In 1913, according to Young Tourist magazine, Western Europeans were reported to be seen using two-meter long boards on the slopes and during the same time, Bulgarian students studying abroad, were bringing home skis. Back then, a favorite pastime for the people of Samokov was to organize sledge races starting from the Sborna Rota (today hotel Olymp) to the main town, with sledges for two, three and even eight people at a time, using locally made sledge models.
At that time, there were foreigners workings as engineers, meteorologists and botanists, among other professions, at the hunting lodges - Tsarska Bistriza and Sitniakovo. With them, they brought skis, which they used for their assignments in the neighbouring areas. The family of one of these expats – Mihail Krashniak – permanently settled in Samokov after 1919. Mihail Krashniak junior started making demo ski rides from Rido to Pashaniza for his fellow students and some of the local boys from the American college also owned skis. Inevitably, enthusiasm began brewing among the active male youth of Samokov for skiing and more broadly, winter sports. But how does one get a pair of skis? The answer is “Do it yourself”! Local carpenters started making skis themselves and as a result, many strange models came into existence, including the arcs of wooden barrels, often used by children. It took some time for real ski manufacturing to begin in Samokov and the first skis were branded “Slaveevki”. (The Beginnings, L. Nenkov).