rossignol essential ski against gray gradient background

Striving for More Sustainability in Manufacturing, Rossignol Creates Its First Recyclable Ski

Lots of brands throw around the word ‘sustainable’ and ‘recycled.’ Brands in the ski industry are no exception. However, Rossignol is backing up a pretty bold claim.

Today, Rossignol is going big with the launch of its first recyclable ski. Yes: not recycled (like some skis that contain recycled content) but recyclable. We chatted with the brand to dive into what this actually means.

Rossignol made this ski recyclable in two ways: one, by using fewer raw materials, and two, by making sure the ski’s recyclable components are 100% recyclable.

First Recyclable Rossi: Meet the Rossignol Essential Ski

rossignol essential ski wood core construction

“The Rossignol Essential was developed using the simplest and fewest amount of raw materials, ensuring more than 75% of the ski is 100% recyclable,” Rossignol explained in its announcement.

“Improving end-of-life management for a product means better design right from the start,” said David Bouvier, Senior Marketing Director at Rossignol. “This has inspired us to design a ski made from as few materials as possible, all of which can be recycled and reused.”

Here’s the breakdown of the recyclable parts of the ski:

  • 35% aluminum: recyclable
  • 35% wood: recyclable
  • 7% steel: recyclable

The construction results in only 6% waste that cannot be reused, ground down, or recycled. Rossignol makes the skis in France, and also partners with MTB Recycling in France to recycle the skis.

essential ski profile

The Rossignol Essential Ski will be available in three lengths (155cm, 161cm, and 166cm) with a sidecut of 123-68-104, in limited quantities in winter 2022-23. The price right now is unknown.

Recyclability in Ski Manufacturing

Rossignol CEO Vincent Wauters holding up a 75% recyclable wood core ski on a workbench
Vincent Wauters, CEO of Rossignol; (Photo/Rossignol)

It’s worth noting that there are several other semi-recyclable skis and snowboards on the market. Launched in 2021, Salomon makes a S/Max ESkin Nordic ski with cores with 45% recycled content. Volkl’s skis, Movement Skis, and Arbor Collective’s boards all use edges made with 60% recycled steel. And Nitro Snowboards (which are carbon neutral) have bases made from more than 85% recycled raw materials, and wood cores that are 100% FSC-certified.

Way back in 2009, Burton changed the game with a sustainable board — the EcoNico — that had 90% recycled steel edges, 100% recycled sidewalls, and a 50% recycled base. (All of Burton’s boards now use a recycled, bio-based resin.)

More players like Grown Skis’ Hemp Skis (which use a 100% industrial hemp fiber and wood composite) and WNDR Alpine Skis (which use algae instead of petroleum) are building skis with renewable materials — another way to make ski/snowboard hardgoods more sustainable and reduce waste and decrease the carbon footprint in the process.

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Recycling These Skis: Return Them and Rossignol Does the Rest

Brands like Salomon, Tecnica, and Burton have already established programs to recycle equipment like skis and boots. You can even check with your local recycling facility to see if they accept ski boots — some do!

So, how will Rossignol actually recycle these skis?  Rossignol has a new recycling process that involves sorting and separating components, and then recycling. Consumers who are ready to recycle these skis at the end of their lifespan will need to return the skis to a certified shop or recycling partner, per Rossignol.

We know this ski isn’t 100% fully recyclable — but it’s darn close. There are lots of skis out there already that have components that are recycled, and several snowboard brands working to make their boards recyclable as well, but it’s not the majority.

If Rossignol can pull off the whole process (similar to Salomon’s goal with the 100% recyclable Index.01 shoe), we’ll be watching.

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Mary Murphy
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Mary Murphy is the Managing Editor of GearJunkie and serves as the leader of Lola Digital Media’s DEI Committee.

She has been writing about hiking, running, climbing, camping, skiing, and more for seven years, and has been on staff at GearJunkie since 2019. Prior to that, Mary wrote for 5280 Magazine in Denver while working as an outdoor instructor teaching climbing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and mountain biking at Avid4Adventure. Based in Denver, Colorado, Murphy is an avid hiker, runner, backpacker, skier, yogi, and pack-paddleboarder.