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Skis made from recycled materials

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
Just read this over on Biglines and thought you guys might be interested. We at PMGear are lucky to have her here for the moment and we are learning a thing or two from her as well


Making Skis From Recycled Material

Yoshiko gets down to earth by designing and making her own 'au-natural' skis from recycled materials! Read more about a girl of many talents.

Normally upon walking into the PM Gear ski factory in Reno I only see foaming-at-the-mouth ski bums or empty boxes of Captain Crunch. But today when coming in from the dusty alleyway, the sights were definitely different. Instead of half-clad models on posters in odd places, there was an actual woman there! My new friend and 'Bro Maggot' Tom Greenal introduced Yoshiko Miyazaki to me and informed me (in a few words) that I needed to meet this girl.

While most skiers gear up with hearty advice from gear guides in magazines from all over, one pair of skis you won't find—but will wish you had—are those from Yoshiko. Besides being a badass climber of all disciplines, an equestrienne expert, Patagonia sales associate, and multi-lingual citizen of the world, she makes her own skis from recycled materials! She even uses a natural resin that she obtained from a surfer in England. In fact, wood used for the skis are recycled palettes from a Japanese restaurant she worked at in Chamonix. Using all hand tools, including a Bakuma Saw (traditional Japanese hand tool), and her refrigerator motor as a vacuum pump, Yoshiko is the proud owner of her very own, hand-made pro model, "It was always exciting when we finally had the ski in the press overnight (heard the motor running now and then throughout the night). It was like Christmas in the morning." She said that it is definitely hard work, but it means a lot to be able to ski on natural skis and it is her goal to be self-sustaining in the newest of her many passions.

The skis pictured here were made in her kitchen (and on the balcony) in Chamonix in a 4m x 1m area. She skied over 100 days on them last year. In her own words, creating the ski was a very rewarding process,

Yoshiko is an employee of Patagonia and cited Yvon Chouinard's approach to making his own climbing pitons as one of the great things that inspired her to start the journey of making her own skis. Another root for this passion is her desire to share the process with friends and help them to design their own skis. As for a top sheet, Yoshiko says she's happy with the "au-natural" look of the wood. She says it reminds her of where it all comes from: the earth!

Yoshiko is currently working with PMGear (manufacturers of the infamous Bro Model ski) to learn more effective and accurate ski-building techniques in order to promote her company and eventually offer recycled skis to the public for order. She is also striving to be an International mountain guide and represent Japan as one of the few women at the top of that field.

These hand-made skis offer a fresh new perspective into the world of outdoor sports. Getting back to our roots may be difficult, but as Yoshiko can attest, it's well worth the effort to ski down on a pair of skis that once held crates of fish together. Yoshiko plans on starting a website to sell her skis and start manufacturing more skis in the future; stay tuned!

post #2 of 2

curious as to what is used for the bases.
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