Pioneers of the turns

iv Ski

The ski is older than the wheel. It originates from the prehistoric times when it was used by the northern tribes as a means of transport over the snowy landscape and as a hunting aid.

Historians of skiing divide the development of skiing simplified to: 1. prehistory (from 3,500 years BC to 1888); and 2. modern skiing (from 1888 onwards). The first period is characterized by usable skiing, since the skis served to facilitate the movement through the snowy landscape for hunting, trade, gathering logs, moving to warmer places, and also conquests. Skiing for fun and competitions was practically unknown. The beginning of the second period marks the year 1888 with the crossing of Greenland on skis by Norwegian Fridtjof Nansen and escorts. The news about the usefulness of skis spread around the world. The enjoyment of winter nature, the strengthening of health under the fresh mountain air instead of sitting in the foggy and smoke-contaminated cities and the possibility of skiing for fun were the first promotors of the winter tourism.

However, in the above presented historical overview of the development of skiing, there is an anomaly: even before the 1888, skiing was practiced merely for fun and pleasure. This is a verifiable fact, because residents of Bloke are the first skiers in the world to be observed of skiing – not out of necessity but – for fun! Already in 1689, Johann Weikhard von Valvasor described their “skillful snake-like winding on wooden boards down the snowy slopes”. His description counts as the first written description of skiing in the Central Europe. This is why the residents of Bloke are considered as the pioneers of the turns, although their unique skiing style was later not imitated nor has exhibited a development of the skiing technique.

Isocentric skis, which are based on the Bloke skis represent the contemporary version of these ancestral skis. And most importantly, they carry the original spirit of wit, exploration and ingenuity of those first Bloke residents who did it just for fun.