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Skimaking in Morgedal, the cradle of modern skiing

Ski making has long traditions in Norway and there have been many famous ski makers spread around the country. The father of modern skisport, Sondre Norheim, changed the way people saw skiing.

Sondre designed and made skis which enabled skiers to tackle the slopes in ways never seen before.

The statue of Sondre Norheim

Sondre Norheim developed a new type of skis which still is called " Telemarkski ". They were light pinewood skis with an inward curved profile, which means that they were broader at both ends and a little narrower in the middle. With this design it became easier to turn.
''The Telemarkski "had long, stretched curves. This was especially good for skiing in loose snow because the long stretched curve  would leave the loose snow underneath. (A cross curved ski would only push the loose snow foreword).

Previously, the bindings that were most frequently used, had been toe-bindings made of leather and withe. Another alternative were withe-bands that reached halfway under the feet. Sondre started to use sturdy withe-bindings with heelcaps.

Telemarkskis, skis with carving and heelbinding
This highly improved the possibilities for manoevring the skis and to turn and jump. People thought it was pure madness to bind the foot to the skis. But the new equipment made it possible to develop skiing for play and fun. Later on, this playing developed into modern skisport. The development of  the ''Telemarkski" changed from being just a means of transportation to become a new folksport.

Following on in the long and prestigious ski making history of Morgedal – Norsk Skieventyr, the skimuseum in Morgedal, have a own ski making workshop here in the valley. Norsk Skieventyr work together with Morgedal SKI, a company that specialises in making hand-made natural timber skis. Using time honoured traditions they work through the whole process from finding the right tree in the forest to carving the final designs on the finished skis surface.

In January 2015 we had a visit from two journalists from National Geographic. They made their own skis and then go for skiing.

Check the movie here.

We also had some project together with Norsk Handverkinstitutt (Norwegian Crafts Institute).                   The institute goals is:
Projects concerning the transfer and documentation of craft skills and knowledge.We document and pass on knowledge of traditional craftsmanship to new generations. The Norwegian Crafts Institute carries out documenting and training projects and thereby contributes to the transmission of traditional crafts, with a special emphasis on living knowledge that is in danger of disappearing.

We work together with three projects. See the movies here.

Skimaking. Hudsko (skiboots made of leather), South Pole Sledge

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Vest-Telemark Museum




Museumsvegen 9, 3891 Høydalsmo


(+47) 35 06 90 90