One ski brand that pioneered a new sustainable material for ski manufacturing is now sharing its technology with other ski makers.
WNDR Alpine Skis are pretty unique. And while many ski brands are unique in their own way, WNDRs are made with a biotechnology that it created out of algae.
Here’s out it works: Checkerspot, WNDR Alpine’s parent company, figured out how to reduce waste and increase bio-based content in its skis by growing microalgae to produce renewable, bio-based oils. This created a new algal material, and WNDR put that into its ski construction.
The algae can be found in both the skis core and sidewalls.
The result? A petroleum-free, more sustainable ski made in part from a renewable resource. Now, WNDR will take all that cool, sustainable, proprietary tech and share it with other brands.
The First Collaboration: Checkerspot Algal Tech in DPS Pagoda Skis
Over the course of a year, Checkerspot and DPS tried out different formulations in their labs, and on-snow in Utah and New Zealand. The brands settled on an algae oil-derived sidewall with 62% bio content for DPS’s Pagoda skis.
“Working with our partners at Checkerspot, DPS has accessed [Checkerspot’s] WING Platform to co-develop sidewalls around DPS’s specified performance demands. This has allowed us to produce more sustainable products and improve the performance of our Pagoda Tour and Pagoda skis,” said Thomas Laakso, VP of Product at DPS.
“This project is bigger than DPS, however. We hope this work can inspire and instruct other manufacturers in what’s possible when it comes to reducing carbon footprint.”
DPS will start using Checkerspot’s algae-based sidewalls in all of its Pagoda and Pagoda Tour skis, beginning this season. (The skis are available now from DPS Skis.)
WNDR Alpine Skis: First B-Corp Ski Maker
While a slew of outdoor brands are B-corp certified, WNDR Alpine is the first manufacturer of skis to achieve this certification. (Burton Snowboards was the first snowboard brand to receive its B-corp cert back in 2019.)
“The reason for this is that the manufacturing of hardgoods is inherently a wasteful, impactful and petroleum-intensive process,” explained WNDR. “By mass, traditional ski building involves nearly as much landfill waste as the final ski. Many manufacturers have very little visibility to their supply chains. As we have discovered in our own journey, the best way to improve your supply chain is to create your own.”
What is a B-corp exactly? B-corps are businesses that meet stringent standards in social and environmental responsibility and transparency. In order to get certified, a third party audits and verifies each element of a business’s operations, ranging from its supply chain to its engagement with its employees and community. Check out the full list of B-corp brands.