AlgalTech

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.

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.

ALGAL CORE

Our Algal Core consists of a microalgae oil-based high density polyurethane foam vertically laminated with locally sourced aspen. This unique composition improves our ski’s strength-to-weight ratio, enabling superior performance up and down the mountain. 

    • Proprietary bio-based polyurethane is designed from the ground up to optimize performance in backcountry freeride applications

    • Superior damping properties for firm snow and harsh impacts

ALGAL WALL

The Algal Wall is a cast polyurethane sidewall derived from our proprietary microalgae oil.

    • Creates a more stable connection to the ski edge throughout the length of the ski.

    • Construction provides a more direct and intuitive feeling with an increased damping sensation as compared to traditional sidewalls made from extruded plastics.

    • Utilizing the Algal Core as a mold, The polymerizing result of in-molding the cast polyurethane sidewall creates an intimate, virtually unbreakable bond with the aspen, increasing overall structural integrity over edge.

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 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.