Colorado skier pitches eco-friendly wax to ’Shark Tank’ on Friday
Peter Arlein has been on a mission since 2016 to spread awareness within the ski and snowboard industry about eco-friendly wax. In 2019, the founder of MountainFlow Eco Wax launched a Kickstarter campaign to create the company’s first eco-friendly wax for skis and snowboards.
“I think our story is that whatever you put on your skis ends up in the snowpack and then in your local rivers,” Arlein told the Vail Daily in 2019. “I think most people don’t know that ski wax is made from petroleum, so our job is to get the word out there and offer a different option.”
On Friday night, catch Arlein pitching his MountainFlow Eco Wax on ABC’s “Shark Tank” at 7 p.m. Pre-recorded, Arlein goes in front of some of the most ruthless sharks: Mark Cuban; Barbara Corcoran; Kevin O’Leary; Lori Greiner; and Daymond John.
“Tune in and see whether I land a deal or get totally eaten alive,” Arlein said ahead of the airing.
The Carbondale entrepreneur launched the company in 2016 but it really gained traction in 2019 after winning multiple awards at Outdoor Retailer, where he suspects the “Shark Tank” talent team discovered MountainFlow Eco Wax. According to a 2019 USA Today story about the show, “Shark Tank” receives about 35,000-40,000 applicants per season, while also sending a talent team out for “proactive“ casting.
“When I was coming into this whole process and going into the ’Shark Tank’ to talk to the sharks, my biggest concern was whether they would get it,” Arlein said. “To skiers, it makes sense, but some of these people may or may not ski. And if they do, do they understand about ski wax and why it’s important to use an eco-friendly product?”
He added that the sharks brought a surprising amount of ski knowledge to the conversation and poised some tough questions.
“It was super fun,” he said.
In November of 2019, the International Ski Federation banned the use of fluorinated ski wax in racing due to its “negative environmental and health impact.” The ban is set to go in place for the 2021-22 season.
Arlein spent years working on his recipe, testing over 200 combinations of waxes on his skis on trails in Colorado.
“Sensitivity to the environment is fortunately at the front of people’s minds,” Arlein said in 2019. “When you think about the different types of waxes and some of the chemicals found in waxes and how they go onto the snow and then percolate down to the ground and into our groundwater systems — it’s a real concern both for wild habitat and human water supplies.
“If it’s possible to make something that’s natural that won’t harm our groundwater and habitat for our animals,” he continued, “it just makes sense.”
Will the sharks tell Arlein he’s a “want-repreneuer,” or to “follow the green, not the dream”? Or will they be ready to hit the slopes themselves with some eco-friendly wax soon? Tune in to find out.
For more information about MountainFlow Eco Wax, visit http://www.mountainflow.com.