I’m not going to lie: I’ve been sporting the same blue, 48-inch rental ski poles that I borrowed and never returned from Wildernest Sports, at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, since the winter of 2006-’07. I’m not the only one – these rental poles are in the hands of almost every skid in the JHMR tram line. But this year, I’m shedding my past, returning my rentals, and dropping in with these Soul Poles – perhaps the most environmentally friendly piece of ski equipment out there. Needless to say, they’re stylish as hell, too.
Soul Poles are made from bamboo – a sustainable, rapidly growing renewable resource that’s also biodegradable. There are four basic models: original soul, torch soul, vibrant soul and limited edition soul. While these poles are functional, they are art. I went with the basic, plain soul pole because I see skis and poles as tools to get around in the winter. Still, I ski enough that I thought, why not have something new and different ... with, you know, soul?
Now, I’ve read these poles could have durability issues, but I also read that past issues have been corrected. We’ll see. Holding them right now – they seem legit. The grips are made from post-industrial recycled material. The straps feel like canvas, but are made from a recycled plastic weave. The baskets are made from recycled plastics, and the tips – the only metal on the pole – are made from recycled aluminum. The entire pole is put together in Park City, Utah.
Soul Poles supports Protect Our Winters and 1% For The Planet. Less a fashion statement, more an environmental statement, these poles are good for the sport of skiing.