Objects Database

Skis

Accession Number

721.2009.1

Object Name

Skis

Created

21/01/2009

Creator

Hermione Cooper

Accession Date

21/01/2009

Brief Description

Pair of 'Vielhaber' downhill skis fitted with quick release bindings.

Materials

carbonfibre, metal, plastic

Dimensions

190(l) cms At widest part 8.5(w)cms

Number Of Objects

1 pair

Inscription Description

On ski in red lettering "VIELHABER CARBONFIBRE MTB" In white lettering "AUSTRIAN DESIGN HANDMADE IN SCOTLAND" On bindings "TYROLLA 150"

Colour

grey

Maker

Vielhaber

Object Production Place

Scotland

Provenance

Leopold Vielhaber came from Austria, married a Scottish lass and started making skis at Birnham, Perthshire in the 1960's. They were very popular and at least one model - the Ambassador - was accepted by the British Ski Team. It seems that Vielhaber were the main producer of skis in the UK during this period, though we have heard of one Gustav Fischnaller who produced skis in Glenshee about the same time.
Bruce Simpson was a part of the Scottish Ski scene during the Vielhaber years and has sent us this wee memory which adds a little more to the scenario:
The first skis were made in Scotland early in the 1900's. In the modern era Gustav Fischnaller, an Austrian, made small quantities of race skis in Scotland in the 60's and 70's.
Leopold Vielhaber, another Austrian who moved to Scotland, took this idea further. He had
a background in ski making. He married a Scot and started making fiberglass skis in the late
60's, specifically designed for Scottish conditions: "robust, durable and impact resistant". The first skis were Vielhaber "Comets" and cost around 30 pounds. The brand grew quite successfully through the 70's and early 80's fuelled by Scottish nationalism and clever marketing campaigns: "we make the tracks, others follow", and "ski harder with Vielhaber" (landowner Jamie Williamson was the creative mind behind some of the marketing). The
British Ski Team also endorsed and used Vielhaber's "Ambassador" brand. While Vielhaber
was able to launch a ski-factory in Aviemore to get scale, and pioneered use of hi-tech
materials like kevlar in ski-making, users often complained "no two skis were the same". It
was tough to find a true pair. Reliability and financial challenges gradually came to dominate,
and Vielhaber went bankrupt. Some say Leo himself "vamoosed" with the last of his
government funding and disappeared

Acquisition Method

Part of collection passed on from Scottish Ski Club

Acquisition Date

01/12/2008

Condition Check Date

28/04/2009

Normal Location

Bohuntin

Current Location

Bohuntin

Rules

Spectrum : UK Museum documentation standard, V.3.1 2007

Modified

28/04/2009

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