History of V2 Jenex

 I was born in the United States, but raised by my Grandparent’s in Sweden.  I went back to the US and eventually became a student at Dartmouth College, where I majored in Geology and also joined their Ski Team.  I wanted to find out what it was like working as a Geologist, so the summer after my junior year  I worked for an exploration company in the Henry Mountains of Utah. I discovered that Geology would not be my future. I took a year off from college and went to work for a technology company in Glendale, California. My boss gave me very challenging design projects,  and I by the time I returned to Dartmouth I knew that designing products would be my future. In my senior year at Dartmouth I designed a fiber optic scope for surgery that was supposedly the first of its kind and the college funded the prototype. After graduating I returned to the technology company in California and at night began taking engineering courses at UCLA.  

At age 33 I co-founded an electronics company with Windsor Hunter and Thomas Neavitt. The company grew rapidly and soon we had operations in United States, England and Japan. In my free time, I started ski racing again.  but had not XC skied since I left school. I decided to develop a better ski binding. The contemporary ski bindings that became available in the late 70’s infringed on my binding patent and I sold the patent to a law firm that represented the ski binding company. 

In the spring of 1987 I was on a business trip in Sweden working with Sony Ericson.  After completing my tasks in Stockholm, I took a week of vacation to follow the Polar Cup Ski races. The races were called the Polar Cup, because all races were above the Arctic Circle. Many American skiers were there, including John and Bruce Bauer, Karen Petty, Dorcas Wonsawage, Laura Wilson, Joan Scheingruber and Justin Wadsworth. While at the races some coaches told me that the Swedish Junior skiers were now less fit than the junior skiers in the 70’s.  Dr. Artur Forsberg thought he had discovered why. The skiers were training more hours, but the physiological test results indicated that their training was not as effective as the training programs from the 70’s. The junior’s dry land training program consisted of about 50% roller skiing and Artur suspected this might be the problem. What Dr. Forsberg found was that the metabolic demand using roller skis was about 30% less than when skiing on snow. There was simply insufficient training stimulus for optimal fitness. The coaches asked me if I had any ideas for roller skis which more closely simulated skiing on snow. When I returned to the United States I began to experiment with different designs and I sent a few prototypes to elite skiers for testing. The skiers liked them and when I retired from the electronics company, I founded Jenex Inc and began making V2 roller skis. 

 Len Johnson




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