DIY klap skates and winter triathlon in 1990

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DIY klap skates and winter triathlon in 1990

Post by david-dermott » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:50 am

This might be off-topic, but maybe people would be interested in this trivia.

The idea of using cross-country ski bindings on ice skates to get a "free-heel" action seems to be
independent of development of the klap skates for competitive speed skates.

The XC-ski binding on skates didn't become really practical until the
advent of "modern" bindings like NNN and SNS in the 1980s.
Zandstra produced a limited number of wood-based "ski-blades" starting around 1990.

One early home-made klap skate was from Dutch XC-ski racer and winter
triathlete Ruben Krouwel. He attached Salomon SNS bindings to
long-track blades and used XC-ski boots.

Here is a 1989 photo of Ruben Krowel on his home-made klap skates:

In 1990 he used these skates to win the Inzell Winter Triathlon (20kM
run, 30km ski,40km skate)
At 1:09 in this video of the Winter Triathlon at we see him clip on
his SNS skates:

This was 7 years before klap skates started winning speed skating races!

Krouwel later won the WInterlude Triathlon in Ottawa (1991 I think). So he may
have been responsible for introducing these "transition" skates to the Winterlude triathlon

The idea of there being XC-ski competitors
from the Netherlands is unusual, But apparently Ruben Krouwel was
quite good in the 1980s. I think he did his most of his training in Sweden
and now lives there, near Borlänge in southern Dalarna.


David Dermott , Wolfville Ridge, Nova Scotia, Canada
David Dermott, Wolfville Ridge, Nova Scotia

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Re: DIY klap skates and winter triathlon in 1990

Post by Neuro » Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:10 am

Fun and interesting stuff. Never even heard about winter triathlon before.

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Re: DIY klap skates and winter triathlon in 1990

Post by dcpattie » Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:15 am

Nowadays, winter triathlons almost always consist of a run (sometimes with snowshoes), MTN bike, and skate ski.

I wish I could skate like those in the video - they make it look effortless.

My perfect triathlon would be a row (in a single sculling shell), classic ski, and trail run.
Dave in Nordic Virginia

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