Skis Made for Maine’s Winters
Ian Reinholt dreamt of making skis. And once in a while when your dreams are telling you to do something, you answer the calling. So, in 2009 he and partner Nick Mukai decided to start a ski company. And in a nod to those dreams, they decided to name the company Lucid.
Today, EJ Martin and two business partners own Lucid Skis, with Ian retaining a minority ownership. EJ has always had a relationship with the sport of skiing. “I grew up around it,” says EJ. “It was a big part of our community.”
EJ and his partners have other jobs, with EJ working as a field director for a renewable energy company. “We work nights and weekends at Lucid,” he says, noting that while this isn’t a non- profit business it is certainly a labor of love.
That love spills over into his affection for the state, and the company had one simple goal: to continue to ensure that all the materials that go into making the skis be sourced from Maine companies.
“There’s been a real culture shift with people caring about where stuff comes from,” says EJ. “People want to know the story and it’s great to support and help small business in Maine thrive.”
The basswood, ash wood and local hardwoods for the sidewalls come from Maine. Local suppliers deliver logs and Lucid prides themselves on working with local lumber mills. It takes 4- 5 hours to finish off a pair of skis. But for EJ, it’s worth it.
“People have a passion for quality and in buying things that will last,” says EJ. The mindset in Maine is “Don’t throw anything away.”
One thing EJ has certainly kept is his memories of great outdoor experiences – which fuel his drive to build skis that live up to the setting – skiing in Maine. “Those rare east coast days where there is true powder” is something he says make Maine winters special – along with snowshoeing and enjoying the Maine hut system up and around the Bigelow mountain range. He also has a special affinity for Black Mountain of Maine in Rumford, a hidden gem that’s affordable for skiers of all skill levels and is very family friendly.
EJ of course thinks fondly of Sunday River, where his love of skiing was first realized. But hey, if you prefer the slopes at Sugarloaf, you can’t go wrong there either.
As for the future, EJ and his partners look to continue manufacturing what is already a great product. And, while it certainly has a boutique-y feel, the customizable skis are offered at a competitive price. It’s all about getting people out into Maine’s beautiful scenery and to get people skiing. It’s a big part of the economy and Lucid along with so many other ski and snowboard manufacturers, is an integral part of it.
Turns out Maine isn’t just a great source of materials for making skis, it’s a great source to build fantastic winter memories too.
Maine’s beautiful outdoors have been inspiring artisans of all kinds for generations, earning them a reputation around the globe for their use of high-quality materials and close attention to detail. Outdoor enthusiasts visiting the Maine Made website can find everything from skis and surfboards to handmade fishing lures and ultra-light trail packs—not to mention kayaks, canoes and luxury yachts.
Got skis and just looking for a place to use them? Check out Ski Maine to find events, ski conditions and information on Maine’s best ski areas, both downhill and Nordic.