Getting Rid of Your Old Skis

The best excuse to buy new gear is to get rid of your old stuff.
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The best excuse to buy new gear is to get rid of your old stuff.
Recycled Skis - Tout

You know that ski equipment you have that’s gathering dust because you’re embarrassed to take it out? Avoid those sketchy Craigslist sales, and do something with your gear that will extend its life.

If you have old ski equipment that is still in good condition, consider donating it. Mountain town boys and girls programs are always looking for more gear.

“It gives a member an opportunity to experience something they might not be able to otherwise,” says Lynna Broyles, Boys and Girls Clubs of Northwest Colorado’s marketing and development director.

Donating old gear is as simple as dropping it off at a club’s office, and they are always looking for youth sizes.

If you just found those 25-year-old skis that were tucked in at the back of your garage—you know, the straight ones that you stretched the life out of—then consider recycling them.

“Skis, snowboards, boots, and ski equipment in general (are) not the most environmentally friendly thing to produce,” says Nick Castagnoli, Rossignol, Lange, Look and Dynastar’s public relations and product information manager. “We try to do what we can. When the equipment is taken out of circulation, it’s great to give back to the environment.”

Rossignol partnered with Recycle Utah and Snow Sports Industries America’s Snow Sport’s Recycling Program this past year. Recycle Utah collected the gear; Rossignol housed it in its distribution center, chopped the skis, and put it in containers for SIA to take.

SIA then delivers the gear to Waste-Not Recycling in Loveland, Colorado, where it is broken down and separated based on materials. Steel, aluminum, titanium and other medals are removed from the grounded equipment leaving fiberglass, wood, and a mix of plastics.

The program is currently working with Washington State University’s composite engineering lab and Earth Enterprises, Inc. to create new equipment out of recycled gear. 

“We’re trying to create products that can be reused by the ski industry,” says Greg Schneider, Snow Sports Recycling’s program manager. “This is uncharted territory. It’s trial (and) error.”

Schneider is hoping the ski industry will be a role model for other industries to start thinking green, not only in production, but also in what to do with old equipment.

This year, Snow Sport’s Recycling is increasing their West Coast plans, and hopes to soon expand into the East. To find a drop-off location or ways you can help, visit snowsrp.org.