Hey Newschoolers, Matt Sterbenz here with another episode of Tech Talk! Just kidding, but seriously I should get with Sam Peters this season and make a few episodes for old times sake. So yeah, it’s been a minute, and now I’m signing in under a new name, WNDR-alpine.
So as some of you know, about a year ago, I began working with Checkerspot, a materials company out of Berkeley, CA using biotechnology rooted in converting algae into oils that produce new materials for specific product applications. I decided to come back to NS to shed a little light on my journey since leaving 4FRNT and talk about what my current project may mean for our future and my aspirations for our sport.
Some background: Those that work in the industry are well aware that the variety of raw materials available to ski builders is typically very limited. Everyone has access to roughly the same palette of materials from suppliers. And given how small our industry is in the grand scheme of things, at no point are any large scale materials suppliers designing performance materials specifically for use in ski products. We’ve simply been adapting available materials for our own uses. This left me wondering about the potential of new materials – ones that were designed specifically to boost performance when integrated into a ski.
So the limitations of traditional materials suppliers made Checkerspot’s capabilities all the more intriguing, as these materials can be engineered from the ground up to produce novel performance characteristics - ones that were previously inaccessible by global suppliers of plastics, resins, composites, etc. I joined forces with Checkerspot and began prototyping some of these materials to improve a ski’s performance.
Back in January, we got our first skis on snow, and shortly after I was milling about and chatting with friends at the ski show in Denver. Sorting through the various trends at the show, it became clear how special the material was that we created. So much like I did back in the day with 4FRNT, we decided to start a brand that would serve as our home for new technology and share it with a community of skiers direct from our website.
So today we’re launching WNDR Alpine (http://www.wndr-alpine.com) - a new outdoor brand that utilizes this technology to take product performance in our industry to new heights. Our first product is the Intention 110 – a versatile and balanced backcountry ski that utilizes a new algal composite in its core for better performance on descents and up the skin track.
I’m just as stoked to be able to introduce you all to my latest project, as well to see our skis on feet this fall!
**This thread was edited on Jul 8th 2019 at 5:27:34pm