Mar 04 2021

New Birch Skis

Published by at 3:24 pm under Expeditions and Experiences

These skis are loosely based on a find from Reinheimen in Norway. They are of birch (Betula pubescens) and may or may not have had fur on the underside. I opted for not using fur as of yet, although I might add that at a later point as is does provide a lot of traction and reduces speed downhill.

The bindings area is where the skis deviate most from the original. The front portion is a rectangular on these skis, and pointed on the original. The hole on mine are also rectangular, due to being chiseled out, whereas the originals might have been carved out with a knife and are more eye shaped. The holes on the originals are probably also a bit more roomy as I could not wrap the withie part (also birch) around twice, which would have made the binding stronger. The buckskin bindings have been threaded through the hole and pegs rammed in in order for the fit to be tight.

Snow conditions are currently pretty horrible as the snow is crusty, wears a lot on the skis and is dangerously fast. The Saami had specialised skis for such conditions, which I might make at a later time. These skis are harder to use than modern skis as they are not completely fixed onto your foot, however with some practice I think it will not be an issue.

I will probably make another pair of these at some point and actually make a tutorial about how to do it.

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Regards
Torjus

Get my book "Traditional Trout Fishing: Fishing for Survival in the North (Volume 1)
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