"Gus and Henry Open A Shop"
(Hiker & Skier – October 1938)
GUS JOHNSON: Has beautiful rhythm in downhill and cross-country.
HENRY SOTVEDT: His jumping is a fine exhibition of aero-dynamics.
Naturally you prefer to buy your skiing equipment from a salesman who is a skier himself. He will give you practical advice about skis, if you are a beginner. He will show you ski bindings that Fritz Huitfeldt never dreamed of, and ski waxes not contemplated by the early skiers in winters long past, who rubbed bacon rind and even salt herring on the bottoms of their skis.
When two such widely known skiers as Gus Johnson and Henry Sotvedt open a ski shop it is news. Gus and Henry have won skiing fame at competitions and championships on both sides of the international boundary for many years. These boys have won enough trophies to load a truck.
Owing to their wide acquaintance among skiers, Gus and Henry will have a large body of followers for whom the new shop will be a rendezvous. The two skiers have a wonderful skiing background which will be of great value to them in their new undertaking. Born in the Konigsberg district in Norway they are contemporaries of Birger and Sigmund Ruud, Tom Mobraaten, Nordal Kaldahl, Olaf Ulland, Hjalmar Hvaam and many other Konigsberg skiers, with whom Gus and Henry skied in their youth among the Konigsberg hills. Needless to say they have" an intimate knowledge of skis and" skiing equipment. They have named their little place "The Two Skiers 'Shop," and have stocked it with new equipment most of which reached Vancouver recently direct from Norway by ship. They seem to be making a special feature of the latest models of Gresvig skis, masterpieces in hickory which have beautiful flowing lines suggesting the poetry of motion which ski running really is. These streamlined creations are works of art.
The hundreds of skiers who are personally acquainted with Gus and Henry, will wish them immediate success.
By Henry Sotvedt (Hiker and Skier – December 2nd, 1938)
Once again we have snow on our mountains, and although there is not much of it, there is enough to turn ,our thoughts to skiing - and to some of us, skiing means jumping. We'll start out for two or three weeks just skiing around to get back the old feeling and to become used to the planks again, but it won't be very long before we start looking for a training hill.
All jumpers, from beginners to top notchers, find that it's wise to start training on a small hill and work up. The best training hill is a small one with a high take-off and not too much speed. On such a hill, one can learn to get the right lift and to take the landing properly. This last is, in my opinion, one of the most important things, and anyone who can land correctly is well on his way as a jumper.
Our hill at First Lake is a very good little training hill and I am eagerly anticipating the time when we'll have enough snow to fit it up for jumping. Then all the boys, experienced and beginners, can get together and give one another some really constructive criticism. In that way we'll get something out of our training.
The next problem is to find a real jumping hill, since We ,seem to have lost our one-and-only [West Lake ski jump]. My dream is to see such a hill on each of our mountains, and plenty of jumpers using them; because, after all, it's in jumping that one reaches the ultimate thrill of skiing.
So come along, everyone interested in jumping, and when we have some of "the beautiful" at First Lake we'll start in.
By Gus Johnson (Hiker and Skier – December 2nd, 1938)
My first recollection of skiing was when I must have been about four years old. I can just remember sliding on a pair of skis, down a small hill in a field near our home, when I came to a dip in the hill, which stopped me from going further on down. Evidently, I was very content to stay in this dip because my mother found me, about an hour afterwards, in a crouched position - sound asleep-with my skis still on. (That an enthusiastic skier!) However, as years went on, I did not like sleeping so much on my skis and found that all kinds of fun could be had by using them for skiing.
In downhill running, do not stop at the first dip and go to sleep, like I did. In a competition, no matter what happens (barring accidents, of course) keep on going and continue your race - and you must remember that in order to get to the finish line, 'it is necessary to ski for safety.
There is no point in taking more speed than you can handle and then having a crackup, which might keep you out for the rest of the season, or even longer.
One point I would like to bring out, very strongly, is the uselessness of going to the top of a hill, schussing it straight, and then falling at the bottom. You might make it a couple of times out of ten - and brag about making it straight, but you haven't learned a thing. what you should have done would be to come down this hill, skiing under control, making as many turns as necessary to check your speed, but being sure to ski the whole hill each time under perfect control - and without a fall. If you use this principle, you will finally be able to take that same hill, with plenty of speed and still you will have the confidence that you are master of your body and skis. If you will refer to Peter Vajda's article on turns, in the last "Hiker and Skier" you will be very well advised.
There is, of course, in some instances, a little criticism due the course setters on some downhill races. In order to keep some of the more break-neck skiers under control, great care should be taken in placing control gates. The course setter should take into consideration the ranking of the skiers who are competing on this course. For instance, at Mt. Baker and Mt. Hood last year, there were really only about a dozen skiers who were competent enough to take the courses as flagged, which was evidenced by the fact that at Mt. 'Hood only about one-third of those who entered were able to finish the race, and on Mt. Baker only a very few made the course without a fall. On the other hand, competitors should not enter races that are too tough for them. It is like learning to walk. You don't start to run and "yump" first; you start to crawl.
In ending, may I quote Peter Lunn: "The more one skis, the greater happiness does one draw from dominion over one's body, and the less pleasure does one get from the purely physical thrill of speed."