First eco-friendly skis with basalt belts

eco-friendly skis with basalt belts
Basalt belts are being laid up Credit: grownskis.com

Established in 2007 as an eco-design lab for skis, Grown designed the first eco-friendly skis with basalt belts, sustainably harvested wood and glues based on pine tree resin.

The first recognition of Grown’s ecological initiatives came with winning the first prize at the leading sports trade fair ISPO in 2008.

Over the years Grown has been keeping up high standards in sustainable development and environment protection. In 2018 the company’s new MonViso edition skis received the ISPO 2018 award in a category of Skiing for Sports and Freeriding and won the ISPO Eco Achievement Award.

The skis are unique because each pair is a piece of handicraft. Material combinations are selected taking into account their life cycle. The company measures the environmental performance of their products by environmental and social life cycle analysis and evaluates the climate footprint.

Grown is the first ski company to measure and communicate the environmental footprint of their skis.

It is 16.4 kg CO2eq/ski or up to 40% lower than conventional skis, informs the company. At the same time, Grown’s sport goods offer high quality and excellent performance.

The eco-design lab for skis is located near Munich. All operations are performed in Europe, the logistics (since transport has a carbon footprint) is minimal.

But the main thing is the materials used to create eco-friendly skis. About 70% is wood: beech, poplar, robinia. The sandwich is glued using pine tree resin.

Instead of carbon and glass fiber Grown was the first to develop tri-axial sandwich belt from 100% volcanic basalt fibres that require considerably less energy, reducing green house effect.

Eco-friendly skis with basalt belts were tested for strength in expeditions into the Arctic extremes, on different slopes and surfaces. Basalt fibre reinforcement guarantees exceptionally high torsional rigidity, better dampening and durability.

When the life cycle comes to the end, basalt fibers could be remelted getting an initial material with similar characteristics.

One of the leaders in the sports goods market, Rossignol, uses basalt composites to produce both sports equipment and ski jackets.

It became a gold winner of ISPO Award 2017, got a gold award for basalt fiber freeride skis and introduced another product line with hybrid basalt composites.

Translated by Olga Yurchenko

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