Since the dawn of time, sport pylons have been made from plastic.  However, like that first fish that skittered out of the Jurassic ocean to evolve onwards, I am happy to report that the first sport pylon has been crafted from bamboo!

Plastic has made sense: sport cones need to be flexible and bright colored to demark the contours of a pitch.  The ones my friends and I use to play ultimate Frisbee every week are bright colored as well.  Perfect

Or are they?

Our cones have faded so badly, that it’s hard to see them any more.  And it’s been only a year.  So, what happens to plastic pylons when their time comes to an end?  All the waste on the beaches in Bali are a good hint to where plastic, whether it be a bag or a cone, inventively ends up.

Living in Bali and seeing so much plastic waster– and also so many bamboo crafts, has inspired my team and I to think about creating an organic alternative.  Why not bamboo?

Being the inventor on my team, I told my friends I would work on it.  The concept and design  has been slow and steady under development for the last year.  The task was mainly to select the most appropriate weaving technique from the dozens of basket making possibilities out there.   With the need for new cones for our Beach Ultimate Hat tournament, we pushed through and over the course of the last two months, got our first set of 16 cones developed just in time.


Why design a Bamboo Cone?

My plan is do a little more work on the cone design, then post it as open source design for people to copy and improve upon.

  1. So that you aren’t reliant on the capital and petroleum based industrial system to play
  2. So that people don’t have to work in a factory or oil rig for you to play
  3. So that your cone biodegrades at the end of its life rather than contaminate
  4. So that your cone supports local industry
  5. So that others can copy and replicate the cone from bamboo in their community and likewise avoid the problems above!


The first set of bamboo cones worked great– yet have a lot of room left for improvement!  Rather than spray paint them (as we did the first set) it’s possible to have them died naturally.  Rather than amend already woven cones to size, we’ll custom make them.  Rather then cut them to size, leaving jagged edges, we’ll weave the edges closed.

I am already looking forward to the next set!