(Some Of ) Most Exotic Innovations In Cross Country Skiing

..Once in a while there is a new invention, some exotic device that is meant to give a skier that much talked about “winning margin”. Most of those invention have come and gone. Some, however, could be purchased if you really wish so.

Here is our selection of the most outstanding ones:

1.Nordic Torpedo. Glide Wax Testing Tool

‘Traditional race ski selection glide-out tests are time consuming and generally not cool’. That must have been the logic behind invention of something called Nordic Torpedo. The device has Ultra High Molecular Weight polyethylene-covered surface, similar to real skis – except that it’s used on four sides. The idea is simple and quite elegant: instead of waxing up four pairs of skis for for glide-out , you wax four sides of single Torpedo pair

Inventors promise massive advantages:
It takes 20-30 min to apply and test 8 different waxes with Nordic Torpedo and it takes 1-1.5 hour to test wax with 8 pairs of skis
It takes 12 times less wax to apply on 1 side of Nordic Torpedo than on 1 pair of skis

Nordic Torpedo was marketed & promoted by well respected Central Cross Country Ski Association (a.k.a CXC Skiing), the organization governing cross country skiing in the Central Region of the United States.

Nordic Torpedo hit the market in 2009 and still could be yours for $164.95

2. Bont Battery Powered Bearing Cleaner Kit

You have to give it to them: the good people at Bont not only know where the hurt is – but also puts it in the language we can understand:
“Cleaning bearings is a pain in the !#$ so we developed a machine to turn a chore into a quick and easy process”

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…Simply slip your bearings onto the Bont Battery Powered Bearing Cleaner, dip it in your choice of cleaning solution and press the red button and your bearings will spin around to clean out loose dirt, oil, rust, birds, insects and whatever else you’ve run over.

Bont does not seem to be offering the Electric Cleaner any longer off its website – but several online shops do for around $60

For those , however, who are not afraid to use the power of their wrist instead, there is Bones Bearings Cleaning Bottle ( yes, you shake it) for about a quarter of the price


3. SkiBee

Prize for one of the more original innovations in cross country skiing goes to Donald Steeg, “tool and die maker from Detroit area” and, by all accounts, an avid skier. Back in 1970 Steeg unveiled his SkiBee, ” a propulsion unit for motorized skiing” .

Equipped with an eight-horsepower engine and a 24-inch propellor, SkiBee was capable of accelerating the skier along the trail at the speed human propulsion is not quite capable of – neither then nor now.

Detroit Free Press newspaper put it thus back then
“Now It’s the Super Fan To Aid the Uphill Skier! If you have $300, earplugs , a strong back, and the urge to go your own way, call Steeg Industries in Redford Township. The company sold 15 units last winter, and said it can catapult you across fields at speeds of up to 35 m.p.h! “

And when the summer comes, one could also have used it as an outboard motor on a boat!

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For the reference: back in the 1971 a brand-new Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu 400 Sedan cost $3740 and a gallon of gas was about 40 cents. A gallon!

The best part? You still could get one if the original vintage SkiBee on Ebay for a cool $2.995, shipping included

If you buy one – invite us for a test, please!


Know of any out-of-the-box innovations in cross country skiing? Don’t let that knowledge be yours solely – share your story in our Comments section!

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