In a tiny workshop in Gray, a group of downhill diehards turns local lumber into handcrafted Maine-made skis with a timeless look.
By Frances Killea
Photographed by John Benford
From the winding, markedly flat road around Crystal Lake in Gray, a dirt turnoff leads to a cheerful home in a tidy yard, with fencing, green grass, and a bright new woodshed. Inside that woodshed, a trio of adventuresome Mainers cuts the keys to unforgettable ski runs down steep mountainsides.
E.J. Martin lives on the property, the home of Lucid Skis, where he and his partners, Travis Legassie and Corey Kelkenberg, handcraft custom wooden skis and snowboards.
Martin grew up bouncing between Rumford Point and the trails at Sunday River; he can’t remember a time before boots and bindings. In high school, he raced on a state-champ alpine team, but even before that he spent countless after-school hours with a local ski club. “A bus would show up and take you to the hill,” he recalls. “And you would have that two-hour gap, between when you got out of school and your parents got out of work, when the mountain was basically your babysitter.”