Browsing a sport shop I found skates with fancy color and texture of the frame, looking like made of wood. I was almost sure that it was composite material used for low-end skates imitating wood. To my surprise it was a bamboo frame. I was not sure wooden block is good for a frame so I have visited K2 website to understand this unusual setup.
Why mid and high end frames are made of extruded aluminum or magnesium? Because they have to be stiff enough when dynamic force made by skater body weight and rapid turns goes through the couple spots on the frame to the wheels and ground. Maybe bamboo is good substitute for composite frame – lightweight and really stiff. K2 even says it “outperform aluminum frames” adding condition “of the same class”. I would like to see pro skater with bamboo frame doing slalom or jumps 🙂 Despite technical rationalization the major reason that K2 mounts bamboo frames is an “Eco movement” bullshit, kind of “we also take care” theater. For me just a part of marketing, nothing more. If they really care about carbon footprint they should print a banner on skates “US and Canada must join Kyoto protocol”.