Erik Smith, the founder of Board Budder, a company specializing in 100% plant-based snowboard and ski wax, is not just creating a product: he’s pioneering a movement toward sustainable and eco-friendly practices in the snow sports industry. He is working toward this goal and growing his business in the Master of Business Creation (MBC) program at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School.
Board Budder goes beyond crafting plant-based snowboard and ski wax; it’s a commitment to revolutionize the industry. Smith and his team offer ski and snowboard accessories alongside their eco-friendly wax. The uniqueness lies in their dedication to eliminating harmful chemicals present in traditional waxes, promoting health and reducing the ski industry’s environmental impact.
“Traditionally, ski wax contains non-biodegradable or toxic chemicals such as paraffin wax, a by-product of oil refining, and fluorocarbon, a compound linked to serious health complications,” Smith said. “We hope to offer an alternative, plant-based product that eliminates health risks and reduces the ski industry’s environmental impact while promoting the fun of skiing and snowboarding – the ultimate reason we love to get out on the slopes. We want to help everybody shred responsibly.”
The genesis of Board Budder was sparked by Park City’s announcement of new regulations on certain chemicals in ski wax. Motivated by a love for the sport and a commitment to sustainability, Smith sought to develop an alternative wax that aligns with environmental goals while maintaining the thrill of skiing and snowboarding.
Board Budder’s impact is already visible in its collaboration with Ski Trucks, a significant player in the skiing industry. They’ve chosen to carry Board Budder products exclusively, endorsing the mission of promoting fun while reducing the environmental footprint.
Smith envisions expanding Board Budder’s presence across the United States and securing a spot on the shelves of major outdoor retail stores. The ambitious plan includes breaking into the surf and skate industry and fostering a community of enthusiasts dedicated to preserving board sports.
Smith’s journey traces back to Oakley, Utah, a small town nestled outside of Park City. Armed with a degree in biology with a biochemistry focus from the University of Utah, Smith’s passion for skiing and snowboarding converged with a desire to create positive change. This led him to embark on the entrepreneurial path, seeking to build his business toolkit and contribute to the industry’s evolution.
The decision to enroll in the Master of Business Creation program was driven by Smith’s realization that a science degree alone wasn’t sufficient for navigating the entrepreneurial landscape. The program’s unique blend of practical tools, financial modeling, and a collaborative atmosphere has empowered Smith to set clear business goals, define a target audience, and strategically plan for growth.
“Running a company with a biology degree proved to be a challenge, especially when it came to finances,” he said. “I realized that while the science degree gave me a great problem-solving toolkit, I needed an entrepreneurial toolkit to supplement it. That’s why I enrolled in the MBC – a one-stop shop where I can learn the essentials, build my business, and leave prepared to grow my current and any future businesses.”
Smith also values the MBC program’s community. Surrounded by diverse founders in a collaborative learning environment, he emphasized the importance of thinking outside the box and approaching challenges from different perspectives. The shared successes and collective excitement create an atmosphere of support and inspiration.
As Smith continues his journey with Board Budder, he invites us to reflect on the broader impact of our choices. Board Budder isn’t just about wax; it’s a symbol of conscious consumerism and a step towards ensuring that future generations can continue to enjoy the thrill of the slopes sustainably.
Learn more about Board Budder at boardbudder.com.