North Star Racing Skis North Star Racing Skis

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A Little Bit About Me!
  My name is Danny Johnson - owner of North Star Racing Skis.  I live in Northern Minnesota in Karlstad.  Karlstad is located 30 miles South of Canada and 30 miles East of North Dakota.  I am only about 1/2 hour away from both the Polaris and Arctic Cat Factories.  I am 55 years old and have been involved with snowmobiles since the age of 14.  I quit racing in 2006.
  I remember my Father bringing home our first snowmobile in 1967.  It was a used 1966 Ski-Doo.  I graduated from high School in 1971.  My Father bought a new 1971 Ski-Doo 292 TNT.  Since we lived only 20 minutes from Strathcona, I figured I may as well go racing.  I raced there a few times and a few other local races but never any thing big!  My Father raced in the 1973 I-500 Winnipeg to St Paul Race.  He was one of the few to finish the race.  He was riding a Chaparral SS III 295.
  I got married in 1975 and that kind of put my racing on hold for about 17 years.  We would still go and watch as it was always in my blood.
  I believe it was 1989 - I went to the races in Strathcona where they also had a vintage snowmobile show.  I had a few old sleds, so brought one over there.  The fellow in charge of the show and race was a man by the name of Armand Westland.  I asked him if we could drive the sleds around the track next year during the National Anthem, he said he thought that would be a good idea!  So we did!!  Well I didn't want it to stop there, so asked Armand if we could "Race" the old ones next year, he told me he was too busy with the regular race for the new machines to bother with the old stuff.  But - if I wanted organize it and be in charge - We could do it.  It all came to be in 1992.  My son was old enough to race then - so I fixed up 10 old sno-cats and between my son and I - we entered every class.  That was quite a work out.  We had guys coming from 100 to 200 miles away just to try their luck on this "New" Old sport.  It got bigger and better year after year!  We had both ovals and a 3 mile cross country!  My son and I mainly ran Pumas and Merc Twisters.  No matter what kind of machine was on the track - I remember them not being able to turn - me included.  The fellow that could turn the best  was usually the one that won.  I got to watching and thinking about why they wouldn't turn.  I tried a few things, but nothing seemed to help.
  In 1996 I went to Wahl Bros in Greenbush and purchased a couple of pieces of aluminum extrusion they made their IFS Skis out of.  I cut this and bent that - welded here and drilled there and pretty soon I had a set of new skis.  I put them on my 340 Twister and headed off to Strathcona - Boy what a difference they made - after the races, we were all standing around talking and some of the guys asked where I got the skis?  I told them I made them!  That's when I got my first order.
  Over the years I have watched videos of these old leaf springers and would notice things that I could change and improve.  As the years went on I would get feed back from the racers telling me things.  I would listen to their complaints and try to correct them.  One problem was the aluminum extrusion wasn't strong enough to handle the 10" to 12" carbides.  They were bending in the middle like a banana.  So - I sat down and designed a similar but much stronger design!  I added a rolled edge and "Beefed - Up" the whole ski.  I replaced the plastic slider up front with stainless steel and put braces in where they are needed.  I still noticed the tip of the ski was "chattering" on rough ice - So I shortened up the tip by 1 1/2" and redesigned the curl.  This makes for a much more rigid ski.
  I have a universal 38" ski that will mount to any length spring.  The customer supplies his own spring.  I also have a pre-assembled 28" ski with a 20" spring.  Just bolt it on.  Also - Quite a few racers are bending their saddles.  New for this year, I have heavy duty saddles made from 1/4" thick steel and are adjustable.  Instead of just one hole to bold to your spindles - the saddle has 2 holes - 1" apart.  This will allow for quick movement of the saddle which in turn moves the carbide, so you can fine tune the sleds between heats with out actually removing the carbide.  I also had Woody's make a 10" carbide designed just for my skis, so if you are serious about racing and winning - I can fix your up with what you need to get to the Winner's Circle • Skis • Springs • Carbides • Saddles.
  North Star Skis - DO Make a DIFFERENCE!!!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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