Fast Company

Snowboards Get Sustainable With the Arbor Collective

Arbor Collective

As winter continues to dump record amounts of snow, sports enthusiasts are salivating at the thought of fresh powder for skiing and snowboarding. And since ski resorts are incredibly vulnerable to climate change, it makes sense that companies are offering up green sports equipment. The Arbor Collective was at the vanguard of sustainable winter sports in 2001 with its bamboo snowboard. Now the company is going one step further by adding fast-growing bamboo to its snowboard sidewalls, which are normally made out of fiberglass or polyethylene.

Arbor's bamboo snowboards aren't just sustainable--they're also practical. In addition to cutting down on fiberglass and resin use by up to 20%, the bamboo supposedly makes the boards more responsive for riders who want to attempt long jumps. Bamboo is also used in Arbor's "lifestyle" apparel, cutting down on the chemical additives, fertilizer, and irrigation necessary to make cotton.

Now that Arbor has proven the viability of making quality bamboo snowboards, other companies have followed its lead. Arbor competitor GNU Snowboards, for example, also uses bamboo in some of its products. And Indigo offers a slick bamboo snowboard with a reinforced carbon fiber core.

Not to worry, skiers--there are plenty of bamboo options for you too. Blue House, Kingswood, Liberty, Lokomotiv, and Boomtown are just some of the companies that fashion skis out of bamboo.

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1 Comments

  • Jason Kanes

    Wow are you serious...Damn what companies do these days to get free PR....

    First of all where is all this fast growing bamboo coming from, most likely in mainland China? If Bamboo is in such in high demand won't they (China) do what it takes to fill the demand. Like tear down forests or farms to grow Bamboo.

    Secondly the last time I checked there are some heavy chemicals used to process bamboo to get it ready to be used in a ski or a snowboard. Carbon disulfide and sodium hydroxide (which causes swelling or spasms of the upper airway leading to obstruction and loss of measurable pulse; inflammation of the lungs and accumulation of fluid in the lungs) (thanks YoBeat) what about the factory workers preparing these materials for companies like Burton and Arbor and the others to use? Do they disclose this harmful information when they sell a board or a ski?

    And what is so sustainable about a snowboard or ski, the last time I checked the board and all the materials (including bamboo) are encapsulated in epoxy resins not the most sustainable material around huh....hmmmmmm just a thought

    Your mag and site is great and inspirational, but next time do some research before you publish anything....