Sustainable Skis From Finland

A sustainable material tech company and a ski manufacturer have announced a collaboration to create a skis from all natural materials.

The premium alpine skis will replace the glass fibre and carbon fibre used in modern skis with fibre made out of wood or waste, making them more sustainable.

The new skis are the brainchild of Finnish ski maker PUSU and sustainable material tech company Spinnova, who have already partnered with brands such as adidas and The North Face.

Since the end of the wooden-skis era in the 1960s, modern ski manufacturing has relied on non-renewable materials like plastic, glass fibre and carbon fibre blends. However, as the world has woken up to the problems this approach causes, PUSU has been making skis and snowboards from sustainably sourced wood since 2016, and their philosophy is to maximize the use of natural materials.

Composites is a new application area for Spinnova, as the company’s fibre has previously only been used in apparel and interior design applications. The company make 100% circular textile fibre out of wood pulp or waste mechanically, with no harmful chemicals, minimal water usage and CO2 emissions and does not shed any microplastics.

The two companies say they have already developed prototype skis that are undergoing vigorous testing in real conditions. According to the first trials, wood-based fabric results in positive user experience without compromising the performance, and it is safer to process than glass or carbon fibre, the companies say.

“It’s been clear to us since the beginning that our fibre can be used in multiple ways. This is a great example of how SPINNOVA® fibres can be used in composites, and there are plenty of other exciting opportunities in the composites area in the future. We’re happy that PUSU saw the potential in SPINNOVA® fibre as well. We expect to create sustainable skis without compromising excellent performance,” said Spinnova’s CTO and co-founder Juha Salmela.

Skiers can sign up for pre-sales at PUSU’s webshop, and deliveries of the first skis, priced at €1,299, are expected to take place in early 2022.

“There are some 135 million alpine skiers in the world, served by a 1.3 billion USD equipment market that has not seen much in the way of sustainable innovation yet,” commented PUSU founder and CEO Jani Ahvenainen.

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