HO Sports, a leading watersports designer and manufacturer headquartered in Snoqualmie, Washington, has announced the launch of their new Sabre Water Ski in partnership with Checkerspot, a biotechnology company headquartered in Alameda, California. The new product features a biobased foam core designed specifically for water skis, developed through Checkerspot’s WING® Platform, which custom formulates algae-derived biomaterials to meet desired performance properties with less reliance on fossil fuels. This collaboration showcases Checkerspot’s cutting-edge advancements in biotechnology and materials science, enabling the production of high-performing, more sustainable water skis.
The Sabre is designed for intermediate to advanced skiers who want a versatile, stable, and smooth ride. Its new biobased foam core was tailored to reduce overall weight while simultaneously delivering higher compressive strength. This lightweight and durable construction, combined with easy turning and a forgiving sweet spot, make it an excellent choice for skiers who want to progress their skills and accelerate their learning curve.
HO Sports, renowned for their expertise in water sports equipment, has embraced the opportunity to integrate more sustainable materials into their product lineup. By partnering with Checkerspot, HO Sports aims to set a new industry standard by offering products that not only excel in performance but are made from renewable materials.
“At HO Sports, we were already using bio resins in our skis. Sourcing a biobased core material was the next logical step,” said Dave Wingerter, Vice President of Product Management and Global Brand Director at HO Sports. “Seeing what Checkerspot was doing with their foam and how it worked for snow skis in their brand, WNDR® Alpine, it seemed like a great fit. Replacing plastic foam cores derived from petroleum with foam cores derived from algae oil is an elegant solution to a big problem we have in the world. Making foam out of algae instead of petroleum is just a better way.”
Checkerspot’s biobased foam core has approximately 42% bio-carbon content, and uses a unique oil derived from microalgae. Manufacturers in the water sports industry commonly rely on materials made from petroleum, which is a finite resource. Checkerspot’s WING® Platform enables the custom formulation of algae-derived materials with high biocontent, offering brands the opportunity to design products to meet specific performance metrics while employing more sustainable inputs, marking a significant step towards a more sustainable water sports industry.
“It takes courage and conviction to move away from the status quo. We are excited and honored that industry leader HO Sports has joined the community of innovators who are empowered by the WING® Platform and committed to transitioning towards a post-petroleum future. The Sabre water ski shows that performance versus sustainability is a false choice. We encourage other product developers and forward-thinkers to seek out high performing renewable materials to position themselves at the forefront of innovation in their respective industries.” – Matthew Engler, Head of Materials Business Development at Checkerspot.