Whitelines Test Team 2014/15

Hannah Bailey

Communications Consultant, Neon Stash
Years riding: 7
Height 5’7” (170cm)
Weight: 8st 7lb (54kg)
UK Shoe Size: 6

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.
Current 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.

Ed Blomfield

Editor, Whitelines
Years riding: 23
Height: 5’11” (181cm)
Weight: 13st (82kg)
UK Shoe Size: 9.5

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

Joe Cavanagh

Event Producer, Mag North
Years riding: 12
Height: 5’10” (179cm)
Weight: 10st 3lb (65kg)
UK Shoe Size: 9

Favourite rider: It’s got to be Ståle Sandbech. Solid competition rider, sick film parts and style for days. In my opinion there’s very few riders that can match his technicality and board control.
First ever board: A K2 Darkstar from the 05/06 season – killer board! Had a shitty sticker job, a stomp pad and the widest stance since John Wayne, but was the cat’s pyjamas as far as I was concerned. Think Mama and Papa Cav still have it up in the attic actually…
Current preference: I never bought into the reverse camber hype (#LongLiveCamber), so I’ve stuck with stiff, true twin, cambered boards with an aggressive sidecut. I like riding aggressively so I like the pop and edge hold you get from a stiff cambered board. I don’t ride dome that much, so it doesn’t make sense to ride a noodle.

Andrew Duthie

Deputy Editor, Whitelines
Years riding: 16
Height: 6’3” (190cm)
Weight: (kg)
UK Shoe Size: 12

Favourite rider: Devun Walsh, for his style. Not a very original answer I know.
First ever board: Generics Special, bought ex-hire from an Aviemore shop in May 1999. Currently propping up a wobbly bookcase beside my desk.
Current preference: Freestyle twin boards, sometimes with directional  sidecut/flex but usually true twin – and always wide. It’s good to have something to take to dry slope once its snow life is over.

Matt Higson

Sales Assistant, The Snowboard Asylum
Years riding: 12
Height: 6’ (183cm)
Weight: 11.5st (73kg)
UK Shoe Size: 9

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.
Current 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
Years riding: 11
Height: 5’11” (180cm)
Weight: (73kg)
UK Shoe Size: 6.5 (Don’t forget the half!)

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.
Current 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.

Lauren McCallum

Product Development Manager, Natural Retreats Cairngorm
Years riding: 6
Height: 5’11” (181cm)
Weight: 10st 12lb (69kg)
UK Shoe Size: 8

Favourite rider: I’m only allowed one?! Urgh that’s hard… Desiree Melancon, because she makes snowboarding look good and doesn’t take herself too seriously.
First ever board: An old Burton custom aquired by my flatmate at the time. She’s a heavy stiff beast with some need of TLC, but served me well and took no prisoners. It’s currently in my wardrobe.
Current preference: I’ve become a fan of rocker camber mix over the last few seasons or just plain camber. Pretty much anything that’s not flat at the tip at tail.

Sam McMahon

Deputy Editor, Whitelines
Years riding: 6
Height: 5’11” (181cm)
Weight: 12st 9lb (80kg)
UK Shoe Size: 10.5

Favourite rider: Tim Eddy – powder, backflips and FUN.
First ever board: Burton Farm 157, ripped the binding inserts out in a tumble!
Current preference: Set-back but short powder board, usually with a camber/rocker hybrid.

Neil McNair

Founder, McNair Snowsports
Years riding: 27
Height: 5’7”(170cm)
Weight: 10st 10lb (68kg)
UK Shoe Size: 7

Favourite rider: Terje Haakonsen – his combined section with Daniel Frank in TB2 gave me the most amount of inspiration when I was a young rider.
First ever board: Sims Noah Salasnek 148 with baseless bindings, bought from TSA in Manchester. I loved that board as it was the first time I got to ride soft boots after years of renting Mistral boards with rear-entry ski boots. Still stored in a garage, minus the edge that ripped out.
Current preference: An all-mountain freestyle board. Directional twin with camber, stiffer tail and softer nose.

James Stentiford

Owner/Instructor, Stentiford Snowboarding
Years riding: 28
Height: 5’11”(180cm)
Weight: 12st 13lb (82kg)
UK Shoe Size: 8

Favourite rider: Nicolas Müller – he makes snowboarding look fun and effortless.
First ever board: One of the very first Gnu boards, a 161 with soft bindings but no high backs, so I had to use ski boots. I rented it in Tignes back in 1988 and I ended up smashing the edge up. The shop owner told my dad he had to buy it, I think he ended up giving the guy £100. It sat at my parents’ house until they moved and took it to the tip.
Current preference: I like the feel of a freestyle orientated board but with a bit of rocker to help in the powder. I go for a medium flex, not too soft or stiff; it’s all about the right pop. I’ve been riding rocker boards for a while now but have got an old faithful 165 camber board that comes out on big powder days.

Chris Sturgess

Owner, Snowfit & Revolutionz
Years riding: 19
Height: 6’ (182cm)
Weight: 13st 6lb (85kg)
UK Shoe Size: 9

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.
Current 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.

Darren Williams

Boss, The Snowboard Shop
Years riding: 18
Height: 5’8” (173cm)
Weight: 10st 8lb (67kg)
UK Shoe Size: 10

Favourite rider: Too tricky to narrow down to just one rider, but I guess Nicholas Müller has got to be up there as he has so much style when he rides.
First ever board: K2 Zeppelin bought from an old shop at Wycombe Summit.  I used it for about 18 months on dry slopes until the base melted away.  I still have it in the shop and at some point it will end up on the wall.
Current preference: I normally ride freestyle snowboards.  I don’t like them too soft though as I usually take just one board on my trips, so I need something that doesn’t wash out at speed but remains playful enough for jibbing about.

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