This Is How Perfect Skis Are Made, Folks.  Part 1

This Is How Perfect Skis Are Made, Folks. Part 1

Gear News, Newsfeed, Trivia
Looking at the color booklets and online advertising of leading ski producers, one would think that it's all super advanced 21st century tech, fantastic materials, robots, nano technologies, etc. It's true – partially. The real secret of perfect ski glide is, however, in skilled manual labor, massive experience in production and constant testing of the product. Those are my impressions from visiting a factory of KSF Sport Oy, which produces legacy ski brands known the world over: Karhu, Yoko, and Jarvinen. The most important conclusion I've drawn: there is no huge difference in production methods and materials used in top racing ski, suitable for elite, and the second- and third- tier ski that are quite a bit cheaper – and that was a surprise. But let's go inside the factory…
Read More
Madshus Awaits Its Fate

Madshus Awaits Its Fate

Gear News, Money & Finance, Newsfeed, Training & Outfitting
The Madshus' fate is about to be decided. According to SGB Media, a social media marketing firm, Michael Polk, CEO of Newell Brands, said this week that "...Negotiations around the sale of the Winter Sports unit are in full flight and are expected to close in the second quarter..." You want to know the connection? Well, let's see. Back in 1988, a legacy Norwegian ski producer was bought by K2 Sports Inc. from Seattle, best known for its eponymous Alpine ski. Then, in 2007, K2 itself was bought by Jarden Corp.., owned and run by Martin Franklin, a British investor and triathlete. Finally, last year Jarden was swallowed whole by an even bigger corporate fish, Newell Brands Inc., whose boss, Mr. Polk, had immediately announced his intention to sell off…
Read More
UpDated: Dude, Where Is My SkiBee?

UpDated: Dude, Where Is My SkiBee?

Gear News, Newsfeed
What we wrote last year: The prize for one of the more original innovations in cross country skiing goes to Donald Steeg, a "tool and dye maker from the Detroit area," and, by all accounts, an avid skier. Back in 1970, Steeg had unveiled his SkiBee, "a propulsion unit for motorized skiing". Equipped with an eight-horsepower engine and a 24-inch propeller, SkiBee could accelerate the skier along the trail at the speed human propulsion is not quite capable of - neither then nor now. The Detroit Free Press newspaper put it thus at the time: "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…
Read More
Salomon and Atomic Sales Grow Massively in Q1

Salomon and Atomic Sales Grow Massively in Q1

Gear News, Money & Finance, Newsfeed
Amer Sports , the owner of Salomon and Atomic, have released its Q1 2017 financial report. The Winter Sports Equipment department, as Amer Sports calls its ski/poles/boots producing brands, has reported a massive year-on-year growth – the sales went up stunning 18 percent to €52.1 million – even if other company departments' sales were flat or depressed. Says Heikki Takala, president and CEO, Amer Sports "...We made strong progress in Winter Sports Equipment, and started to rebound in Fitness...” The Finnish sports equipment and apparel maker stresses that the growth to “was aided by good snow conditions in many key markets” Sure, the last winter in Europe was much snowier than the previous ones, but making good skis – and having elite racers win on them - couldn't possibly hurt…
Read More
Train Your Balance Like a Boss

Train Your Balance Like a Boss

Gear News, Newsfeed
The body balance is, likely, the most important single factor in cross country skiing – unless you happen to be a dedicated double-poler, in which case read no further. For those of us, however, who practice either old good diagonal classic stride or skating, a balance training is a must. Naturally, there are dozens of devices and gadgets designed to aid – starting with simplest of all, a plastic bottle filled with water, all the way to fancy professional machines for $$$$$. The Austrian company MFT has turned the balance training into a form of computer gaming. The MFT Challenge Disc 2.0 connects to you phone or tablet via Bluetooth – et voila, instead of counting seconds, you now actively swing your lower limbs achieving corresponding gaming action on your…
Read More