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Whitelines Test Team 2016-2017

This year’s Whitelines Test Team boasts a hefty 241 years of collective shred experience, and they still get on snow at every possible opportunity.

After putting the latest gear though its paces at some of Europe’s finest board tests – including the epic season-ending bash at Kaunertal, Snowboard Spring Break – they’ve whittled down their preferences and delivered the full skinny on what the 2016/17 season has to offer.

Testing times at Snowboard Spring Break 2016. Photo: Mike Brindley

Hannah Bailey | Youri BarneoudEd Blomfield | Mike Brindley | Tom CopseyAndrew Duthie | Tammy Esten | Sarah Fish | Adam Hanmore | Matt Higson | Adam Hoskins | Sam McMahon | Sam OetikerBarry Parker | Chris Sturgess

Hannah Bailey

Communications Consultant, Neon Stash

  • Snowboarding since: 2008
  • Height: 5’7” (170cm)
  • Weight: 8st 7lb (54kg)
  • UK Shoe Size: 6
  • neonstash.com

Favourite rider: I’ve always been a fan of Hannah Teter. The first snowboard film I watched was First Descent, and she was ripping it in huge backcountry Alaska alongside the guys.

First ever board: A K2 Skyla with Burton bindings. Although it got dinged on the first day, it lasted me a while! I still have it as a memory, and I lend it to friends.

Board preference: Something smaller but with stiffness, as I’m not a mega park rider. I love to ride powder but attempt playful stuff in it, so need the best of both worlds. I quite enjoy a bit of tech in my boards, like Magne-Traction or something, but the main thing is that it feels stable.

Youri Barneoud

French Editor, Onboard

  • Snowboarding since: 1993
  • Height: 5’11” (180cm)
  • Weight: 11st 12lbs (75kg)
  • UK Shoe Size: 8.5
  • onboard.fr

Favourite rider: Devun Walsh, for his general style, his humongous back 180  into the wild, his human nature and his love for the shred. But I will also have to name Scotty Wittlake for all the punk reasons that make snowboarding what it should never cease to be.

First ever board: Burton Twin. I must say I got it for the graphics (cool pencil drawings on the deck) because I had no much idea of what i really needed after stepping out of the hard plates of the Hot rental alpine board on which I learnt. But I got lucky, because it was a really good board at the time. It worked perfect for my first laps in the parks, and my first epic faceplants in the backcountry.

Board preference: I like to have a board to do everything so I don’t have to worry about swapping bindings, resetting angles etc. So I tend to prefer all-mountain boards, with a medium flex at the tips but lots of power under the feet. I’m not a great fan of rocker boards, but I can make do with a flat. I also love cool technology that actually works, so I’m always keen on trying new stuff!

Ed Blomfield

Head Of Snowboard Content, Factory Media

  • Snowboarding since: 1993
  • Height: 5’11” (181cm)
  • Weight: 13st (82kg)
  • UK Shoe Size: 9.5
  • whitelines.com

Favourite rider: David Benedek. In his pomp he slayed it all – powder, pipe, park, piste, street – and still found time to push the creative envelope. Plus, he’s just a super nice guy.

First ever board: 1996/7 Lib Tech Jamie Lynn 153 – the one with the girl and the guitar on the tail. I bought it from Rollersnakes in the spring sales and was soooo stoked on it. Only trouble was the fragile cap construction, and I managed to delam it at some point. I swung a new one via the warranty which I was well chuffed with at the time, but now I wish I’d just kept it for posterity and bought a new one instead.

Board preference: Something mid-flexing and stable that I can take from park to pow – basically, your classic ‘all mountain’ board.

Mike Brindley

Contributing Editor, Whitelines

  • Snowboarding since: 2001
  • Height: 5’11” (181cm)
  • Weight: 11st 3lb (71kg)
  • UK Shoe Size: 8
  • whitelines.com

Favourite rider: Too tough to call, but Arthur Longo is up there smashing it at the moment. Ridiculously tough riding and super-chill guy too.

First ever board: Burton Dominant – an eBay classic that I had a love/hate relationship with, but it took a battering! It was never perfect for me, but handled a lot more than its skate-style design would suggest.

Board preference: I tend to ride fairly flat-based boards, but it’s not a decision I’ve consciously made – they just seem to hit that sweet spot that means you can take them everywhere, and they aren’t too overpowering or unresponsive either.

Tom Copsey

Editor, Onboard

  • Snowboarding since: 1992
  • Height: 6’1” (187cm)
  • Weight: 12stones and some pebbles (76kg)
  • UK Shoe Size: 8.5
  • onboardmag.com

Favourite rider: Having been snowboarding since before yer mam met yer dad that’s impossible to answer. Back in the day it was Iguchi, Daniel Franck, Jamie Lynn, Johan Olofsson and Michi Albin that had me frothing, then it was Nico, Darius, Gigi, Benedek and Fredi, whereas of today’s crop it fluctuates with the seasons: Max Buri, Roope, Sebbe, Werni, Koski, Ethan, Elias, Halldor… Anyone who has their own, good style and looks like they’re having a blast.

First ever board: Hammer somethingorother. Maybe it was called the Juice?

Board preference: Something directional twin or just directional. Mid-to-stiff flex so can dick around but still go fast. Basically I just want to ride powder but will settle for slashing around, minishredding or laying out Eurocarves.

Andrew Duthie

Deputy Editor, UK & Gear – Whitelines

  • Snowboarding since: 1999
  • Height: 6’3” (190cm)
  • Weight: 13st 13lb (88kg)
  • UK Shoe Size: 12
  • whitelines.com

Favourite rider: Keijiro Kasahara, aka Doggy. If snowboarding had a voice, it would be in Japanese with wonky subtitles.

First ever board: Generics Special, bought ex-hire from an Aviemore shop in May 1999. Currently propping up a wobbly bookcase beside my desk.

Board preference: Freestyle twin boards, sometimes with directional elements but usually true twin – and always wide. It’s good to have something to take to dry slope once its snow life is over.

Tammy Esten

Founder & Owner, Mint Snowboarding

  • Snowboarding since: 1995
  • Height: 5’9″ (175cm)
  • Weight: 8st 13lb (57kg)
  • UK Shoe Size: 6.5
  • mintsnowboarding.com

Favourite rider: Jenny Jones, because she has made huge steps to push the UK snowboard scene on an international level.

First ever board: Airwalk 150. It was the first year they made boards, and was the stiffest board known to man!

Board preference: Something fun and playful, but that will also allow me to charge off piste at full pelt.

Sarah Fish

Sales Assistant, Subvert Board Store

  • Snowboarding since: 2008
  • Height: 5’6″ (170cm)
  • Weight: 8st 13lb (57kg)
  • UK Shoe Size: 5.5
  • subvertboardstore.com

Favourite rider: Marie-France Roy was the first chick that I saw when I started riding. Her part in Any Means was what inspired me the most – I loved that she wasn’t just riding park, she killed it everywhere.

First ever board: A Rome Vinyl directional twin/camber – it was my most prized possession. I bought it in Subvert in Manchester and they gave me a copy of Any Means.

Board preference: All mountain freestyle, mid flex, true twin or directional twin. Definitely camber, but I don’t mind some rise on the nose and tail.

Adam Hanmore

Manager, The Snowboard Shop

  • Snowboarding since: 1991
  • Height: 5″11′ (180cm)
  • Weight: 13st (83kg)
  • UK Shoe Size: 9
  • thesnowboardshop.co.uk

Favourite rider: Travis Rice. He likes to go big! The full mental commitment  to achieve that, combined with great board control and spatial awareness to instantly adapt to his environment, has made for some epic watching .

First ever board: Santa Cruz T158 1996. Bought it blindly (and cheaply) from one of the suppliers at the bike shop I was working in at the time. I rode it for years, and still have it in the loft at home.

Board preference: For general tearing around the resort, it has to be a true twin on the softer side of medium flex, with plenty of camber.

Matt Higson

Sales Assistant, The Snowboard Asylum

  • Snowboarding since: 2003
  • Height: 6’ (183cm)
  • Weight: 11st 7lb (73kg)
  • UK Shoe Size: 9
  • snowboard-asylum.com

Favourite rider: Louif Paradis, because he’s a really legit urban rider… great style and amazing board control.

First ever board: Forum Youngblood – I bought it from a friend for £60, it was an absolute nail. But great for beating up the dry slope.

Board preference: A mid-flex true twin, reverse camber with some sort of flat section for a bit more stability.

Adam Hoskins

Showroom Manager, Bliss Snowboards

  • Snowboarding since: 2004
  • Height: 5’11” (180cm)
  • Weight: 11st 7lb (73kg)
  • UK Shoe Size: 6.5 (Don’t forget the half!)
  • blisssnowboards.co.uk

Favourite rider: Don’t really have a favourite but I like how Scott Stevens and the Yawgoons show you don’t need great conditions to have a good time.

First ever board: A 2006 Salomon Prospect. It had a vacuuming robot graphic, which I thought was pretty rad at the time. I bought it second hand and I left it in Canada. I’m not very sentimental when it comes to gear.

Board preference: It depends, a different way for a different day. Soft, rocker, true twin for dry slope, indoors and mellow days. I like twin camber boards to carve on and freeride boards with some rocker in. I generally don’t like anything too stiff.

Sam McMahon

Deputy Editor – UK & Video, Whitelines

  • Snowboarding since: 2009
  • Height: 5’11” (181cm)
  • Weight: 12st 9lb (80kg)
  • UK Shoe Size: 10.5
  • whitelines.com

Favourite rider: Tim Eddy – powder, backflips and fun. For me, he epitomises what snowboarding should be all about.

First ever board: Burton Farm 157 with graphics by one of the dudes from Weezer. Sadly ripped the stupid three-hole binding inserts out in a tumble!

Board preference: Set-back but short powder board, more often with a camber/hybrid profile.

Sam Oetiker

Social Media Manager, Onboard/Whitelines

Favourite rider: Really tough one. I’d probably go with Halldor Helgason – I’ve always been a big fan of his style, creativity and general super loose attitude. His web edits from back in the day had a big impact on me when I was really getting into snowboarding.

First ever board: Option Signature 154 – It was day one of my snowboard instructor course in Whistler and I didn’t have my own board yet, so I had to go to the shop with my instructor to pick one out. I’d only done a week of snowboarding before that so didn’t really know anything about snowboards… The Signature turned out to be a really solid choice though!

Board preference: I’m a firm believer of traditional positive camber, although I like it best on relatively short, twin tip boards – soft enough for rails but with enough pop for kickers and all-mountain cruising.

Barry Parker

Snowboard Instructor/Freestyle Coach, REAL Snowboarding

Favourite rider: Stale Sandbech. He encompasses what snowboarding is to me – overflowing with style, and always having loads of fun riding with friends.

First ever board: A Rossignol with blue flames on it. I thought it was badass!

Board preference: True camber for power and stability, but with mellow-ed out contact points for fun!

Chris Sturgess

Owner, Snowfit & Revolutionz

  • Snowboarding since: 1996
  • Height: 6’ (182cm)
  • Weight: 13st 6lb (85kg)
  • UK Shoe Size: 9
  • snowfit.co.uk

Favorite rider: Travis Parker – He has such sick style and more importantly he always seems to have fun on his board.

First ever board: An old Morrow board with baseless bindings that I inherited somehow. Can’t remember its name, or what I did with it.

Board preference: As I get older and a bit lazy I really enjoy riding boards that help me out! I like boards that are fairly flat between the feet and lifted in the tip and tail for extra float and forgiveness. No noodles though, as I still need to be able to tank it if I want.

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