July 25, 1977
July 25, 1977

Table of Contents
July 25, 1977

  • The toddlin' town is going bananas over baseball even though, except for imported sluggers Richie Zisk and Bobby Murcer, the rosters of the White Sox and the Cubs consist of "Who are these guys?" The reason is, those perennial Chicago losers have been holding down first place in their respective divisions, and Chicagoans are daring to dream of an intracity World Series in October. If it happens, Harry Caray will be there to describe it, but it might be too cold for any outdoor showers

  • Who needs snow? Not these sports, who have discovered skiing on grass

Track & Field
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over


Who needs snow? Not these sports, who have discovered skiing on grass

One day this will grow up into a big sport, they say, with international stars like Franz Klammer rolling recklessly down green slopes in their shorts. But for the 65 hardy pioneers who assembled at La Marquise Hill in Quebec last weekend, this was the first-ever North American Grass Ski Championships. You've got to start somewhere.

This is an article from the July 25, 1977 issue Original Layout

Grass skis are fiendish contraptions, sort of like Lilliputian tanks with giants standing on top of them. What makes them go—the world grass-ski speed record is said to be 50 mph—is a continuous nylon belt with plastic rollers slotted into a metal track, and with a footplate featuring bindings that clamp onto ski boots. The sound of grass skis in full cry is an unnerving clack, clack, clack that, if nothing else, lets everybody know there is a racer on the course.

Despite the kidney-rattling crashes that enlivened the meet, competitor Horst Locher insisted that this was the best possible training for snow skiing. "You use all the same muscles," he said. "But here you need more of them." Locher ought to know: almost half the field represented Bryce Resort at Basye, Va., where Locher is ski-school director in winter and resident grass-ski whiz in summer. The next meet will be at Locher's place and, considering the embryonic state of the sport, could well be called the All-World Championships.

But organized slalom competitions (grass skiers pretty much agree they're not ready for downhill racing yet) are only one phase of the game. Already grass skiers are loose across the land, and the adventurous have discovered the joys of freewheeling through slopes of tall grass, which they claim is better than winter's deep powder. Well, except for that awful clack, clack, clack.