Steamboat beer, Grass Sticks gear on display Saturday | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat beer, Grass Sticks gear on display Saturday

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Riding above the slopes on the chairlift a skier is spotted through the trees. What is he holding? Is it bamboo?

Not just bamboo, Steamboat's own Grass Sticks custom-made ski poles.

Created by engineer-turned-ski-instructor-turned-pole-builder Andrew Beckler in 2014 out of a local garage, Grass Sticks has become one of the country's leading bamboo ski pole manufacturers.

And on Saturday, they will be offering a behind-the-scenes look at how their poles are made.

The Grass Sticks Bamboo Ski Pole Build & Beer with Sego Skis will be held from 1:30 to 10 p.m. at Storm Peak Brewing Company.

"It’s great to give everyone a chance to participate in the final step of the building process," said Beckler about the season’s first build and brew. "We like to show others what it takes to build outdoor gear and brew great beer in Steamboat."

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With soft rubber grips that range in color from black, cork, blue, green, pink, purple, orange and red, the poles are hand-sanded and finished with a UV-moisture, cold-proof clear coat. They also feature eco-friendly hemp straps, no-slip carbide tips and interchangeable baskets along with a two-year, unlimited warranty.

At the event, the poles will already be coated and tipped allowing interested skiers to take part in the process and see how the poles are sized, cut and assembled.

"Bamboo is lighter and stronger than aluminum, so it won’t bend and break with a solid pole plant or a sweet wipe-out," said Griffin Guinn, Grass Sticks events coordinator. "We like our customers to know that our poles are grown, not manufactured, so every pair sold helps to reduce the carbon footprint of the ski industry."

During their busy winter season, Grass Sticks receives, on average, about 20 orders for poles a day, and this year, the company hopes to grow its product family by creating the SUP Stick, a bamboo stand-up paddleboard paddle. They also plan to hold more face-to-face events with customers.

Sego, a ski company based in Victor, Idaho, started with a similar grassroots emergence into the industry based on an idea conceived by a close knit group of friends.

"There is quite a bit of love going into each pair as it’s crafted piece by piece," said Laraine Martin, Sego Skis rep at the event along with Erik Bahnsen. "I think small companies like Sego and Grass Sticks are a skier’s dream because they give us all a glimpse back into the home-grown roots of making these products."

At the event, Grass Sticks poles will be 15 percent off and include a free beer from Storm Peak Brewing Company.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email adwyer@steamboattoday.com or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1.

If you go:

What: Grass Sticks Bamboo Ski Pole Build & Beer with Sego Ski Co.

When: 1:30 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28

Where: Storm Peak Brewing Company, 1885 Elk River Plaza

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