Wooden skis

Wooden skis

The oldest references to skis in present-day Slovenia date back to the late 17th century. The knowledge of manufacturing skis as we know them today came to us from Norway at the end of the 19th century. The first pair of modern skis was brought over by teacher Edmund Čibej from Vipava in 1888, thus encouraging the production of skis by local masters. We introduced skiing one year before the Austrians, while in Italy, the first skis appeared only seven years later. In 1945, the first ski factory was established in Begunje; since then, numerous Slovenian and foreign skiers have used Elan skis. Elan was also the company that, in the 1980s, developed a modern type of ski with a pronounced side-cut, which have since become known as carving skis.

In the beginning, skis were primarily intended to facilitate navigation through the snowy landscape. With the end of the First World War, though, skiing became a popular sport. Enthusiastic skiers mostly made the skis themselves, with some being extremely imaginative and creative. The shorter skis in this photograph originate from Bovec and are made of wooden staves, while the other ones, also wooden, were made at the Elan factory in the 1960s.

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