SI Vault
Nancy Pierce
November 19, 1962
Skiing today is securely established as a sport within the competence of any healthy person. For years it was something rich daredevils did on dangerous foreign mountains. You saw it in films or read about it in adventure books, but it was not anything you would dream of doing yourself. The change came after World War II, with larger leisure, more money and a new familiarity with the sport.
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
November 19, 1962

Skiing Moves Rapidly Uphill

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue
1 2

The Plymold Glasski sells for $105, with hidden edges, $130. A solid wood core runs the length of the ski with reinforced fiberglass sections on the top and bottom (above right). The polyethylene running surface is specially treated so that it can be bonded directly to the ski. Skiers who have tested them say they handle well in all snow conditions, are extremely durable, and do not fatigue. The ski is in direct contact with the snow at all times; because of the quality of its fiber glass this ski has fast recovery to its normal position after being flexed, and it remains inert after returning to the normal position.

The Kneissl White Star plastic ski is designed for racers and recreational skiers alike. All models have a polyethylene base, hidden edges and a year's guarantee against breakage and defects. Plastic to Kneissl means epoxy resin. Epoxy sheets, said to have 10 times as much resiliency as aluminum, are fused on a wood skeleton core with air chambers (above right) by means of liquid epoxy resin. The result is a ski that-so it is claimed-doesn't fatigue, has elasticity and flexibility and is practically unbreakable. Due to its elasticity the ski levels out any unevenness of the ground, and it rides with ease and speed even in deep snow. There is no swerving to the side in deep powder; the ski is easily maneuverable and it grips on ice. Being insensitive to temperature changes, it doesn't warp or lose its camber. In spite of the alarming terminology—suggestive of Dr. Faustus and the witches' scenes in Macbeth—the working of the ski is simplicity itself. The ski costs $195—which makes it the Rolls-Royce of the ski industry.

Scott- USA is bringing out a lightweight steel pole (S23.95) to compete with the company's own successful aluminum model. After three winters they found that aluminum can be scratched and cut by the sharp ski edges. Scott's solution, after a season of testing by FIS team members, is a steel not only as strong but as light as aluminum and many times more durable. The new lightweight pole does not have the usual inserted steel point but is one piece from its canted pistol grip to the tip (dotted line above). This naturally reduces weight at the critical location, the bottom end, and makes the point lighter, neater looking and immune to loosening and falling out.

Hjalmar Hvam, the pioneer of the safety binding, has refined his Saf-Ski toe release. The Hvam toe piece ($7.95) is designed specifically for skiers of all weights, guaranteed not to freeze—and most important of all—is automatic. This eliminates the danger of a skier improperly setting the release mechanism (the cause of many ski injuries) and makes it easy to get in and out of. The toe swivel must move slightly downward before it can rotate to release. When a skier spills, the upward pressure is removed and the boot comes out of the toe binding (arrow above). The catchy slogan, "Hvoom with Hvam and have no fear," appears to have some merit.

1 2