Gear that Hugs Trees

2009 Venture

I’m sure you have noticed that the weather has been getting a little funky the past few seasons.  And while snowboarding may not be the most environmentally friendly activity, it definitely gets you in touch with the impacts of global climate change.  So, those of you who are a bit more proactive may be thinking, “what can I do to limit my impact on earth?”  Of course, you could drive a hybrid or start buying recycled toilet paper, but wouldn’t it be more fun to get some new snowboard gear?  (Assuming, of course, you give your old gear to a nice non-profit like Snowboard Outreach so it doesn’t go into a landfill).  Well, there’s never been a better opportunity to get you some new stuff while also hugging trees.  From brands like Venture and Arbor who have emphasized sustainability for years, to the big brands, it seems like everyone’s doing something to make it easier for you to justify buying some new gear… so that you can be more environmentally friendly, of course.



Venture Snowboards has always had an emphasis on minimizing the environmental impact of their snowboards, using sustainably harvested woods, and experimenting with low impact materials.  Now they’re upping their game, building a new factory that uses sustainable, and recycled materials throughout, as well as solar power. 


Arbor is another company that has emphasized sustainability throughout the years, with a focus on renewable materials like bamboo and ecologically harvested woods.  Check out the Cadence, a women’s twin tip that uses recycled scrap base materials from the sintered bases for other Arbor models to help limit waste.

2009 Arbor Push & Cadence

Rome has introduced a new environmentally friendly compound dubbed “BEANS” to their topsheets.  This replaced traditional polymers with some stuff made of castor beans, improving the board’s strength.


Forum, Elan, LTD, and Lamar are all following in the footsteps of Arbor and Venture, introducing bamboo and sustainable grown woods to their boards.


Holden has also been innovative in the tree-hugging areas.  A few years ago, they introduced a hemp based outerwear fabric, with a surprisingly refined texture (if you’re picturing those hemp hippie sandals).  This year, they’re using a new waterproofing system called C_Change that is certified environmentally friendly.


Betty Rides, Rip Curl, and Burton have introduced outerwear made from recycled polyester fabrics.  These fabrics have the same feel as your traditional polyester/nylon snowboard outerwear, but they’re much friendlier on the earth.

2009 Betty Rides recycled brocade fabric


You’ll also see the introduction of a lot of bamboo fabrics to base layers and streetwear.  Not only is bamboo super renewable (it grows like a gigantic grass), but the fabric is has a super soft, almost silk-like feel, great moisture wicking properties, and doesn’t get stinky…all without annoying sheep or wasting plastic. Arbor is making everything from jeans to hoodies out of this sustainable material, and Eesa has started to offer it in their base layers. 


Posted by Kelly Vance on 02/14/08

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