Stoke Tracks x Soleic

Biodegradable ski pole baskets

“Building Stoke with Every Track”:  inspiring adventure gear

Founded in 2023, Stoke Tracks is the creation of Derek Brown and his partner Vanessa, both passionate about the outdoors and protecting our environment. They came up with the idea for a “spruced-up” ski pole basket that would leave animal tracks while out on winter adventures with their blended family of five sons.

“Every pole basket in the world is pretty boring at the moment, so we knew there was an opportunity there. Stoke Tracks baskets are also about bringing environmental awareness to people by getting them excited about being outside. The more people are outside, the more they're aware of nature, and the more they're aware of nature, the more apt they are to be invested in protecting it,” explained Derek.

In their first year they designed a direct-to-consumer collection with a wolf paw and mountain lion paw, to inspire everyone from thrill-seeking backcountry skiers to kids out on the slopes for the first time.

Their initial products were released in August 2023, but Derek and Vanessa were concerned about the traditional plastic materials in this first run of the baskets. “It didn’t feel right to be putting more plastics into the world, given our commitment to the environment,” reflected Derek.

Transitioning to Soleic Elastomers:  “using genuinely biodegradable material has changed everything for us”

Then serendipity came into play. Derek is also a medical physicist and Professor at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and one day he received a newsletter which highlighted Soleic Co-Founder Dr. Steve Mayfield’s work with Algenesis on Soleic technology (Steve is a retired professor at UCSD). Derek reached out to Steve and they soon realized that Soleic Elastomer technology would be an ideal fit for Stoke Tracks baskets.

After meetings with the Soleic team, it was a straightforward process to transition from their existing TPU technology to Soleic bio-based, fully biodegradable technology:

“We knew the specs that we needed and we just gave those to Steve and his team. The sample that they sent us right off the bat was perfect. There are a lot of different specs in plastics, so this was initially a point of concern, but you couldn't ask for any better than the samples we received.”

These were shipped to Stoke Tracks facilities in the US and Canada and molded into the first-ever modern, fully biodegradable ski pole baskets.

Since December 2023, they have now made over 3000 sets of Stoke Tracks ski pole baskets with Soleic material, and have recently ordered more material to supply for their new upcoming second collection.

Each basket makes a difference: for every pair sold, Stoke Tracks donates $1 to Protect Our Winters (POW), a global organization dedicated to protecting the places we live and experiences we love from climate change.

“Making these baskets out of genuinely biodegradable material has changed everything, as it allows us to align our product offering with our environmental values,” said Derek.

Switching to Soleic materials has been a game-changer for Stoke Tracks, inspiring greater customer interest and a sense of integrity that their products are not releasing any harmful persistent microplastics into the mountain environments that they love.

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