Detours: Ice Ski

By Kate Grip Denon | |

Discovering good downhill skiing in Maine is a sure thing. So too, unfortunately, is finding alpine terrain speckled with ice. But like any New England skier,


Discovering good downhill skiing in Maine is a sure thing. So too, unfortunately, is finding alpine terrain speckled with ice. But like any New England skier, Sandy Martin, owner of Lincoln Canoe, Kayak and Ski, doesn’t let ice stop him from enjoying a day on the slopes. He’s modified his skis to conquer it.

Martin’s Maine Snowboard and Ski Company in Freeport (just down the road from L.L. Bean) reinvented the Claw ski, a shaped alpine ski designed to grip the ice. Originally created by John Howe, a local ski enthusiast and former designer for Head, the ski’s binding is attached to a plate with rubber suspension that is attached to the ski itself. “What this does is reduce the chatter, or bounce,” says Martin. “If you take the bounce off, it helps keep your tips on the snow so you can bite into the ice.”

Martin added a wood-veneer top to the original design, giving it a retro look worthy of an early Warren Miller film, along with a few other high-tech adjustments, including fiberglass and Kevlar, a lightweight and extremely strong fiber. All skis (and snowboards) are handmade in Martin’s workshop in the back of the store, and he welcomes visitors to stop by and check out the process anytime. For warmer-weather sporting enthusiasts, Martin’s handmade canoes and kayaks, also built onsite, are well worth a look.

>> For more information, call 207-865-0455 or visit www.lincolncanoe.com.