Bamboo Plywood Hits the Ski Slopes
Once relegated as a material for the original ski pole, bamboo is now being used as the core-ply in snow skis– and the response has been a resounding YES! Skiers like the performance, the look and the green credentials that bamboo now brings to downhill experience.
The core of a typical Ski begins with a layer of metal, wood or foam; then multiple layers of other materials go into the making of the composite assembly. Each core and composite assembly produces it own unique performance characteristics.
For example, metal can provide a stiffer feel and wood can provide more flex and foam may come in somewhere in between. Ski enthusiasts and manufacturers alike are finding that bamboo is able to take the best of these performance characteristics, wrap it up with green creds and provide the “schuss-boom” every downhiller is craving.
Dan Smith, founder of Smith & Fong Company (Plyboo), recently spoke on the subject of bamboo and the board sport industry at the annual Snow Sports of America (SIA) convention in Denver to an enthusiast audience.
The hardness of the bamboo core is a huge performance booster, said Michael Kilchenstein, President of Ramp Sports. “We call it ‘organic metal’ because it provides the performance of laminated metal without the extra weight or durability issues.”
Plyboo ski cores are manufactured sustainably and are also available with FSC certification Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and a soy-based, formaldehyde-free adhesive. Additionally Plyboo uses moso bamboo that requires no pesticides, fertilizers, or irrigation for its continued propagation. When you are Schuss-booming down a pristine white slope on a beautiful sunny day, it is nice to know that a Plyboo high-performance bamboo core is under feet.
Watch Michael Kilchenstein of Ramp Sports talk about bamboo skis: