Johnny Seesaw’s PERUVIAN Skis

Seesaw’s News

 

As skiing came of age in the 1930’s, Johnny Seesaw’s was established as one of America’s first ski lodges in 1938. After WWII, Seesaw’s was turning a modest profit as New York ski trains began to bring skiers to Manchester, Bromley, Pico and Stowe. Bromley, owned by the Pabst family, emerged as one of the premier US destinations for this new sport.

Bill Parrish, founder of Johnny Seesaw’s, saw an opportunity and became involved with the early ski, boot and binding technology. He started distributing Seesaw’s ski products: base lacquers, wax, shoelaces and TEY Tape. Parrish then progressed to skis and boots, distributing the Aluflex metal ski. He was an ardent proponent of releasable bindings. Among the trailblazing bindings he championed were the Hvam, the Stowe, and two Japanese brands.

In the early days of skiing, a ski enthusiast named Cliff Taylor wrote a book called “Ski in a Day” in which he advocated using shorter skis. There was also a Harvard professor named Smitty Stevens who experimented with short skis. A study on the cost of ski injuries that Parrish spearheaded, revealed a ski injury cost the industry $5,000 (in 1958) in lost lodging, meals, equipment sales and word-of-mouth damage. Parrish insisted that for the sport of skiing to grow, it had to be safer.

When Bill Parrish found himself with some overstock of Aomoris (wood and aluminum skis he’d imported from Japan), he cut them down to varying lengths until he determined, often using guests as guinea pigs, that 39 inches was the ideal length for a short ski. This led Parrish to design his own 39-inch Johnny Seesaw’s short ski that he would tirelessly hawk to every guest who crossed Seesaw’s threshold.

Then as now, short skis dramatically abbreviated the learning process. “The technique was certainly effective. I taught a friend who had skated but not skied – we started on the Lord’s Prayer in the morning and were barreling down through the moguls on the Blue Ribbon by the end of the afternoon.” – Alan Parrish, son of Bill Parrish.

Then as now, short skis dramatically abbreviated the learning process. “The technique was certainly effective. I taught a friend who had skated but not skied – we started on the Lord’s Prayer in the morning and were barreling down through the moguls on the Blue Ribbon by the end of the afternoon.” – Alan Parrish, son of Bill Parrish.

– Skiing Heritage Magazine Sept. 2004 and Alan Parrish

 


More Seesaw’s News

seesaws lodge

Autumn at the Lodge

Autumn is a favorite time of year in Vermont; The days are warm while the mornings and evenings are cool. The landscape is alive with a symphony of colors – truly a unique sight.

Warming Temps & The Warming Hut

There’s still much more to come, but one of our recent additions is a passion project that just couldn’t wait…and it has come just in time – the Warming Hut.

desire bus

Seesaw’s Valentine

Seesaw’s has a long-standing tradition of being a place that brings together couples, families, and friends. We celebrate this Valentine’s Day with the story of a bus named Desire who became part of the lodge’s lore…

10th mountain division training

Winter and Tradition

In 1940, a couple of drinks around the fire at Johnny Seesaw’s ignited the spark for the creation of the US Army’s 10th Mountain Division…

bromley mountain 1960s

A Seesaw’s Winter Wonderland

Abundant in rocky terrain and dense forests filled with maple, birch ash and pine trees, the small town of Peru, Vermont struggled to find its niche for centuries—that is, until the development of “Bromley Run” in 1933 and then came, the winter wonderland…