We’re different, here’s how
Our use of alternative construction materials is what makes Niche unique, and these actually make our boards lighter, have better vibration dampening, added elasticity, and more durable! Traditional snowboard manufacturing is pretty toxic, and we want to change that by using eco-friendlier materials. From harmful resins to the use of trees from forests that aren’t replanted, there are many facets of manufacturing that not only harm the planet, but also the people who put those products together. Through years of research and development, we’ve come up with a unique blend of alternative materials that are not only better for the earth but also improve performance! We’re certainly not perfect and there is always an unavoidable footprint when making any product, but we firmly believe that even small steps lead to big differences, and we continually seek out more eco-friendly construction materials. Please read on to see how every snowboard we make is better for the earth.
Niche also utilizes basalt stringers for added pop, stability, and crazy vibration dampening properties.
Alternate color schemes are used to avoid extra plastic base material waste during production.
We digitally print our topsheets using water-based inks that use up to 90% less solvents than traditional inks, and don’t use any lacquer, giving our boards a beautiful matte finish. This is one of the first things you’ll probably notice when you pick up a Niche snowboard. Most snowboard makers cover their topsheets in a thick, toxic lacquer to add shine. This is not only toxic to the environment; it’s unhealthy for people working in the factory. We use a lacquer-free topsheet material, which makes our boards slightly lighter than other snowboards. It also gives our boards a matte finish with a truly unique aesthetic, and an organic feel. We digitally print directly onto the topsheet, cutting up to 60% of the material and 75% of the energy wasted during alternative printing processes.
The majority of the snowboard industry uses fiberglass in board construction. We have eliminated fiberglass in several of our models, replacing it with Magma Fiber™ crafted from basalt.
Basalt is the product of volcanic activity. The fiberization process is more environmentally safe than that of glass fiber; the greenhouse gases that might otherwise be released during fiber processing were released eons ago during the magma eruption. Basalt is also 100% inert, which means it has no toxic reaction with air or water, and is noncombustible. And basalt is much easier to recycle than glass.
Niche uses non-toxic, solvent-free, uv-based inks for printing graphics on all snowboard production.
Products using our revolutionary Recyclamine® resin system are able to be fully recycled at the end of their life span and all associated manufacturing waste will be reclaimed and upcycled into new products!
Niche uses recycled materials in many components of our snowboard design and production. Such components used in our boards include:
The forests that our wood cores come from are managed carefully to meet the social, economic, ecological, cultural and spiritual needs of current and future generations. Our wood cores also come from a sustainable source, which means they are replaced by new trees!
Here are some other requirements of our forest management:
Stringers are strips of material that change the personality of a board (i.e. giving a board more pop or more stiffness), and are typically made of carbon fiber or another type of wood. Niche has developed a totally new stringer technology using Flax Fibers! Carbon uses lots of energy to process and releases half of its weight in CO2 and other pollutants when manufactured. Flax is an awesome eco-substitute! Flax stringers provide similar characteristics to carbon fiber, only they’re made from flax! They are strong, lightweight, and provide amazing vibration dampening characteristics, giving you a less chattery ride.
Traditional resins can be extremely toxic to people and the environment. For our snowboards, we partnered with Entropy Resins to create our one-of-a-kind, Snappy Sap™ Bio-Resin. As opposed to traditional epoxies made primarily of petroleum-based materials, Snappy Sap™ Bio-Resin is composed of bio-renewable materials from the industrial waste streams of the paper pulp and bio-fuels industry.
These natural components help the environment by: