Surface Green Life. Photo: Courtesy Surface Skis

Words: Brody Leven

Carpeted jumps at summer camps, turf halfpipes and water ramps, weird indoor skiing in Dubai, or Europe, or wherever it is. They're all entertaining, until they're all you have.

If you like skiing without snow, move to Dubai/Europe. If you like winter, start doing something to slow the unnatural promotion of global warming.

Responsible ski industry companies are trying to do their part. Since 2008, Salt Lake City-based Surface Skis has produced the Green Life, a ski benefitting both the rider atop it and the earth beneath.

"The goal is two-fold," says Surface president, Mike Schneider. "Often, ski companies project their sales inaccurately, leaving factories with excessive construction materials. We want to utilize those leftovers, essentially recycling their waste. Secondly, the ski and its promotion spread the National Resource Defense Council's (NRDC) message of environmental protection."

"2013's sidewalls are white. We didn't prefer white, but it was available in excess, and otherwise wasted," says production manager, Rob Day. "Surface is small enough to pick up another brand's trash and recycle it. We've done this with factories in the United States and China, and both have been receptive to our usage of their leftover materials. We just ask them what they have too much of and see how we can use it."

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Mike and Rob emphasize Surface's relationship with NRDC as the Green Life's primary goal. "Each pair of Green Lifes, which has a Bamboo Blanket wrapping the poplar core, comes with NRDC information and our marketing for the ski recognizes our NRDC collaboration. We are fortunate to have a bond with an organization working for environmental conservation."

Conservation is a two-way street according to Jenny Powers, NRDC media director. "We all have a role to play in protecting our planet. Surface is proving a healthy business and a healthy planet are not mutually exclusive."

More information and tech specs on the skis