Okay, perhaps we’re all glad that winter is over (at least in the Northeast US) – but that doesn’t mean we can’t start preparing next winter’s adventures…particularly if it means having a full-year to consider riding a pair of handmade skis on the slopes next season.
In the case that you find yourself in Norway between now and next ski season, consider stopping by the Nørrestogo Skigard in Valdres, Norway, where Thomas Aslaksby teaches traditional ski making using age-old techniques that existed long before Rossignol, Salomon and Dynastar.
Among others who attended one of Aslaksby’s ski making class this past winter was Norwegian filmmaker Silje Ensby.
“In our day, it´s a way of connecting to our cultural history and keeping this ancient knowledge from disappearing,” wrote Ensby.
“Each pair of skis are made to have the properties you want – like extra wide for downhill skiing in loose snow or lighter and narrower for cross country terrain use.”
Unsurprisingly, the process is extremely meditative and – similar to crafting surfboards – has an unspoken spiritual element to it that foreshadows epic rides and countless stories by the fire. Unlike most modern processes and chemicals used in crafting surfboards however, Aslaksby teaches his students how to craft the skis using primal materials and processes including birch wood, axes, knives, planes and a finish of linseed oil.
Those interested in finding out more about Aslaskby and his ski making workshop can head over to the Nørrestogo Skigard Facebook page.