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.”

  • 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!"

  • 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."

  • Pat Heaney

    Snowboarding Expert

    Store: TAMWORTH

    Tamworth Snowboard Expert Pat has been standing sideways for over 15 years. With seasons spent in Banff and Queenstown, a qualified instructor and freestyle instructor, he's not short of experience.

    Awarded the best new instructor trophy at Remarkables, he now rides at Tamworth Snowdome regularly and finds chance to find longer slopes at least twice a year. Missing a left arm means he's always been creative with his riding - he might just be the creator of the Elbow Tail Grab.

    Favourite Place/Resort:

    Lake Louise, Canada. "My favourite resort is Lake Louise, Banff Canada. It has an amazing park, long wide pistes and great off piste. The views are amazing too! I want to get out to the USA as I’ve never ridden there before, and I’m also looking forward to going to the TSA Board Test in Austria!"