We see board testing as a crucial part of our staff training. How can shop staff confidently talk to somebody about a board without having had the experience of riding it? That’s why we take our staff away testing boards over the summer. If you want to know more about how a specific board rides then call into a TSA Store and get the lowdown by speaking to a person who has ridden it.



  • Chris Aitken

    Snowboarding Expert


    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 and is a regular on our annual board test. He's ridden the vast majority of the snowboards and bindings we sell, so is 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."

  • 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 twenty-three years, and as a professional for twenty-one years, during which time he has been caught in an avalanche, and won ten 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.”

  • Tom 'TC' Clinton

    Snowboarding Expert


    Tom 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!).

    Tom 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.'

    "In the spring I am planning to go on one of two trips – both involve a large amount of mountaineering and a small amount of snowboarding! The first option is to travel to the Caucasus Mountains to climb the 5642m height of Mount Elbrus and then descend on the board. The other option is a similar trip but to Iran instead, to climb Mount Damavand which beats Elbrus in height by 28m (5670m). Both of these trips hinge on my ability to increase my fitness enough and gather the relevant gear, and I always have my holiday to the three valleys in January to spend some time on the slopes if either of those trips fall through!"

  • Matt Higson

    Snowboarding Expert

    Store: TAMWORTH

    Matt has been riding for nine years, and spent a full season in Mayrhofen. He started riding 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.”

  • Kate Joyce

    Snowboarding Expert


    Kate has been snowboarding for 11 years after a school trip to Engelberg, Switzerland. Since then she has completed three winter seasons between the French Alps and the Italian Dolomites with various trips inbetween. She has worked for Ellis Brigham for two years. Like most snowboarders, Kate loves riding powder when possible, but is as equally passionate about what the whole mountain has to offer.

    Kate fractured her spine in 2011 and understands the importance of protection! She has been to various resorts across Europe, however has big aims to ride Canada and Japan in the coming seasons and is looking to expand into the splitboarding and touring side of snowboarding.

    Favourite Place/Resort:

    Alpe d'Huez. "The terrain has something for everyone and the Sarenne Glacier has some really varied terrain from open powder fields to the steeper and technical routes. But nothing can beat the breathtaking beauty of the Italian Dolomites!"

  • Lewis Twiselton

    Snowboarding Expert


    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!"

  • Danny Willoughby

    Snowboarding Expert


    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


    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."

  • Sophie Patterson

    Snowboard Expert

    Store: CHESTER

    Snowboard expert and assistant 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."

    Favourite Place/Resort:

    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."