No backcountry skier profile would be complete without a look at the Luddite. Sometimes grumpy and always enthusiastic, the Luddite is like a snapshot in time from ski gear history. Stay tuned for the still to come Bro Brah, Rando Racer and Newby profiles and be sure to read the Gearhead, Luddite and Jaded Local profiles.
Similar to the Jaded Local in his affinity for the high alpine environment and small groups, the Luddite is a unique species that’s known to associate with the Jaded Local on occasion. He is, however, less discerning about his habitat and is just as likely to be spotted enjoying a roadside attraction when it’s in good form as he is to be spotted in his own secret stash. He’s also more apt to be friendly to a newcomer.
A telling sign of a fully mature Luddite is his vintage ski equipment – the older and simpler in its design, the better. His Tua Excaliburs were cutting edge in 1994 and, “By golly, they still ski great today!” More specifically, many a Luddite prefers the finesse of the freeheel to the leverage of the locked heel, and he’ll happily bend your ear about why.
The Luddite is easily identifiable from a distance by the nature of his tight and numerous turns on descent. He earns his turns and he is not about to waste them slashing wide arcs (not to mention, his skis are not designed for wide arcs); the Luddite is all about laying down as many turns as possible.
His après ski drink of choice is a well-aged single-malt scotch, heavy on the peat. Uptrack conversation tends to revolve around politics or the latest random in-depth story he’s just heard on NPR. He’s also well known to prefer all-natural fibers and earth tone colors versus brightly colored petroleum-based synthetic materials. Generally speaking, the Luddite is an easygoing creature of habit who is only a danger to the gear companies for his penurious ways.
Next up: The Bro Brah
Backcountry Skier Personalities originally appeared in the print edition of Off-Piste Magazine.