Many skiers and snowboarders care about the environment. Not only has climate change been at the forefront of our minds, but also eliminating toxic chemicals from our environment.
Fluoro wax, or polyfluoroalkyl substances, that are commonly used in ski waxes can be toxic to the environment and do not biodegrade. This means as the wax wears off, we are leaving it in the snowpack, and it eventually ends up in the watershed. The natural motivation of taking these harmful chemicals out of the environment, as well as not wanting to contribute to the petroleum and oil refining industry, has made many switch to plant-based waxes.
Plant-based waxes make a lot of sense, but what do we do with our old fluoro wax? That’s what students at Western Colorado University, in partnership with plant-based wax leader, MountainFLOW eco wax, set out to solve. Their solution was to implement a take-back program, where people can drop off or mail in their toxic wax in exchange for discount codes and other swag.
The take-back program will run through the end of May and will have three drop-off locations in Colorado: Salida Mountain Sports in Salida, Powder7 in Golden, and Evo Denver. The details of the mail-in option should be available soon so that anyone can take advantage of the opportunity.
Another option to reduce or eliminate the use of fluoro wax is to use a permanent base treatment like Phantom. Phantom is a waxless application that penetrates the base of your skis or snowboards. It provides consistent glide in all conditions and only needs to be applied once, so no more wax will ever be needed. Wax can still be applied without affecting the performance.
Fluoro wax has been the standard in the ski industry for a long time, but these initiatives and innovations plan to upend that trend.