A Freak goes to France.
By Fielding Miller
Baker Boyd is a Freak. That’s the name of his group of friends, “Aspen’s fastest ski gang,” but it’s also an appropriate term for him. Outsize strength, fast and fluid as hell in difficult terrain, technique honed through years of racing and banging out laps on Aspen Mountain, constantly composed. He’s one of those people who’s visibly at a world class level.
One of his best friends described him as “good at anything physical.” Baker grew up skiing in Telluride and Aspen, moved to California in high school to play soccer, ended up getting into surfing more, and ultimately came back to the mountains to ski. He’s the type of person you could envision being good at anything they put their mind to, but skiing is his thing.
He skis tall, hands up, shoulders square. But more than anything he skis fast and powerfully. Exuding confidence through strong, quiet form, his smooth style makes it look easy in a way that leaves you wanting to ski harder. It’s a model for how it can be done.
Recently his skiing has been getting more exposure thanks to his newfound productivity with content and continued effort to get to bigger, untracked lines. It’s not surprising, but to those who’ve known him it comes as a bit of a relief, that, after years of just skiing and not taking the time to shoot or compete, his talent isn’t going unnoticed by others.
The following conversation with Baker took place at Stapleton Ski in Aspen, Colorado on March 31, 2017.
A lot of your videos are POV footage. Why?
It’s the easiest way to be productive while getting as many runs as possible and filming at the same time.
You’ve also been taking the time to shoot with other people, right? Why is that?
It’s just trying to break into the ski scene more.
Explain the type of skiing you like to do.
Big mountain I guess. I try to ski steep runs, with exposure, that hopefully have a lot of powder.
What do you care about in skiing?
Powder, free Clif Bars, and Bonnie’s [restaurant on Aspen Mountain].
What’s good or bad about skiing?
Everything’s good about skiing. The price of it can be tough.
What do you think a real skier does?
I think a real skier goes skiing whenever they can.
Who has influenced you in skiing and life?
Friends, Glen Plake is number one. Shane McConkey, Doug Coombs, ski racing.
There are a lot of self proclaimed “pro skiers” out there today who relentlessly promote themselves. What do you think about that?
It sucks, but it’s in every sport, and it’s to be expected. I hate posting photos of myself, but I do it to make my sponsors happy.
Aspen seems to be misunderstood by a lot of people who don’t live here or spend much time here. Why do you choose to live in Aspen?
It has great skiing that’s easy to access. I mostly grew up in Aspen so I have connections in terms of work, I know the terrain here, and when it’s not snowing it’s sunny.
Walk us through your typical day.
I wake up, eat eggs, come to the ski shop I work at to put my gear on and go skiing at Aspen or Highlands. I get back to the shop to work in the afternoon around three to tune skis until around six or seven.
You’re heading to Chamonix?
Yeah, I’ll be there for three weeks.
What’s special about Chamonix?
It’s the mecca of skiing big, steep lines. I’m going over with a few friends from Telluride, and a friend from Aspen. Hopefully we can hang.
Do you have any specific plans for the trip? What are you hoping to do?
We’re hoping to ski a lot of the classic lines and get shown around by a few of the local legends out there.
What do you do when you can’t ski, or when you’re not skiing?
(Baker’s girlfriend Tati interjects: He watches karate movies and hangs out with his girlfriend, and her new Cavapoo, Macaroon.)
That’s a pretty good answer.
Anyone who you’d like to thank?
Yeah, I’d like to thank my sponsors: Head, Leki, Oakley, Polartec. Stapleton Ski, the ski shop I work at, for letting me show up late regularly when the snow is good.
And to clarify, that’s showing up to work late in the afternoon after skiing, not in the morning?
Baker Boyd has been skiing in baselayers, insulation, and accessories made with Polartec fabrics all winter. Up next: an update from his trip to Chamonix and his go-to product picks.