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After World War II, the Elan ski factory continued the tradition of Slovenian-made skis. It evolved into one of the largest ski manufacturers in the world and Slovenia’s first international brand. What had once been a small craft had become an important industry (The picture is symbolic). Foto: BoBo

Slovenia’s Ski Making Pioneer

Slovenia has a along tradition of skiing; the residents of the Bloke Plateau were the first in Central Europe to use skis for transportation. But it was a man named Jakob Rozman who created the first Slovenian brand of skis – and helped to make skiing the national pastime.

The story began in the Bohinj Valley, which is surrounded by the peaks of the Julian Alps and some of the best ski slopes in Slovenia. At the beginning of the 20th century, foreign visitors were just beginning to discover the potential of the area. An unknown owner left a broken pair of skis behind when he traveled back home, and the skis came to the attention of Rozman, a local wheelwright – a maker of wooden wheels.

Rozman decided to make his own skis. He put his wood shaping experience in action, and his skis became an immediate success. Other Slovenian craftsmen had made skis before, but usually only for family and neighbors. Rozman was the first who made skis for a wider market. In 1908, he even established his own brand, and soon, skis bearing the Triglav Ski logo could be seen around Slovenia.

Rozman took advantage of the rising popularity of the skiing after World War I. Not only was his brand immensely popular throughout the interwar era, but he also helped to organize the first ski classes and competitions in Slovenia.

He also began to make equipment for ski jumping. These skis were made of carefully dried ash wood and were in particular demand when the first ski jump was constructed in the Bohinj area. Later, Triglav Skis were used at the famous ski jump in Planica.

After World War II, the Elan ski factory continued the tradition of Slovenian-made skis. It evolved into one of the largest ski manufacturers in the world and Slovenia’s first international brand. What had once been a small craft had become an important industry.

Source: RTVSLO.si | Jaka Bartolj

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