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It is worth noting the characteristic shape (side carving) and the material—birch wood—which is exceptionally light, but, due to its lack of durability, was used very rarely for the production of skis; ash wood, beech wood, or—in special cases—hickory wood was usually used instead.

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It is worth noting the characteristic shape (side carving) and the material—birch wood—which is exceptionally light, but, due to its lack of durability, was used very rarely for the production of skis; ash wood, beech wood, or—in special cases—hickory wood was usually used instead.
The ski had no binding, only a groove for a toe strap and a raised pad under the foot. The hole for the toe strap is placed at a distance of 106 cm from the top edge of the tip (the hole width is 3.5 cm). The distance from the hole to the heel is 109 cm. The ski comes from the second half of the 19th century.



Elaborated by the Regional Museum of the Association of Piwniczna Enthusiasts, editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums, © all rights reserved

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How skis were hidden during the war

At the Regional Museum of the Association of Piwniczna Enthusiasts in Piwniczna Zdrój, you can find a pair of skis which might appear akin to fence boards to a shrewd eye. They are straight and do not feature tapered tips, characteristic of skis.

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At the Regional Museum of the Association of Piwniczna Enthusiasts in Piwniczna Zdrój, you can find a pair of skis which might appear akin to fence boards to a shrewd eye. They are straight and do not feature tapered tips, characteristic of skis.
During World War II, the Germans confiscated skis and boards longer than 150 cm. According to them, they were dangerous because they enabled couriers to make the crossing through the mountains. Although having skis was forbidden, residents of mountain towns, including the folks of Piwniczna, skilfully circumvented this ban − they carved skis, but not quite skis, which could be said to be just ordinary planks if need be. Sometimes a piece of metal was temporarily attached to the planks, which could serve as a fastening.

Elaborated by Editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums, 
Licencja Creative Commons

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland.

 

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Siberian birch ski

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