Sondre revolutionized skiing in many ways. He made the first experiments with ski equipment that we still use today. He was the first to use heel bindings, so that his skis stayed in place when he skied at his most reckless pace. He used waisted skis, so that it was easier to turn with them around trees and on steep slopes or at the bottom of the ski jump. A remarkable skier. It was Sondre who with the help of his new equipment, placed the steering ski in front of the other one in deep powder snow, so the unexpected hillocks or drops were easier to ski over. With bent knees and always ready to face new opstacles with new techniques, he introduced a completely new way of skiing that could be practised in all sorts of terrain – TELEMARK SKIING. The method he practised was so ingenious that we have today gone back to it’s origins in Morgedal and are witnessing a re-birth of the type of cross country skiing that was based on the idea of Sondre.
Sondre was born on a little tenant farm of Øverbø in Morgedal, in the summer 1825.
During the mid 1980`s mountain touring in deep snow could be quite a challenge. The then mountain skis were narrow around 64cm tip, 56cm middle and 60cm at the tail.
We had heard of Aasmund Kleiv from Morgedal making copies of Sondre Norheims model 85, 69, 78 cm. Those we had to try and what a difference, sinking in not so deep on the way up and flotation on the way down.
Around this same time I came across a single ski, which had a similar form, but was wider 100, 70, 80 cm. This would be good to try. We took it to Holmenkollen ski museum, talked with Karen Berg, who told us that it was also a Telemark ski from an area to the north of Morgedal towards Rjukan from around 1860. We talked with Aasmund and he agreed that if we came to his workshop, he would help us, show us and answer all our questions. So after a try of making Sondre`s model, I then made this new model, my model. The result being a great experience, good flotation, long wide turns and the tip sticking up thro the snow like the prow of a Viking ship.