Utah company creates skis from algae

Posted at 3:49 PM, Nov 24, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — A Utah-based company is reinventing how skis are made, substituting petroleum products in ski production with an algae-based bioplastic.

“We’re building skis, but in a different way than most people in the industry have historically been building skis,” said Xan Marshland, a manager with WNDR Alpine.

They're using algae to make a better backcountry ski with a more sustainable material.

“We are utilizing oils from microalgae to make purpose-built materials for backcountry skis,” said Marshland.

Microalgae is grown in a fermentation tank, and that oil is used to create these unique skis.

“If you can picture something like a microbrewery, it’s not so far off from that,” said Marshland.

WNDR Alpine launched out of Salt Lake City in 2019.

Now, they’re using combined decades of experience as ski builders to build their own supply chain.

“We kind of think about it designing with intention. We can design materials for the end application, which in ski building has never happened before," said Marshland.

Every year, their skis get even better, making iterative improvements along the way.

“Our motto is 'Tread light, charge hard.' We think about making products that you can tread lightly on, both with low weight and being light on the planet, but then also when it comes time to rip a descent, we want an aggressive product,” said Marshland.

They’re also now experimenting with repurposing waste material, making ski stands to send to retail partners.

WNDR Alpine is planning on opening a storefront at 860 S. 500 West in Salt Lake City sometime in January.

This story was originally published by Eliana Sheriff at KSTU.