Lacking in significant ski resorts (sorry Scotland) it is a surprise that there are any UK snowboard brands. But the inventive British spirit, and the popularity of snowboarding in our Green and Pleasant Land, means we can buy British and do our bit to support UK companies.Snowboards at British championships in Lax – not a british board in sight.
UK snowboard brands range from global giants to small cottage industries. And they’re busy making almost everything you need to snowboard safely, comfortably and stylishly. So, working with the idea that it’s always good to buy local, we’ve decided to gather them all together in one article.
**We missed some brands the first time round so this is the updated November 2015 version. I am sure we have still missed some, so please bombard us with comments about other British snowboarding companies we should add.
Before we open your eyes to a world of British boarding gear, what qualifies as a UK snowboard brand? For this article it is any company based in Britain that sells a product that can be used for snowboarding. In some cases this means we have added generic outdoor brands, as you can certainly use their gear when shredding.
If gear is manufactured in the UK that is great (and we will tell you). However we need to be realistic, China and other destinations offer cheaper manufacturing and have the equipment and expertise to deliver high (and sometimes higher) quality products.
To make your life easy we have split the article into handy sections so you can quickly find out which British snowboard brands specialise in the equipment you are looking for. We’d love you to read the whole thing but if you want to jump to the most appropriate section use the below links:
- Boards, boots & bindings
- Technical Outerwear
- Technical Inner Layers
- Eyewear and Protection
- Maintenance & Travel
UK snowboard brands: Boards, boots and bindings
The nuts and bolts of your snowboarding set up. There are a few British companies selling snowboards but we are lacking boots and bindings – if you know of a British company selling these please get in touch.
Striding Edge Snowboards
Not only are Striding Edge Snowboards one of the newest UK snowboard brands – launched 2014/15 season – but they also specialise in eco-friendly gear. Their range has been inspired by Helvellyn, Scafell and the other mountains of the Lake District, one of the UK’s most iconic destinations.
Their boards are made with bamboo cores which is not just environmentally friendly but also has good elasticity to provide pop and is waterproof, light and strong. Striding Edge aims to be completely carbon neutral by 2016.
Striding Edge currently has two boards in it’s range; the eponymous Striding Edge and the Ponya. Both are all-mountain boards although the Ponya has slightly more flex making it more playful and giving it a freestyle lean. Both boards have reverse camber, Sintered IS7500 base, twin shape, bamboo core and medium flex. Find out more at: www.stridingedgesnowboards.com
I spent an afternoon riding the Striding Edge with three time Olympian, Zoe Gillings-Brier and Britain’s fastest snowboarder, Jamie Barrow. We were all very impressed as it held an edge very well, had good pop and seemed responsive but forgiving, fun to ride and good value for £250. After testing I interviewed Zoe and Jamie for my review of the Striding Edge Snowboard.
Hand made in the UK, Douk create boards that are constructed from the best materials, to the highest standards to create great performing and durable snowboards. Douk are an independent manufacturer of snowboards with the only workshop of it’s kind in the UK, every board is given the hands on approach to ensure quality is maintained. Either design your own board exactly to your specifications, or pick up one of their current designs. Find out more at: www.douksnow.com
Initially specialising in helmets and googles (see section below for more details) Ruroc has just released its own range of snowboards that are made in the UK at Douk. Their snowboards comes in regular and ground breaking wax-free varieties. Currently with a mainly freestyle lean they’re looking to expand the range in the coming years. Learn more at www.ruroc.com
Reprobate are all about the freestyle, they have put all their efforts into designing the perfect park piece – the Creep. It come in three sizes, for the average sized fella the 149 is good for street jibbing, the 152 is perfect for all day park laps, and the 155 is a great for going big or all-mountain freestyle. Made in the UK with a flat base, mellow rocker, blunt nose and twin tips the Creep is to freestyle what Pimms is to summer: www.reprobatesnowboards.com
2014 was the first year of British made Propaganda snowboards. The offspring of the legendary Propaganda Snowboard Chalet in Slovakia, which has been around since 2005, they have been involved in the British boarding scene for years.
Launching with the Trucker, Hype, Double Fister, Sexy Mutha Hucka and Park Slut, their range leans towards freestyle – with everything from buttery jibsters to big air stiffies – but the Trucker breaks the mould as a big mountain speed machine.
Propaganda have been developing and fine tuning their range since 2012 and have decided not to release new versions of each stick each year – they believe there is enough ‘slapping a hefty price tag on the newest version’ in the industry already.
Instead they charge a fair price (£329-£419) that reflects the quality materials and time that goes into making each board. Of course when they have something new to share they’ll add to their range. Find out more at www.propagandasnowboards.com
UK snowboard brands: Technical clothing outerlayers
Staying warm, dry and comfortable on the slopes is almost as important as looking sick….. Get your choice of clothing wrong and you can have a miserable day or even worse look like a skier. Fortunately the following British brands will help with both.
This section covers companies that offer outer layers such as gloves, jackets and pants, many of them also provide inner layers. With the outer layer you really get what you pay for. Something that is 5000mm waterproof will be cheap but only be suitable in good weather, where as 30,000mm waterproof will cost a fortune but keep you dry even if you end up in water.
It is hard to categorise ‘quality’ but for the purposes of this article if we say low quality it does not mean the garments are awful, we are talking about how waterproof they are. Under 7,000mm we classify as low quality, mid quality is 7,000-17,000mm waterproof and high quality is over 17,000mm waterproof.
The action sport arm of legendary British outdoor brand Regatta, Dare 2b offers an extensive range of low to high quality snow sport clothing. With everything from jackets, fleeces, base layers and trousers to hats, glove and socks, you can get yourself completely kitted out with your technical clothing in one place at a decent price. Discover more at www.dare2b.com
A major player in the mountain sports world, Berghaus has it’s headquarters in Sunderland. Founded by climbers back in the 60s, Berghaus has a reputation for producing high quality, warm and waterproof clothing – you get top specs but you pay top whack.
Although they don’t make specific snowboarding gear their range of jackets, gloves, trousers, baselayers and midlayers are designed for mountaineering in the harshest environments, so will keep you warm and dry on the piste. Find out more at: www.berghaus.com
Based in London Surfanic specialises in technical snowsport clothing. Offering low to high quality gear that is affordable, Surfanic’s brand has been gathering momentum and looks set to become a big name in the British market and overseas. With testing teams based all over the world, their products are getting better and better. Find out more at: www.surfanic.com
First formed in Glasgow in 1938, Trespass is another big name in mountain gear. It’s one of the UK’s most successful outdoor retailers with a reputation for quality and value. They produce a huge selection of snowboarding jackets, trousers, gloves, hats, socks, base and mid layers and even helmets and goggles – if you need it, they make it.
In the past I have owned a Trespass snowboarding jacket, a pair of their hiking boots and a fleece and it’s all been good solid gear performing as well as I would expect. In terms of technical specs they offer low to mid quality, so you can buy better, but if you are looking for good value then Trespass is very hard to beat. Find out more at: www.trespass.com
Named after founder Rab Carrington who developed the brand in the 70s after getting stranded in Argentina without his gear, Rab has quite a pedigree. These days they manufacture the highest quality men’s and women’s mountain wear that prides itself on optimum performance whatever the weather. Check out www.rab.uk.com
Ok, these guys were originally a Canadian brand but they were purchased by a British company which is why they are now one of the UK snowboard brands. And with a selection of top quality snowboard wear as good as this we welcome them with open arms.
Their range of jackets comes in colours and styles that are bang up to the minute, all made using the very best materials offering up to 30k waterproof and 30k breathability. The price tags are a little higher to reflect the quality but are very competitive for the quality. More info: www.westbeach.com
This is pretty much ‘a what you see is what your get’ name for a company. These guys make stuff that keeps you warm and safe on the mountain, and that includes a range of backcountry and freeride snowboard clothing. Their high quality gore tex jackets and pants, thermals and technical mid-layers will keep you warm and dry in the most adverse of conditions. Visit their site www.mountain-equipment.co.uk
Founded way back in 1958, Tog 24 know a thing or two about outdoor clothing. It’s still a family run British company and their philosophy is that everyone should discover life in their own way. They have a good choice of mid-range quality snowboarding gear that is suitable for most riders, all at very competitive prices: www.tog24.com
A big name in extreme sportswear over the last few decades, Animal is still producing decent snowboard wear. Get kitted out with base layers, trousers, jackets, gloves and socks. It’s mid-range quality gear that is suitable for most boarders and all reasonably priced. Find out more about Animal at www.animal.co.uk
Not the most British of names we know but founded by two former Royal Marine Commandos and lifelong mountaineers, this is a true UK snowboard brand. They developed their range to protect against the ‘raging brutality’ of mountain weather after an expedition in Norway. The range include top quality hardshell jackets and trousers, down jackets, as well as other accessories like beanies. Discover more at www.jottnar.com
Saami is new brand that’s been created by snow sports instructors to use the best technology at a good value price. They sell one jacket in black blue or red. It has a mid quality waterproof rating of 14,000mm, breathability rating of 11,000, it’s 100% windproof and uses Thinsulate insulation. Find out more: www.saamisnow.co.uk
Cold hands when snowboarding are never nice and decent gloves are the key. Transform’s range of styled gloves and mitts look different but are still incredibly effective at keeping the cold at bay. They also produce a range of hoods, neckwarmers and hats to keep off the cold. Find out more at: www.transformgloves.com
UK snowboard brands: Technical clothing inner layers
The base layer is arguably the most important layer. Wear a cotton t-shirt for a day and you will sweat and the moisture won’t escape making you cold very quickly. Getting the right base layer will leave you dry and warm, it will also ensure you don’t get too hot or smelly.
Specialising in base layers, optics and apparel, Burnt Custard are a new UK snowboarding brand that’s doing things differently. Their men’s and women’s base layers are designed and printed in the UK, hitting the mark style wise, and uniquely are also suitable as rash vests for surfing.
They have a next to skin fit which provides compression and aids recovery. The material is a 4-way stretch fabric so won’t restrict movement or go out of shape, plus it is quick drying and machine washable making it easy to look after.
As well as looking good in either black or yellow (custard), performance, quality and durability are the watchwords for this growing UK company. As they put it, join the movement by visiting www.burntcustardclothing.co.uk
EDZ Clothing are specialists in merino wool outdoor gear. This Cumbria-based company is most famous for it’s huge range of base and midlayers many of which are perfect for snowboarding. They have been tried and tested on countless expeditions, in the most challenging conditions, all over the world – so you’ll be fine on the mountain.
I personally have an EDZ 200g ultra fine merino wool baselayer. I find it supremely comfortable and both warm in the cold and cool when I get hot – perfect for snowboarding. It wicks away sweat very well and doesn’t pick up any smells along the way – even after multiple days of shredding.
EDZ Clothing also make fleeces, hats, neck warmers, balaclavas and helmet liners so you can both layer up and buy British. Get layering at: www.edzlayering.com
KYMIRA specialise in performance enhancing base layers and winter thermals. Keep your feet, legs and core warm with KYnergy infrared technology imbedded in the fabric. It is proven to speed recovery and improve performance by up to 20%, because the infrared it reflects back to your body improves circulation and increased tissue oxygen. Go infrared at: www.kymirasport.com
Baselayers may be an unglamorous part of your gear, but as the clothing closest to your skin they serve a vital function of moving the sweat away from your body keeping you warm and dry. Amel have ripped up the rule book to produce a range of stylish baselayers with graphic patterns and designs. They do the job when you’re on the slope and look good when hanging out afterwards.
Amel uses a super smart micro-knit merino wool to keep a warm layer of air next to the skin, using breathable materials it allows the moisture to escape. All pretty standard for baselayers so far, however where they differ is in the cut and design. Specifically made with a snowboarders fit, they are extra long to tuck into your pants, and slightly baggier then the traditional skin-tight ski baselayers. Find out more at www.amelsnow.com
I have a Amel Backline thermal and have found it does as good a job at keeping me warm and dry as traditional baselayers. But because of its extra length it does not ride up and become untucked. The merino wool is as soft as an otters pocket and I had no chaffage from the seams. Best of all it looks great, so when I recently hit the Tignes Après scene I didn’t feel like a doughnut strutting around in a tight fitting baselayer.
One of the biggest names on outdoor wear and proud to be British, Karrimor have a selection of relatively cheap gear suitable snowboarding. You can pick up fairly good baselayers and midlayers on the cheap, plus snow boots, gloves, beanies and other cold weather gear. Visit: www.karrimor.com
Ok, so it’s fair to say socks aren’t the most exciting part of your kit, but like baselayers they are very important – try boarding in normal socks and you will quickly find out why. Brit pair Dan Wakeham and Nick Atkins decided to make socks bright and fun and so Scene Socks was born. There’s the banana sock, the Rastafarian sock, the koi and even a pint of ale sock alongside designs worn by some of the UK’s top pro riders. Warm and stylish feet – now that’s a good combo. Find them at www.scenesocks.com
Cold feet are at best distracting and at worst painful, and they can really spoil a great day’s boarding. That’s why good quality, warm and dry socks are essential. Sockmine are a UK company that make socks in Nottinghamshire (rumour is they are knitted by elves), that are specially designed for a range of sports. Their range of winter sports include snowboard specific socks that offer support, warmth and comfort particular to snowboarders needs. Find out more at: www.thesockmine.co.uk
I have a pair of the Darth Vader snowboarding socks by SockMine. Born pre Star Wars and named Luke I was destined to be a sucker for anything Star Wars related, but I wear them because they are designed for snowboarding.
In comparison to ski socks they offer more cushioning across the top of the foot, in the toes and heal and less on the shin and ankle. As a result they feel slightly thicker than ski socks in those areas, which is a little weird at first, but over a long days riding they are very comfortable. I recommend you use the SockMine force.
Teko boldly claim their mission is to make the ‘best socks on the planet’ and you know what? They’re not far off. They make socks for all sorts of sports but it’s the ski/snowboard socks that matter to this article. Have a read of our review of Teko eco-friendly socks to find out why we liked them so much.
The range includes official Freeride World Tour socks – which we tested and loved – and a variety of Merino ski socks available in men’s, women’s and kids’ sizes. All have strategic cushioning for extra comfort and are highly breathable wicking sweat away to avoid sweaty and cold feet.
An added bonus is they are sourced responsibly and eco-friendly. But don’t take our word of it, Teko are one of the few companies to score 9/9 eco-rating from GreenroomVoice, an independent body that audit brands environmental credentials. Explore the Teko collection.
UK snowboard brands: Goggles, helmets & protection
Protecting your eyes from the intense glare of the sun, your head from obstacles, your wrists from falls and, well, every other part of your body from something. Although almost everyone wears goggles the rest of the protection side of snowboarding gear is optional. Here are some British brands to investigate.
Specialising in goggles Burnt Custard are a new UK snowboard brand who want to make winter sports more affordable and more sustainable. Of course while still providing top quality optics.
Based on the best selling Oakley Airbrake. They provide injection molded frame for comfort and rigidity, panoramic frameless vision, dual flow anti fog technology, triple layer vented foam to keep snow and draft out, and flexible strap fixing so the goggle conforms to your face offering maximum protection.
But what makes them truly unique is all the parts of the goggles are sold separately. This means if you scratch a lens, wear out the foam through serious slope time, or just fancy a different colour strap to match your outfit, then you can buy just the part you need.
All of this makes the goggles more sustainable in the long run as you are not binning the entire thing when one part needs replacing. They do all of this at the bargain price of £70 – about half that of the big brands. They look good, perform well and are durable. Join the Burnt Custard movement at www.burntcustardclothing.co.uk
An innovative and forward-thinking snowsports brand, Summit is increasingly becoming a global name. Based in the UK their aim is to produce better products than their competitors at a fair price. So far, so good. Their Evolve and Expose frameless goggles have a superior panaoramic view, look great and offer 100% protection from all harmful UV A, B, and C rays. Find out more at: www.summitworldwide.eu
Keep your peepers safe from UV damage with the stylish range from Melon Optics. And if you can’t see any goggles that catch your eye, then why not design your own pair? All their gear is made to the highest possible specifications, providing exceptional quality eyewear, at affordable prices. Find out more: www.melonoptics.co.uk
SunGod goggles feature innovative 4KO® lenses that enhance contrast and clarity in all conditions. Pick from their stock options or design your own goggles by choosing the lens, strap and frame. Plus pick up accessories such as tough cases and spares. Create your own goggles at www.sungod.co
SportViz make a wide range of prescription eyewear for various action sports and outdoor activities, including snowboarding goggles. They use prescription inserts that sit within the goggles to provide perfect vision, the inserts can also be used in their scuba masks, MTB glasses and much more.One of our team reviewed SportViz goggles last year and despite his eyes not being that bad (he only recently started wearing them for driving) he found his riding improved considerably by being able to see properly. From my point of view, it meant I didn’t have to keep shouting ‘this way Nathan’, as he could now see where we were going. Buy some for yourself at: www.sportviz.com
British-based Ruroc has been designing fully-integrated snowboard helmets since 2006. They’re so good, they’ve been modified for F1 pit crew use by McLaren and Red Bull. The combined helmet, chin guard and goggles look is easily identifiable and is becoming a common sight on the mountain.
Last season I tested the Ruroc lid to find out what it is all about. To be honest I was not a huge fan but it was slightly too small for my neck which caused a few problems, check out my Ruroc RG1-X helmet review for more detail. Despite that I respect what they are doing by increasing protection and making helmet wearing more popular. Check out the range at www.ruroc.com
UK snowboard brands: Maintenance & travel
Looking after your board and keeping it in good shape means it lasts longer and rides better. This section is not just about maintenance but also getting your snowboarding gear safely from A to B and protecting it against grumpy baggage handlers.
Established in 2011, Butta set out to bring us greener waxes to help keep our shred sticks in top top condition while helping to do the same for the environment. The Butta wax is made for all conditions and all styles of riding, it is long lasting, easy to apply, fast and reliable. If that’s not enough it even smells nice – spread some Butta on your board and you won’t be disappointed.
Starting with snowboards, Butta have moved into the surf and skate markets too – of course with environmentally friendly products. They’ve also introduced a clothing range including T’s, onesies, sweaters and caps. But it’s their great green waxes that are their bread and, well, Butta. Find out more at: www.butta.co.uk
DataWax make waxes for every snowsport lover, from absolute beginners to expert riders, and for all conditions. They have also created a range of tuning equipment, with everything you need to make your board run as well as possible. The emphasis is on getting the most from your equipment, so visit www.datawax.com
Manufactured in the UK, Nikwax make a range of products to waterproof all sorts of winter and outdoor sports equipment, including bags, clothes, tents, boots and more. Apply it to your snowboarding kit and you’ll get maximum performance and longevity from all your gear. All their products are water-based so there are no nasty chemicals and the impact on the planet is limited.
I have been using Nikwax for years and I am always surprised how good a job it does. I recently applied it to an old pair of snowboard trousers, that as the end of last season were behaving more like a sponge than waterproof clothing, they are now back to their best with moisture beading off like new. Find out more at: www.nikwax.com
Lugging your snowboarding kit to the airport, getting it checked in, onto transfer buses and moving it around resort is all quite a faff. It is not helped by different airlines having different rules regarding weight and size. So up step Snokart, based in the UK, they make a range of luggage solutions that give you the flexibility to make the most of the rules through lightweight but robust bags that can attach to each other and which have adjustable lengths. Find out more at: www.snokart.com
UK snowboard brands: Fashion
A culture of youth style and street fashion has grown around snowboarding. It draws inspiration from skate and surf origins and has a younger more down to earth feel than the posh ski look of old. Here are the UK snowboard fashion brands helping you look good off the slopes.
Mountain White Co.
As a British company run by snowboarders and outdoor enthusiasts, Mountain White Co. deserves it’s spot on our British snowboard brands article. They have created a range of clothing that could be worn on the slopes (during good weather), when hanging around after a shred session or to look good back home in blighty.
Their range includes the typical snowboarder fashion items of t-shirts, hoodies and beanies, but they also produce shirts that are intended as outerwear and are ideal for a spring shred. Most of their clothing made in the UK with some some of the range from United States. The aim is always to produce premium quality gear that is hard wearing and looks good.
I have one of their T-shirts and a light weight jumper and can testify to their quality. The jumper is very soft – even after multiple washes – and has yet to fade or go out of shape which tends to happen with cheaper gear. The T-shirt is heavy duty cotton and feels like it is going to last well, and despite preferring lightweight tees I find it really comfy. Find out more at: www.mountainwhite.co.uk
This Yorkshire-based brand combines snowboarding and deathpunk. Their range of beanies was inspired by the one Jack Nicholson wore in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. So, it’s safe to say that not much about this brand is ordinary. They’ve also got a range of other clothing products to choose from at dalikfodda.com
With the tag line ‘Dare to be Different’ you know Stalefish are offering something a little out of the ordinary. They’ve kept the collections simple, offering T shirts, jackets and trousers. They also do a nice line in lightweight and very warm down coats, made of grey goose that offer protection against all types of nasty conditions. Browse the collection: www.stalefish.uk.com
Established in 2008, Funi is an ethical beanie and headwear company that does things a little differently. Everything is hand knitted by a team of British ladies on our fair isle. If you visit the site they have pictures of the knitting team – they all look like you favourite aunty or gran, who’ll would feed you tea and cake until you are fit to burst.
Funi use sustainable products, including vegetable ink and source the yarn from the north of England. There’s an extensive range of beanies, headbands, face and neck warmers to choose from or you can design your own using their online custom beanie builder. I have a Funi beanie myself, it looks and feels great and has an authentic hand crafted feel that reminds me of things my nan knitted when I was a kid. Check them out at www.funiwear.com
A firm favourite with shredders, Syndicate became known for their graphic designs and their popular Grateful Shred tops. Formed back in 2000, they’ve been around a while but still managed to preserve their boutique appeal. Find out more at www.syndicateclothing.co.uk
Founded by rider and designer James Shaw as an outlet for his creative flair, Love Inc. is a small UK brand with a big sense of humour. Check out their ‘SKIING IS A BIT SHIT’ t-shirt to see what we mean. Growing all the time, this is one to watch. See the range of products at www.loveincsnowboardcompany.com
Founded in 2012, D4Seven provide fresh styles and apparel for fellow riders. It’s a UK run brand for UK riders, who listen to what you want and then provide it. They use only hand-picked fabrics and trusted manufacturers to deliver high quality products. Their range consists of T-shirts, tall tees, hoodies and sweatshirts. Learn more at d4seven.co.uk
It’s a good name for a fashion brand, who set up shop in 2012 to make clothes for people who like ‘snow, music, drinking beer and having a laugh’. Sounds good to me. Their classic flannel shirts, beanie and cap range add a touch of urban style to the mountains. See the selection at www.misguidedfools.com
Brit brand Park are all about earth tones and skate graphics, but don’t let that fool you. Everything they make is high end in terms of quality and design, and they keep close to their brand goals and identity. As well as beanies, they also make t-shirts, hoodies and more. Check out the styles at www.wearepark.co.uk
A couple of boarders from Kent are the brains behind Moog Royale, who make high quality screen printed tees and simple sweaters, all printed in the UK. Each run is limited so you have to be quick if you want one – but it does mean you won’t see everyone wearing the same t-shirt as you. Get yours at www.moogroyale.com
At bro! the ethos is to take a step back from the serious side of snowboarding to reconnect with having fun. bro! was born when the two brothers began hand-stitching their labels onto their first run of beanies and sold them to their mates. Their range of clothing is colourful, original and a bit of fun with mittens, caps, sweaters, hoodies, tees and tie-dyed vests now added to their inventory. Visit the BroceryStore.eu
Go UK, Buy UK campaign
Of course you can also support British companies buy buying from UK retailers. Even if you are not buying a UK snowboard brand you are still putting money into the British economy.
With that in mind a new campaign ‘Go UK, Buy UK‘ has been launched to encourage British skiers and snowboarders to buy all their gear on home soil. Launched in association with Snowsports Industries of Great Britain it’s aimed at raising awareness of the benefits of buying British.
The main reasons for doing this are more than just about price, it’s also to do with getting the best advice about your purchases as well as guaranteed quality and comfort. When you buy British, you also get after sales support and a worry free warranty that you might not get if you shopped abroad.
To ensure you’re buying British, support the campaign and find a list of UK snowboard retailers check out: www.sigb.org.uk
So there you have it, there is now no excuse not to buy British when shopping for a lot of your snowboarding gear. These UK snowboard brands are only those I know about or could find with a little research, I am sure there are lots more out there so please get in touch and let us know of any we have missed.