Objects Database

Viking Wooden Skis

Accession Number


Object Name

Viking Wooden Skis




Hermione Cooper

Accession Date


Brief Description

Pair of Viking wooden skis with Gresvig 5 Kandahar cable bindings


wood, leather, metal


192(L) x9(W) cms

Number Of Objects

1 pair

Inscription Description

"VIKING" on skis. " GRESVIG 5 KANDAHAR " on bindings


brown, silver



Object Production Place



A remarkable story:-
George Stewart bought this pair of skis in Florence during the winter of 1944-45 when he was serving with the British Army who were fighting their way north through the snowy Appenine mountains of Italy. A brief lull in the fighting allowed him to ski around amongst the artillery and carnage of war- a bizarre sight if ever there was.
George gave his skis to a friend just after the war and he, in turn, passed them onto another friend. In an amazing twist of fate that friend then gave them back to George -
‘ have skis will travel’
In their fourth incarnation, George fitted them with a simple, unique and very early form of safety binding ( see picture opposite)
The skis are fitted with a Kandahar cable binding which allows for free heel movement when travelling cross country and uphill but can be clamped when downhill skiing. This increases the risk of injury in the event of a fall as the binding and boot are much more rigid. George’s idea was to fit a simple leather strap around the back of the cable when downhill skiing which allowed the boot to jerk free in the event of a fall allowing more movement of the ankle and less injury.... brilliant!
The skis themselves were probably imported into Italy from Norway in the early 1940’s. They are beautifully laminated and have a Gresvig’s of Norway, Kandahar binding. One of George’s ‘friends’ fitted the metal edges at some point.
Great story George and thanks!

Acquisition Method

Donated by George Stewart

Acquisition Date


Condition Check Date



Spectrum : UK Museum documentation standard, V.3.1 2007



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