Ellis Brigham's sister company The Snowboard Asylum was set up when snowboarding first exploded on to the UK scene over 20 years ago, and since then we've built one of the most knowledgeable teams of experts in the industry. As well as employing some of the best snowboarders in the UK, and sponsoring many new riders, we send all of our snowboarders on an annual board test, so they get to try out new hardware before it's even hit the stores. So if you're after a new set up, find an expert near you from the list below and drop in to the store for help and advice.

OUR SNOWBOARDING

EXPERTS

  • Rachel Beasley

    Snowboarding Expert

    Store: BRISTOL

    Rachel started snowboarding over 5 years ago, and since then has completed a season in Morzine. She originally learnt to board on the dry slope in Gloucester, and now gets out to the real snow at least once a season.

    Recently she went to Colorado for a backcountry trip with snowboarding brand ‘Dragon’, thanks to winning an Ellis Brigham competition. Rachel particularly likes riding fast mountain slopes and snow parks.

    Favourite Place/Resort:

    Portes du Soleil in Morzine. “I’d always go back to Morzine. You can’t beat it for size and variety. There is a run to suit everyone, from beginner to expert, and there is some really good off-piste terrain, especially if you’re prepared to hike. Nothing beats a nice cold Mutzig either after a day on the mountain. However, if I got the chance to go back to Colorado, it would be a no-brainer.”

  • Matt Higson

    Snowboarding Expert

    Store: TAMWORTH

    Matt has been snowboarding for 9 years, and spent a full season in Mayrhofen. He started boarding in UK competitions several years ago, and soon got noticed by the likes of Burton, Analog, Anon and the Snowboard Asylum, all of whom now sponsor him. If you’ve got any questions about men’s boots or boards, Matt’s the guy to ask.

    Favourite Place/Resort:

    Mayrhofen. “Got to know the resort really well during his season, and it’s a great place for both summer and winter sports.”

  • Steve Bailey

    Snowboarding Expert

    Store: CHESTER

    Amongst the snowboarding community, Steve needs no introduction. One of the most celebrated riders in the UK, he’s been snowboarding for 23 years, and as a professional for 21 years, during which time he has been caught in an avalanche, and won 10 British titles.

    Needless to say Steve is a font of knowledge on all things snowboard, he’s visited most resorts in Europe, the States and Canada, and he features annually in the Snowboard Asylum catalogue.

    Favourite Place/Resort:

    Chamonix. “I lived there for 10 years, so this has to go down as my favourite place to snowboard.”

  • Andrew Forwood

    Snowboarding Expert

    Store: BRAEHEAD

    Hailing from Aviemore, Andrew is one our most accomplished Snowboard Experts. Sponsored by TSA and Artec Snowboards, Andrew has been riding for 11 years, is a BASI instructor, is a regular on our annual Board Test and is on the British Freestyle Team, making him a veritable font of all snowboarding knowledge!

    Andrew began snowboarding at with his local snowboard club and soon found himself competing. In 2009 Andrew medalled Gold and Bronze in the British Championships Slopestyle in Laax, Switzerland, and will be competing at the Brits again in 2013.


    Andrew is also one of our gadget experts. As the focus of many snowboard edits, he is a source of enlightenment when it comes to all manner of cameras and filming, and he has plenty of experience in the field with our array of GPS devices and backcountry equipment.

    Favourite Destination:

    Laax, Switzerland. "Laax just caters for everything. It has 4 parks, so it’s a freestyle Mecca, and the terrain is just awesome."

  • Sarah Martin

    Snowboarding Expert

    Store: CASTLEFORD-LEEDS

    With almost a decade's experience on the slopes including two full seasons and and a BASI instructorship under her belt, Sarah Martin is well versed on all things standing sideways.

    Sarah has been a part of the industry since she took up snowboarding and has been a part Ellis Brigham and The Snowboard Asylum for years, joining the team on the annual board test for the past three seasons, getting to know every women's snowboard we stock. She's a tough nut to crack, spending our last board test with an appendix on the verge of exploding!

    Her aim this winter is to get her dad on a snowboard, and she's crossing her fingers for some snow closer to home so she can ride in Pontefract Park!

    Favourite Place/Resort:

    Cardrona, New Zealand. "I've spent two seasons in Cardrona, it's got such a great terrain park and it beats spending the UK summer at home!"

  • Johnny Russell

    Snowboarding Expert

    Store: CASTLEFORD-LEEDS

    Johnny is another of our pro riders, so as well as being sponsored by The Snowboard Asylum, he gets free kit from Lobster, Thirty Two and Union. He started boarding over 18 years ago, and at the age of 16 went to his first local competition. His snowboarding career built from there, and last year he managed to get to 10 different resorts and two end of season competitions

    During his time as a snowboarder Johnny has completed 5 full seasons in resort, and he’s been on the last 5 TSA board tests. Needless to say he knows a lot about snowboarding so if you want some expert advice, drop in to the Castleford shop and talk to Johnny.

    Favourite Place/Resort:

    Big White in Canada. “This is a really fun place to ride. There’s lots of different types of terrain, and lots of trees. The people are really friendly too.”

  • Euan Cameron - Store Manager

    Snowboard & Trekking Expert

    Store: BRISTOL

    Euan has been passionate about the outdoors from an early age: camping, hiking and snowboarding in the West coast of Scotland - Glencoe and Nevis Range being local resorts.

    “I spend as much time as I can in the mountains, I love snowboarding and discovering new places to ride. Camping and walking is my favourite pastime in the summer, relaxing and fun. I also enjoy mountain biking - taking advantage of the great local trails around Bristol.”

    Favourite Place/Resort:

    Glencoe “I love riding in the Glencoe resort, It`s just like a natural fun park with natural hits, drops and technical terrain to push yourself. Camping in Glen Etive and the lost valley is just stunning, with breathtaking walks and scrambles all around you.”

  • Caleb Purdie

    Snowboarding Expert

    Store: WESTFIELD LONDON

    Westfield London’s resident Kiwi has been snowboarding for over 10 years. Learning at his local skifield, Mt. Hutt at 15, he progressed in the park before discovering the joys of backcountry riding. He prefers quality over quantity, and likes to ride smaller skifields with good terrain rather than bigger, busier resorts.

    Caleb’s favourite part of snowboarding is helping others with their riding and seeing them progress. He broke his wrist just before last year’s Southern Hemisphere winter got underway, and is now itching to get back on the slopes this season.

    Favourite Place/Resort:

    Broken River, New Zealand. "Broken river is a favourite due to its great back country access and super relaxed vibe of the place. I tend to ride the smaller club fields in New Zealand now as they’re smaller, less busy and the terrain is awesome."

  • Chris Aitken

    Snowboarding Expert

    Store: GLASGOW BRAEHEAD - SKI

    Resident snowboard geek Chris began his love affair with the slopes after leaving school and completing a season in Morzine. Like many of our experts, Chris has acquired his experience through worldwide travel, and counts Patagonia on his list of favourite places to ride.

    Chris has been with Ellis Brigham for five years, is a regular on our annual board test and has ridden the vast majority of the snowboards and bindings we sell, so he’s a great source of knowledge when it comes to choosing your hardware.

    Favourite Place/Resort:

    Glencoe, Scotland/Patagonia, Argentina. "I love how little time it takes to get to Glencoe! Within an hour and a half I can be putting my boots on in the carpark. Further afield, Patagonia in Argentina is my favourite snowboarding destination, without a shadow of a doubt."

  • Hannah Ross

    Snowboarding Expert

    Store: GLASGOW BRAEHEAD - SKI

    Braehead rider Hannah has been shredding for seven years – four of which have been spent at Ellis Brigham. While she sometimes ventures into the park, she loves the chilled vibe that comes from just cruising the piste.


    Hannah loves being in the enviable position of having snow all year round. During the winter, she heads all over Scotland in search of the best snow, then spends a lot of her time riding Braehead’s Snow Factor throughout the summer.

    Favourite Place/Resort:

    Glenshee, Scotland. "I love Glenshee. It’s huge! It has loads of runs and isn’t too long a drive from home."

  • Graham Hopkins

    Snowboarding Expert

    Store: MILTON KEYNES - SKI & SNOWBOARD

    Graham's first experience of snow was on a school skiing trip. After fifteen years skiing he discovered snowboarding and has since completed three seasons, working everywhere from 200km north of the Arctic Circle in Finland to the French Alps. He also recently won a week's backcountry riding including heli-boarding to Steamboat in Colorado to ride with some of the Dragon Alliance pros.

    For Graham snowboarding is all about one thing – powder, though he also enjoys improving his skills in the park at Milton Keynes Xscape. From his own wealth of experience, catch Graham for advice on everything snow, from skiing and snowboarding apparel to snowboard hardware and split board touring. You may even get him to admit to entering the World Mono-ski Championships for fun (twice)!

    Favourite Place/Resort:

    Val D'Isere, France. "After the epic Colorado backcountry it has to be Val d’Isere – quite simply the largest and most varied lift accessed off-piste there is!"

  • Lewis Twiselton

    Snowboarding Expert

    Store: MILTON KEYNES - SKI & SNOWBOARD

    Lewis has snowboarded for ten years after going to Morzine and has been hooked ever since. For Lewis, snowboarding is all about fast and steep freeride. He has completed a season in the Southern Hemisphere on New Zealand's volcanic Mt. Ruapehu where he gained great experience in selecting the correct set-up for riders as a board technician. He further enhanced that knowledge by attending our Snowboard Test week in Austria where he rode most of this coming season’s new snowboards.

    Lewis also recently won a week’s riding with the Burton UK Team in Avoriaz where he loved hitting the "Burton Stash" with the pros. With all this experience Lewis is the person to see for everything snowboard from hardware fixes to new season kit. You’ll probably catch him riding in the dome at Milton Keynes Xscape too!

    Favourite Place/Resort:

    Mt. Ruapehu, New Zealand. "Epic terrain, gullies and natural half pipes!"

  • Bekki Dunnington

    Snowboarding Expert

    Store: CHESTER

    Snowboard expert Bekki Dunnington (née Snowball - sorry, we had to include that!) took up riding while studying at university. After Bekki's first trip to the Austrian Alps in 2008, she was hooked on the white stuff and had quickly spent most of her student loan funding trips to her local indoor slopes to hone her skills.


    Bekki gets out to the alps at least once a season, and this year aims to focus on her park riding.

    Favourite Place/Resort:

    Jungfrau, Switzerland. "My favourite place is easily the Junfrau region. I love snowboarding under the view of the Eiger's North face!"

  • Danny Willoughby

    Snowboarding Expert

    Store: CASTLEFIELD

    Danny earned his turns on Halifax’s dendex, before becoming a Castleford regular when we went to university. His first season in Alp D’Huez led to a further three years there, and before he knew it he was chasing winters around the world including seasons in Whistler, Canada, Queenstown, New Zealand and Mt. Buller, Australia.

    A BASI qualified instructor and freestyle coach, Danny loves the park, but come a powder day the whole mountain is his playground.

    Favourite Place/Resort:
    Whistler, Canada. "Whistler has to be my favourite for its unrivalled terrain and parks. I met a bear there once – luckily it was dozy as it had just come out of hibernation. It fell over and rolled away so thankfully it was nothing to worry about!"

  • Adam Blackburn

    Snowboarding Expert

    Store: CASTLEFORD-LEEDS

    Shredstick-weilding Yorkshireman Adam learnt on the rugged slopes of Halifax Dendex ten years ago. Since then he has lapped the snowdome more times than you can shake a ski pole at, and has ridden much of the French and Austrian Alps, North America, and of course the odd roadtrip to Scotland.

    Adam has been with Ellis Brigham and The Snowboard Asylum for over four years, has joined our board tests in Hintertuxand and has a huge wealth of experience riding the snowboards we stock. He also has a huge bank of knowledge of snowboard materials, construction and manufacture, so he's your go-to if you have any questions about the inner workings of your board.

    Favourite Place/Resort:

    Bear Mountain, California. "It's a mix of rails, kickers and loads of natural hits all over the mountain. The place is amazing, you can never get bored there."

  • Doug Johnson

    Snowboard Expert

    Store: TAMWORTH

    Ellis Brigham Snowboard Expert and TSA rider Doug is a mainstay of the Tamworth Snowdome scene. A skilled park rider for over 10 years, he has completed seasons in Banff and has taken his board all over Europe and North America. Doug is a regular on our annual board test and has ridden virtually every board we stock, so is a great source of first-hand knowledge.

    Perhaps not the greatest advertisement for the sport, Doug has broken his arms in five different places while snowboarding, yet he still rides Tamworth week in, week out, and designs their park set up once a month.

    Favourite Place/Resort:

    Tamworth Snowdome. "It's the original and best! I also love Mayrhofen due to the super fast park laps and the super fun runs around the whole mountain."

  • Tom 'TC' Clinton

    Snowboarding Expert

    Store: COVENT GARDEN

    TC has been snowboarding for 15 years, and tries and get out for at least two weeks each winter. Studying French at the University of Leeds meant that he was able to spend an entire season in the French Pyrenees, riding every weekend predominantly in Cauterets (a great idea if you ask us!).

    TC has ridden a huge variety of terrain and helped every kind of customer you can think of. On his travels, he helped teach children to 'snowboard' on sand dunes in Mozambique, and has assisted Lewis Hamilton in choosing his set-up!

    Favourite Place/Resort:

    "I regularly go to the Portes-du-Soleil, mainly due to its size – on the French side, Morzine and Avoriaz are legendary within the snow-sports community – my favourite run being Prolays thanks to all its super-fun side-hits and general mellow nature (plus it’s right next to the Stash). My favourite resort to which I have been though is Wengen/Kleine Scheidegg in Switzerland – there's something truly awesome (in the original sense of the word) of snowboarding in the shadow of the North Face of the Eiger, plus it has a ton of varied terrain, from lush off-piste to the icy steeps of the world cup run the Lauberhorn.'

  • Enrique Labarta

    Snowboarding Expert

    Store: WESTFIELD LONDON

    Enrique began Skiing as soon as he learned to walk. He discovered snowboarding when he was 12 and has never looked back.

    "I grew up in the shadow of the Pyrenees Mountains. My local resort being Formigal. In 2003 I took an avalanche course Leysan Switzerland and became qualified as a snowboard instructor in 2006. I've also competed a lot, but sadly never been at the top of the podium!"

    In 2015 Enrique is planning to climb Mount Aneto in Spain and Snowboard all the way down.

    Favourite Resort/Destination

    My favourite snowboard resort is La Grave in the French Alps. It's the perfect destination for freeride lovers. Everything is extreme off piste and for safety you have to wear a harness, carry a transever, probe and shovel. 100% freeride + 100% adrenalin!

  • Simon Foster

    Snowboarding Expert

    Store: CASTLEFORD-LEEDS

    Homegrown snowboard Expert Simon has spent ten years on snow, taking it up when Castleford Xscape first opened. For six of those he has been sponsored by Salomon Snowboards and Bonfire, winning and placing in the UK and abroad.

    As well as countless hours spent riding Castleford, Simon has completed winters in Morzine, Lake Tahoe, Bear Mountain and  Mayrhofen as well as working three seasons with Ellis Brigham and TSA. Simon’s also a talented snowsports cameraman, and has filmed parts for UK snowboard movies and edits.

    They say Simon owns the biggest T-shirts in Cas Vegas, which makes him pretty easy to identify if you need a hand with snowboard hardware!

    Favourite Place/Resort:

    Bear Mountain, California. "Fun jibs, chilled people, and great vibes. Otherwise I love to shred Tamworth with my mate Doug!"