the significantly higher leverage that modern boots can apply to the skis.

I ran a complete 1970s decade ensemble. The photos of my skiing truly resemble what I looked like back in the 70s. I was amazed at how it came back so quickly. Especially the turning of the shoulders to face my back to the bamboo gates.
post #18 of 22
Really cool vintage footage from the 50's showing gear, technique, and even some instruction.

post #19 of 22
Those skis might be from the 30's as they look very similar to skis my dad used to have in our basement when I was little kid in the 1950's. They had hard wood edges called lignite IIRC. Of course equipment advances in those days were slow and might take decades to change and improve.

The skiing technique back in those days was the "stem-kristie turn" which is what my dad taught me in the 1960's when I took up skiing as a teenager. The turn was simple but slow: go into a snow plow, then to turn left just bring the left ski out of the snow plow and beside (parallel to) the other ski and the turn is complete. The equipment and style was probably most similar to telemark skiing than anything else and the terrain more like cross-country.

Back in the 1930s there were very few ski resorts so my dad and his friends used to go by train quite a distance out of Montreal into the Laurentians and then ski through farmer's fields to a train station closer in to Montreal and then train the rest of the way back to the city. If they came to a big hill, the farmer would have a rope tow set up which consisted of a tractor set up at the top of the hill with a wheel off and a rope attached to the axle and a "bull wheel" pulley at the bottom of the hill.

My dad used to tell the story of the time, while on the train back to Montreal, there was too much snow on the tracks and the train got stuck. There was nothing to do except wait for a snow plow train to come out from Montreal to rescue them the next morning. Meanwhile, from the snowbound train they could see the lights of a small town off in the distance, so my dad and a couple of friends emptied out there back packs and skied over to the town. They found the local grocery store and woke up the owners who lived in the back. They then proceeded to buy up every case of beer that the grocer had--good old Quebec sells beer in grocery stores so you never run out. They skied back to the train with their heavy loads and the all night party began!
Edited by DanoT - 4/19/10 at 9:42am
post #20 of 22
Nice story DanoT.
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4cznskier View Post

Really cool vintage footage from the 50's showing gear, technique, and even some instruction.


Odd that I have never heard of edelweiss before.  I learned to ski at Tahoe, my grandparents lived in sacramento so we would stay with them and ski tahoe, and my grandparents also had a cabin on the 50 on the american river at kyberz that we would go to every summer.  We have ski'd sierra ski ranch many times, but I still have no idea where it is, and even after searching for it and sierra ski ranch only saw a brief mention.
post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Odd that I have never heard of edelweiss before.
 

It was right there where Camp Sacramento is now.  After the last sharp turn coming up from Twin Bridges, the main ski run is on your right.  I never skied there, but I vaguely remember my dad talking about it on the way to SLT.  The run was pretty obvious for most of my life, but is probably getting grown in by now.

That is a cool video 4cznskier, thanks for posting it.

JF
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