After skis and boards come off the press, excess material is trimmed off and takes on the form of flashings. What we do with the flashings is up to us... Salt Lake City, UT. Photo: Jay Dash (@jaydashphotography)
Building Skis and Snowboards is Wasteful.
In ski and snowboard design, prototyping, and production, waste is inevitable. Take your ski or board’s sidewall for example. In the creation of most typical sidewalls on the market, petroleum-based extruded ABS plastic is used, which arrives to the builder in a bulk, rectangular form. In order to utilize it in a board, it must be milled down into a curved, tapered shape, meaning that the builder is already throwing away a high percentage of the material before it even goes into a product.
With our own biobased Algal Wall, the sidewall is poured as a liquid into a channel around the ski or board, allowing us to achieve the tapered shape of the sidewall without wasting as much of our own material, and without the need for epoxy to join the sidewall to the core. The result is a better overall construction from sidewall to sidewall in the final product.
With Algal Wall, boosting performance and being efficient with our own materials go hand in hand. Photo: Pep Fujas (@pepfujas)
Nonetheless, a significant amount of waste is still generated when skis and boards come out of the press. After debuting Algal Wall in 2020, we moved on to targeting this waste stream.
Spiral Plate: Materials Science Unlocks Performance.
If waste is used to genuinely improve the performance of your product over conventional materials, is it truly waste? Maybe waste is in the eye of the beholder.
Instead of treating waste as a necessary sacrifice, we’ve created a new category of SpiralMade™ materials to prove that repurposed materials can improve performance over the materials that preceded them.
We engineered Spiral Plate to improve binding screw retention in skis - resulting in better durability, especially for big and aggressive skiers or tele skiers. Additionally, the use of Spiral Plate gives our 2023 skis a more consistent, uniform, flex.
In snowboards, we’ve implemented Spiral Plate insert packs, which streamline our production process, improve binding retention, and virtually eliminate the ability for insert spin.
We’re Not Stopping Here.
Another experiment/art project: the Spiral Table. We built it to include some of the same material inputs currently used in Spiral Plate for skis and snowboards. Salt Lake City, UT.
With SpiralMade™ materials, we’ve successfully experimented with display stands, tables, and scrapers (in addition to skis and snowboards), and we see no reason to stop exploring. It’s still too early to say what’s coming next, but it’s safe to say that with creativity and innovation, there’s more that can be done with production waste.
Before the Spiral Table and Spiral Plate, we developed these product display stands for our retail partners. Have you seen one in person yet? Salt Lake City, UT.
When it comes to finding novel solutions, we look to collaboration and collective action. We’re currently talking to innovators beyond the snowsports world to further explore how we can continue to repurpose waste for industrially useful purposes.