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Velmar Water Ski History?

Zeke27G

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When I was a teen and I had outgrown my first singe ski, this Velmar was passed down to me by a friend of my Pops. A beast of a ski at 72”, it was great for long ski runs and I could still get in some good cuts! At some point I ruined the rear binding finger holes and eventually bought a new HO from Endo’s. I have meant to restore this Velmar for years, but never really knew what to do about the bindings. This was until I got comfortable with swapping bindings out, like I did with the Wiley’s I put on my Maha 360. I’ve gone ahead and ordered the same set of Wiley’s for the Velmar. Although they’re not exactly nostalgic looking, they’re comfortable to ski in and that’s what will get me out on this ski more often. I plan to seal the ski with a good coat of polyurethane gloss resin, that I can wetsand and polish into a mirror finish. It will also help to fill some of the chipped areas. More than a varnish would. I spoke with my dads friend about the history of this ski and all he could recall was that it was made custom for him in ‘83 or ‘84 and that Velmar’s shop was off of Firestone Blvd behind a car dealership between Lakewood Blvd and Bellfower Blvd. He couldn’t recall Velmar’s name and I can’t seem to find any more history. If any of you could share any recollections, it would be much appreciated! I’ll post more progress photos soon. Thank you!

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racektm

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When I was a teen and I had outgrown my first singe ski, this Velmar was passed down to me by a friend of my Pops. A beast of a ski at 72”, it was great for long ski runs and I could still get in some good cuts! At some point I ruined the rear binding finger holes and eventually bought a new HO from Endo’s. I have meant to restore this Velmar for years, but never really knew what to do about the bindings. This was until I got comfortable with swapping bindings out, like I did with the Wiley’s I put on my Maha 360. I’ve gone ahead and ordered the same set of Wiley’s for the Velmar. Although they’re not exactly nostalgic looking, they’re comfortable to ski in and that’s what will get me out on this ski more often. I plan to seal the ski with a good coat of polyurethane gloss resin, that I can wetsand and polish into a mirror finish. It will also help to fill some of the chipped areas. More than a varnish would. I spoke with my dads friend about the history of this ski and all he could recall was that it was made custom for him in ‘83 or ‘84 and that Velmar’s shop was off of Firestone Blvd behind a car dealership between Lakewood Blvd and Bellfower Blvd. He couldn’t recall Velmar’s name and I can’t seem to find any more history. If any of you could share any recollections, it would be much appreciated! I’ll post more progress photos soon. Thank you!

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What a coincidence, I had never heard of Velmar, but found this ski sitting on the side walk yesterday, in a pile of trash, so I liberated the ski!

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74 spectra20 v-drive

74 spectra20 v-drive
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I learned to ski on a Velmar and my youngest learned on the same ski, I still have it as well. Ours was a plane jane solid color with the white boots, our friends have the same ski as you, he did some killer wood work on these, i was at his shop on firestone once with my Dad in the early 80's, ill ask around to see if anyone has any knowledge, Old Rigger may jump in here as he has been in the area a long time too.
 

KevinR

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What great skis!

My first single ski was the same Velmar as the dumpster model and the “RICK” model above with my name inlaid.

Used it at Arrowhead and The River. I can remember making my first shore start at River Lodge on it. Great memories.
 

Zeke27G

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Photos coming soon on the Velmar restoration! It's all sealed now in resin, and I'm starting the blocking process with 120 grit and I'll work up to 2000 grit, then some buffing wheel action. Although after all said and done, I'd probably be best to give the bottom a light scuff with some fine scotch-brite?

Trying to decide if I want to hand letter *ZEKE* on the front half of the ski, then clear it in with resin?
 

old rigger

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What great skis!

My first single ski was the same Velmar as the dumpster model and the “RICK” model above with my name inlaid.

Used it at Arrowhead and The River. I can remember making my first shore start at River Lodge on it. Great memories.
I posted these in another thread last year after my uncle passed unexpectedly. River Lodge '63, my Uncle and his Velmar, he was 14/15 at the tme. Second one is just a blurry pic but I like it anyway.
Maybe you guys crossed paths?

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racektm

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Photos coming soon on the Velmar restoration! It's all sealed now in resin, and I'm starting the blocking process with 120 grit and I'll work up to 2000 grit, then some buffing wheel action. Although after all said and done, I'd probably be best to give the bottom a light scuff with some fine scotch-brite?

Trying to decide if I want to hand letter *ZEKE* on the front half of the ski, then clear it in with resin?
What type of resin did you use?
 

Zeke27G

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What type of resin did you use?

Polyurethane gloss resin used for surfboards.

It's good quality stuff that I've worked with before and buy regularly at Fiberglass Services in Huntington Beach.

There was so much damage to the ski, and not having the ability to repair the damaged wood inlay, I decided I'd build up the damaged areas with resin and let the weathered look underneath show through the finish.

This ski was an absolute tank to start, so I'm not too worried about added weight from the resin!
 

racektm

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Polyurethane gloss resin used for surfboards.

It's good quality stuff that I've worked with before and buy regularly at Fiberglass Services in Huntington Beach.

There was so much damage to the ski, and not having the ability to repair the damaged wood inlay, I decided I'd build up the damaged areas with resin and let the weathered look underneath show through the finish.

This ski was an absolute tank to start, so I'm not too worried about added weight from the resin!
Thanks
 

KevinR

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I posted these in another thread last year after my uncle passed unexpectedly. River Lodge '63, my Uncle and his Velmar, he was 14/15 at the tme. Second one is just a blurry pic but I like it anyway.
Maybe you guys crossed paths?

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I remember those pics Rigger.

I was born in 56 so we were probably hitting River Lodge in 63. My memories of shore starts is 67-68. I also wore the ski belt. It would slide up to my armpits and chin during deep water starts so my dad said just do a shore start!
 

Zeke27G

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Well that was a lot of work! I’m satisfied with the results and happy to see this thing have a second life. Now my dilemma is, do I throw on some comfortable, but not exactly vintage looking Wiley bindings on it, or do I try and find some replacement rubbers so I can use the original aluminum bindings mounts? Where would I even find replacement binding rubber? I’d appreciate it if any of you can help with a source for that! Thank you.

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Zeke27G

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that looks fantastic!
Thank you!

Update: Original bindings are on their way to Wiley's to have the rubbers reproduced, as they were more than confident in taking on the project. I'll save their modern looking bindings for another ski. Will post photos of the end result!
 

Zeke27G

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Finally got the Velmar finished just before a river trip last weekend. Wiley’s did a great job on the replacement binding rubbers. They’re not the same shiny rubber, more of a satin look, but they do the job! Got it out in the water and ski’d a lap on it and realized immediately that those old style bindings are terrible and the ski didn’t feel all that stable or worthy of skiing much more than that. Nor did I want to damage it. More or less, it was just neat to restore it and ski it again, even if only for a lap, after some 20+ years since I had last ski’d on it. I’ve decided it’ll be best to keep it as a wall hanger with a story to share!


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