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.

ALGAL CORE

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

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.

MOLECULAR FOUNDRY & CHEMISTRY

Our platform begins with microalgae. We grow these algae in fermentation tanks in Berkeley to produce entirely new types of oils—oils that chemists have not had access to because the petroleum industry has no means to produce them.

MATERIALS SCIENCE & FABRICATION

Our oils act as molecular “building blocks,” which once chemically modified, we use to prototype and build our products at our Design Lab in Salt Lake City. We then test them using state of the art technology in the lab and in the field by our athletes.

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, we design the performance characteristics we want directly into the materials we produce. We are our own supply chain. This empowers us with renewably sourced materials to create better performing gear, designed meticulously to heighten the alpine experience.