SCIENCE MEETS BACKCOUNTRY PERFORMANCE
Extruded plastic, polyurethane and carbon fiber have been taken from other industries and repurposed by ski brands. Our industry has rarely had access to materials built explicitly with skiing in mind. For the first time in history, we’re using biotechnology to design materials derived from microalgae specifically for backcountry skiing.
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SKI MATERIALS PLATFORM
Petroleum has historically been a key ingredient in materials across the outdoor industry. But there are only so many types of material innovations and performance gains we can get from petroleum.
Seeking to break the mold, we teamed up with scientists from Checkerspot and collectively created the WNDR Alpine brand.
We use biotechnology to design our own materials—with performance characteristics that reach beyond what petroleum products can offer. AlgalTech™ fuses biomanufacturing and chemistry with materials science and advanced fabrication techniques to unlock better performance characteristics.
Algal Core is a vertically laminated composite of biobased high density polyurethane and domestically sourced aspen. This combination reduces weight and offers damping properties otherwise unattainable in solid wood core construction while remaining stable and intuitive to ski.
Polyurethane biobased carbon content 41% by ASTM D6866-18 Method B.
Algal Wall is a biobased cast polyurethane that protects the Algal Core and delivers damping and resistance to impact over edge. To integrate this material directly into our ski's construction, we use a trench in the outside of the core as a mold for pouring in the liquid sidewall material. This creates a virtually seamless and unbreakable bond with the aspen as the sidewall hardens, increasing the overall structural integrity of the ski.
This novel manufacturing technique diverts plastic waste from the landfill compared to traditional use of extruded plastic sidewalls.
Polyurethane biobased carbon content 60% by ASTM D6866-18 Method B.
AlgalTech™ SKI MATERIALS PLATFORM: HOW IT WORKS
The process begins with biologists and polymer chemists at Checkerspot’s labs in Berkeley, CA, and then transitions to our Design Lab in SLC for materials and product development.
DESIGN WITH INTENTION
So why are we doing this?
The answer is quite simple: this allows for the more intentional design of the equipment we rely on.
Instead of being forced to choose from a limited selection of existing materials to use in a product, we design the performance characteristics we want directly into the materials we produce. This empowers us to use sustainable materials to produce better-performing gear—gear designed meticulously to unlock a better alpine experience.