OUR SNOWBOARDING EXPERTS ARE IN-STORE AWAITING YOUR QUESTIONS
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.
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.
Chamonix. “I lived there for 10 years, so this has to go down as my favourite place to snowboard.”
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!
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!"
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!
Bear Mountain, California. "Fun jibs, chilled people, and great vibes. Otherwise I love to shred Tamworth with my mate Doug!"
Sophie Patterson - Store Manager
Snowboard expert and store manager Sophie began surfing at just 9 years old. Blessed with having a family caravan at Abersoch on the Llyn Peninsula, she grew up with boardsports in the bays and coves of North Wales. The next logical step was to take up snowboarding. "Surfing in North Wales in January was definitely good preparation for some of the harsher weather conditions found on the mountain!". Now with over ten years' experience in the mountains under her belt, she is a great source of advice for those looking to progress their riding.
"Having spent 6 years working in the snowsports industry I like to think I've picked up a fair amount of knowledge along the way", she says. "Working with the father of British snowboarding Steve Bailey all that time has definitely helped improve my knowledge of all things snowboard. In this time I've been on multiple board tests and heard first hand from the manufacturers what makes these boards so great."
"The moments that stick out for me are usually when I'm out of my comfort zone and my adrenaline is high. I remember attempting my first powder run in Bansko, I had never experienced that type of snow before and that many obstacles! The feeling of pushing myself through the pow and between the trees was the best thrill I've ever had."
Bansko, Bulgaria. "Instead of the well trodden runs of France and Austria, I’ve honed my skills on the slopes of eastern Europe. The mountains of Bulgaria have been my training ground where it’s easy to break away from the crowds and find untracked snow."
Abbie Montgomery - Chelmsford
How long have you been doing your activity for? When did you start
"I started snowboarding over 11 years ago."
What makes you an 'expert'?
"I have been snowboarding every year, mostly with people that like to hang out in the powder for most of the day. I have started to find my feet more in park in recent years and have helped some family and friends find their feet on the piste too, it's a great feeling to share your love of a sport with people who then find out they love it as much as you do!"
Any unbelievable anecdotes?
"I did once dress up for a university trip as a penguin, after being convinced to pull the hood up I had fairly restricted vision on the slope, I caught an edge and fell a fair way down a red run on my front, needless to say the Gopro footage was erased immediately."
What's your favourite destination?
"My Favourite resort so far has been Courchevel, the three vallees lift pass gives you a fun challenge to see how much you can complete in a day, it also means you end up racing to catch all the last lifts back over but you feel like you've really got the most out of the day."
What are your aims this season?
"After just getting a back protector, and some extra padding I will definitely be testing them out with some more spins and tricks this coming season."
Adam Blackburn - Chelmsford
How long have you been snowboarding?
"15 years, started when I was 10 at Halifax dry slope."
What makes you an 'expert'?
"Been with Ellis Brigham for 8 years. Been on several board tests and company trips in that time. Racked up a lot of time on my snowboard by doing seasons in New Zealand and North America and plenty of trips to Europe and Scotland. I've spent a lot of time fixing and servicing boards, as well as selling them, so my construction and materials knowledge is pretty good. I've just moved to Chelmsford from Castleford, so I've spent a lot of time talking about snowboards and making sure my knowledge was all up to scratch, that meant I could lap the dome there a few times too!"
What's your favourite destination/resort/challenge to carry out your expert activity? Why?
"Big Bear, California. Not a massive mountain but the combination of kickers, rails and natural hits means you can never get bored there."
What are your aims this season?
"Just to go snowboarding but without spending too much money (so probably another trip to Scotland), trying to save up for a trip to Japan to get some real powder."