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Author Topic: wide short siberian skis  (Read 5622 times)

Offline steambender

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wide short siberian skis
« on: October 09, 2010, 01:30:59 am »
hey does anyone know anything about wide short siberian skis? i saw a rare,probably out of print,burned dvd on siberian herding people and they had these skis that were as wide as maybe 10-12 inch and about maybe 4-5' long, they had reindeer legskin(with hair on) nailed to the bottom of the skis, in the middle of the length....for climbing....they were pretty cool, like snowshoes but you did'nt have to pick up your feet as much. I'm going to make a pair but thought that someone might just have heard of these....anyone into ancient wooden ski design out there?

Offline into the wind

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Re: wide short siberian skis
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2010, 10:47:59 am »
Do an internet search for "Skiing In The Shadow Of Genghis Khan". Good dvd and not hard to find.

Offline Forestwalker

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Re: wide short siberian skis
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2010, 11:16:23 pm »
A swedish company (Wilma) made a version of these a over 10 years ago (basically laminated hardwood, with a sealskin "skin"). I haven't seen them since, and I was too broke to buy a pair then. On my "to make" list

Offline steambender

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Re: wide short siberian skis
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2010, 11:59:47 pm »
thanks for the info...i do have a copy of the sking dvd about the altai and those skis. these are a bit different alot wider and shorter....i'll do a search on the swedish skis. you know i've been looking around for over a year for wooden ski info and there really is not much out there, someone should write a book on the subject. I've found 2 guys that build wooden skis one is in grand marias mn and the other i forget a younger guy, he's even been to norway to do research...i might just give them a call and see what they know.

Offline Moondog55

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Re: wide short siberian skis
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2010, 02:14:10 am »
Although no where near as short and wide as the skis you allude to, "TRAK" or many years made a model called the "Bushwhacker" which was very short and wide by Nordic ski standards and was fun to usr when rucksac touring in bush, down side was no glide and slow, upside was very good flotation and easy turning as they were a soft cambered ski at a time when stiffness and glide were the norm.

Look at modern downhill and Telemark skis and you see similarities

Offline Forestwalker

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Re: wide short siberian skis
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2010, 11:39:17 am »
Although no where near as short and wide as the skis you allude to, "TRAK" or many years made a model called the "Bushwhacker" which was very short and wide by Nordic ski standards and was fun to usr when rucksac touring in bush, down side was no glide and slow, upside was very good flotation and easy turning as they were a soft cambered ski at a time when stiffness and glide were the norm.

Wilma marketed their ski for hunters (e.g. capercailie), where skiing performace (i.e speed) was not as imporant as the ability to navigate dense brush. I saw a video of them in use, and it was a bit like snowshoes (more drag than lifting, but...), and some basic glide downhill.

My intent was to use it either for hunting, or when pulling a pulk (less backsliding, and a wider footprint means it would work better with a pulk). The Wilma one was named "snöskoskida" (litterally snowshoe-ski), which might help with googling.

Offline Forestwalker

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Re: wide short siberian skis
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2010, 11:43:30 am »
Wilma still sells them, but at an eyewatering price; SEK 3800 (US$540).

http://www.trappern.se/wilma/arjem/index.htm

Offline lare

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Re: wide short siberian skis
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2010, 06:23:43 pm »
I mentioned in an earlier post that I have a pair of the Trak "Bushwackers" with Berwyn bindings.  They have the plastic, waxless base, and they work pretty well pullling a pulk in Northern WI or MN.  They are not built to glide though, but they do slide along OK.  These skis are about 160 cm long with a width of around 85, 75, 85 (MM) - that's about three and one-half inches at the wide point, maybe a little more.  I also saw some Asnes like that up at the Charles Sommers Canoe Base in Ely;  these were called the "Jakt" ski and were made for hunters too I think.  If you go to www.woodenskis.com and scroll down the left side of the page to "new wooden skis," you will find a link to several Scandinavian websites.  The "tegsnas" site in Sweden seems to be the best:  they make a ski that is 95mm wide (four inches at least) and you can get them in nine foot lengths.  They come in wood and in waxless.  I thought they were around $350, but if the Wilma is running over $500, then these probably are too.  They are made of Birch.  North House Folk School in Grand Marais, MN has birch ski-building workshops, so that is a possibility.

My Dad was a trapper in Northern WI, MN, and Ontario after WW I.  He Had a couple pair of backcountry skis he had made for trapping and working in the marshes (they were turned up at both ends, so you could back up on them).  They were nine to ten feet long, pushing six inches wide and one pair was ash, the other was spruce or hemlock.  Both pairs were heavy and clumsy, but they worked well in the right place.  He had spruce root bindings on one pair too.  They finally just kind of disintegrated, and I never tried to reinvent them.  Lare

Offline yardsale

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Re: wide short siberian skis
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2010, 06:56:05 pm »
There is a modern ski used by ice climbers to get to their lines. Called "approach skis", you folks might be interested in. http://pistehors.com/backcountry/wiki/Gear/Approach-Skis

Offline lare

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Re: wide short siberian skis
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2010, 08:09:49 pm »
The bottom line here is the same as the post that said, "There is no such thing as a four-season sleeping bag."  The same is true with back-country skis:  no one ski will do it all.  Hoop, or someone, mentioned that if you are pulling a sled or tobaggon in deeper snow, it is nice to have a float track to pull your load in.  You don't get that with skis - you use snow shoes.  Other than those California longboards (www.woodenskis.com), there is no ski that will really float you in deep, soft snow, let alone a ski that will let you get some "kick and glide" too.  Lare

Offline Forestwalker

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Re: wide short siberian skis
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2010, 10:55:47 pm »
The Tegsnäs is pricey, but the Wilma one is eyewateringly so. And Tegsnäs (at least) used to have a "hunter" ski like the one described, and others still do. Still not quite the same as the Siberian ski.

Offline steambender

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Re: wide short siberian skis
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2010, 11:34:01 pm »
great comments....i have the total capibility of making any size ski i want. basically trying to make a ski that will replace a snowshoe. not for gliding or any real modern form of sking. pulling toboggan and packing float, without having to lift up the feet so much. i like the photos of the skiis with the rifle and fur(i think that was wilma site). those look similar to the size of skis these siberian hunters were using in the video i saw. my friend found the video and is bringing it over this week. i can have another look. in the video this guy is making them so has lots of good video of the process and i'll be able to gauge the size. i will be making a pair and most likely attaching some deer leg skin for traction(old school) and trying them out in the back woods behind the house. if anyone wants i'll send in photos when done. thanks for the help.

Offline into the wind

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Re: wide short siberian skis
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2010, 08:11:05 pm »
Steambender, good to meet you at the symposium. Could you tell me the name of that video with the Siberian skis, or is it something not available any longer.
Thanks.

Offline steambender

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Re: wide short siberian skis
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2010, 08:26:06 pm »
the video is called Eskimo.....but it about siberian people.....that's all i got on it....i do have a copy of a copy and it won't copy :( i searched all over the web....no luck.

Offline KM

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Re: wide short siberian skis
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2010, 05:01:34 pm »
Some random notes on this type of skis:

When I was skiing in the north Lake Baikal region I borrowed a set of skis that was about 6-8'' by 50''. Wood laminate with a kind of slippery plastic on the bottom. They had a bit of glide on the flat but being furless would slide back and get stuck at about 45 degrees in deep powder, when we caved in the snow on top of the creek bed we were traveling over.

The Ski: Its History and Historiography
LeRoy J. Dresbeck
Technology and Culture, Vol. 8, No. 4 (Oct., 1967), pp. 467-479
(its on jstor.org as a pdf - you might need access to a university library. This has some good info and pictures of short/wide skis from Scandinavia)

I've researched Siberian skis at my university and in some Russian publications. Here is the short and sweet:

Construction:
-hockskin sole (rawhide or worked dry, ungulate): these were usually glued on with hide glue from what I remember, sometimes sewn into a sheet and wood-pegged or nailed on the top edge of the ski
-larch, spruce, pine for the ski itself
-the foot bed is made from  birch bark - packed snow/ice will not stick to it
-the foot harness is just thong, same idea as a snowshoe harness but may need to be modified because there is no toe hole
-Just like snowshoes in North America vary in length to width ratio and overall surface area in a fashion that corresponds to use and the type of snow encountered in different regions, so do Siberian ski types vary.

I think the skis some of the other folks are mentioning are really central asian telemark-type skis, these are used with a steering pole held between the legs. There is some youtube footage of this.

Check out the Pathfinder (1987, Nils Gaup -Director, Saami, english subtitles) for great ski ideas - in regard to Scandinavia and the equip/techniques that gave birth to modern nordic skiing - its an awesome film in artistic terms too.