1948 was the year when Stainless Steel was first used in skis

1948 was the year when Stainless Steel was first used in skis

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In the 1930s and 1940s it was every ski enthusiast's and racer's job after the weekend to replace the segments and screws that held the segmented edges to the wooden bottoms and fill in or sand out the gouges, scratches and scrapes.

Chris Hoerle, was a Torrington industrialist and former toolmaker, and he resolved to produce a ski that would not break, even under the toughest conditions. It took eight years of research and experimentation before Hoerle received patents on the first known stainless steel skis with continuous edges of hardened stainless steel.  The ski was called Chris Ski after the inventor and manufacturer. Chris skis did not need their edges replaced, and using them left no deep gouges to fill in. Scratches could be removed with #100 grit emery cloth. The stainless steel bottoms were fast. With plastic bases becoming fashionable in the late 40s, some Chri skis came with Tey plastic tape on the stainless bottoms, which also worked well.

The skis were made of a T-301 stainless steel shell .020" thick from the Wallingford Steel Co. in Connecticut, the same firm that supplied the stainless for the Volant 40 years later. Chris Skis had the world's first continuous hardened stainless edges spot-welded to a groove in the bottoms. The ski's inner core was made of wood. Some model of the Chris Ski were ridge-tops, which were very popular during that period. The skis were never sold commercially but were given to top skiers for testing.

From 1941 to 1949 Hoerle turned out about 200 test pairs of skis. His idea wass quickly adopted by a ski company founded by Howard Head (another aeronautical engineer), and named the “Head Standard”.


We don't make Skis, however there's 'snow beating us' when it comes to bespoke Stainless Steel Shelves (which do look a little like long skis!).