Stuff We Like: Soul Poles

Eco-friendly ski poles built by pros
Soul Poles group shot
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Low-snow winters like 2011-2012 inspired Soul Poles mission: “Our goal is to innovate the greenest equipment in the snow sports industry by merging sustainable design with uncompromising performance,” says Bryon Friedman, a principal at Soul Poles. “We’re confident that our poles will meet the highest of standards, while maintaining truly original style.”

Soul Poles founders and designers, former U.S. Ski Team racers Bryon Friedman and Erik Schlopy, competitors at both the World Cup and Olympic level, created the company to produce handmade eco-friendly ski accessories, to provide local employment, and to curb emissions that cause the climate change that is threatening our snowy slopes.

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Soul Poles are constructed from 100-percent renewable resources, post consumer waste and/or recycled materials. The shafts are biodegradable bamboo—which grows fast, absorbs more CO2 and produces more oxygen than any other plant, thus curbing the polluting greenhouse gases that are warming the planet and threatening our snow. Grips and baskets are made of recycled plastics; tips are recycled aluminum; and straps are made from hemp and recycled poly. Extremely lightweight but with the tensile strength of steel, the poles are field-tested by pro skiers to ensure optimal functionality.

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They have a vintage feel and are guaranteed to turn heads on the lift and on the slopes. The Original Soul is natural bamboo. Jazz it up with some color for an extra 50 bucks—the Vibrant Soul—or go for the full custom handpainted limited edition poles available in all kinds of colors and patterns. Custom poles are hand-painted by California artist R. Nelson Parrish, who uses water-based, low VOC paints to create one-of-a-kind works of skiable art. $125-$350,