Mathias Zdarsky demonstrates the initiation of the method of step turning the called the "Wenden". One of many modern Alpine skiing techniques Zdarsky developed in 1905. His extraordinary achievements were largely responsible for the sport we know today. Available in two sizes 8 x 10 and 11 x 14.
Mathias Zdarsky (25 February 1856 in Kozichowitz, Czech: Kožichovice near Třebíč District of Austria, present Czechia – 20 June 1940 in St. Pölten, Austria) was an early ski pioneer and is considered one of the founders of modern Alpine skiing technique. He was probably Austria's first ski instructor. He was also a teacher, painter and sculptor.
Inspired by Norway's Fridtjof Nansen's 1888 crossing of Greenland, he adapted skis for use on alpine terrain. In 1890 he developed a steel binding (the "Lilienfelder Stahlsohlenbindung"), which made steep mountain slopes and gate runs possible. Zdarsky felt the earlier bindings did not hold the foot firmly enough, and so he designed binding with a strong, sprung, steel sole, which is the basis of modern ski bindings. As in the earlier Norwegian skiing, he used only one ski pole. Unlike today, the skier steered by using their elbows.
During his lifetime nobody suspected Zdarsky had created the basis for a popular sport, and he was considered something of an eccentric inventor. During World War I, he taught mountain troops skiing and advanced avalanche training. He described his skiing techniques in his book Die Lilienfelder Skilauf-Technik (The Lilienfelder Ski Method). First published in 1897, seventeen editions were published up to 1925.
Zdarsky is also thought to be the inventor of the bivouac sack. Mount Zdarsky in Antarctica is named for him.