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Episode Info:

Klaus Obermeyer is a living legend. He has had the amazing privilege to see every technological advancement in skiing from the very beginning of the sport. He is 98 years-old and still has a great passion for the sport. If you’re in Aspen, you may even run into him on the Mountain.

Tune in to hear Klaus discuss the early days of skiing, his method for teaching beginners, and his secret to a long and healthy life.

Topics:

[01:55] Klaus made his first pair of skis at two years-old.

[02:08] He used the chestnut boards from some orange crates.

[03:06] He built a small jump out of snow and generally had a great time sliding around on snow.

[03:30] When he was around 4 or 5 years-old, a Norwegian man made him a pair of real skis.

[04:45] A Doctor in Hamburg made the first metal ski edges.

[06:05] People used different types of wood to make skis, but Americans used Hickory. Hickory is tough, but flexible.

[08:58] Klaus made sure that when teaching beginners, he wouldn’t do anything to scare them; scared skiers are stiff skiers.

[10:25] When snowboarding came around, it influenced the shape of skis. The shorter and wider skis are great for skiing in heavy, chunky snow.

[13:00] Klaus worked to create ski clothing that enhanced the skiing experience; they wanted to make warm, comfortable clothing.

[14:25] Klaus still skis, but won’t ski in a storm or when it’s icy.

[14:58] At his age, he finds it easier to ski than it is to walk.

[15:32] Klaus says the key is to not eat more calories than you burn, workout every day, keep your bones under pressure, and make sure your body is always used to working.

[16:15] Never give up working out; Klaus likes swimming.

[17:25] Klaus learned a lot about skiing from a sheep herder, who was the first person who knew how to make parallel turns.

[18:10] The sheep herder skied to school everyday.

[22:00] Norwegians skied for reasons of survival.

[24:55] In terms of keeping skiing popular, Klaus says to “just let it happen” and “enjoy the feeling of sliding on snow”

 

Quotes:

“It was a pleasure to see how these skis got...a little bit better. And the sport of skiing kept changing…” -Klaus Obermeyer

“...In 1947, there was practically no ski clothing...We developed a lot of it and then got copied by people. The aim was to make ski clothing that makes skiing more enjoyable…” -Klaus Obermeyer

“At this point of my age, at 98 and a half years-old, it’s easier to ski than it is to walk.” -Klaus Obermeyer

 

Resources:

Wagner Custom Skis

Klaus’ Biography on Obermeyer’s Website

Read more »

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