As a skier, you are probably concerned with the effects of climate change and other environmental impacts on your favorite ski area. You’ve decided you’d like to do a few more things to ensure that the snow keeps falling and you get to keep schussing your favorite slopes all winter long.
So you’re looking to modify your consumption of stuff — including, especially, your ski gear — toward a “greener,” more eco-friendly orientation. Yet you also want the best performance you can get from everything you buy.
Because, let’s face it, no matter how sustainable a product is, if it doesn’t work, no one will want it.
That’s where Soul Poles comes in.
Bamboo is one of the most sustainable materials in the world with which to build things. Also one of the most functional. And versatile. You can make anything from a high-performance bike frame to one of the most comfortable T-shirts you’ll ever wear out of bamboo.
The creative guys at Soul Poles — former members of the U.S. Ski Team who raced at the World Cup and Olympic levels — were aware of this and realized that it was time to bring ski poles made of bamboo back to the ski industry. With modern building techniques, high-quality ski poles could be made out of bamboo. Bamboo would be rigid enough to provide good support yet flexible enough for shock absorption and rebound, and would be durable (in fact, 25% stronger than aluminum poles). Plus, if the poles ever did break (and ski racers can go through a lot of poles), it would be much more environmentally-sustainable to build poles from a renewable resource such as bamboo than to manufacture them out of aluminum or other energy-intensive materials.
They also thought that, while they were at it, customizing the poles with artistic designs would be cool.
So Erik Schlopy and Bryon Friedman founded Soul Poles with the objective of making the greenest gear in the ski industry, while providing products that performed well and were aesthetically pleasing.
Today, Soul Poles is the go-to source for the best bamboo ski poles and bamboo trekking poles you can get. Plus they offer tees, hoodies, and tank-tops made of recycled materials. And they have cool bamboo koozies. (So you can enjoy a refreshing beverage after a vigorous day on the slopes.)
When it comes to sustainable products, Soul Poles makes the greenest ski and trekking poles in the world today.
Soul Poles offers 5 different models of ski poles (including limited-edition designs by artist R. Nelson Parrish) and 5 models of bamboo trekking poles. Plenty of customization options are available, including size, color and design of the shaft, hand-grip color, and basket color. (By the way, the Soul Poles guys were such sticklers for both eco-friendly and stylish qualities in their products that they laboriously sought out a supplier of recycled PVC plastic for the baskets that still looked cool and could be color-customized.)
All Soul Poles ski and trekking poles come with a 1-year warranty (no questions asked).
The bamboo ski poles and trekking poles from Soul Poles start at $125. And you’ll get free shipping on any Soul Poles order during 2013. Plus 1% of their revenue goes toward 1% for the Planet, an organization that aggregates the donations of 1,000 companies and provides them to a network of 3,000 approved environmental groups worldwide. More good reasons to shop green at Soul Poles now.
This season is an excellent time to start putting your money where your environmental heart is and acquire some eco-friendly ski poles prior to your next resort or backcountry adventure.
For those who also like to support US companies that make their products in America, you can’t find more American-made products than the ski and trekking poles from Soul Poles, all of which are handmade in Park City, Utah. So by buying from Soul Poles, you are not only accruing positive ecological karma, you are supporting made-in-the-USA business.
The Advantages of Bamboo Ski Poles
Below is a video of Soul Poles co-founder Erik Schlopy talking about the advantages of bamboo ski poles and the goals of his company:
You may be wondering: are Soul Poles only suitable for environmentalist namby-pambies who wouldn’t be caught dead (or would be caught dead) hucking air on Corbett’s Couloir or pistoning through Goat’s van-sized bumps? Nah. Here are some of the pro winter athletes who grip Soul Poles while making some sick runs: freeskier Ian McIntosh, big mountain guy Matty Richard, Tessa Treadway, Austin Ross, and X Games gold-medalist Reggie Crist. If Soul Poles ski poles work for them, they will work for anybody.