Meet The Team

Meet The Boot Lab Team

 

Gavin Fernie-Jones

Best thing about boot fitting?
I like working with different materials, we work with lots of different plastics, foams, and metals. Using a variety of tools from sanders, grinders, heat guns to screwdrivers and spanners.
Which countries you have skied in?
France, Japan, Canada, Italy and Iceland. And next up in April Norway, we've just booked our flights to Tromso and we'll be ski touring in the Lyngen Alps.

How many years have you boot-fitted?

This will be my 7th season boot-fitting, for one season I fitted boots in Banff, Canada. The following 6 have been since we setup in the 3 valleys.

What is your favourite part of boot-fitting?

I like working with different materials, we work with lots of different plastics, foams, and metals. Using a variety of tools from sanders, grinders, heat guns to screwdrivers and spanners. As a boot fitter you do alot of the work with your hands. And is really interesting to see how far you can manipulate the different parts of the boot to help create the perfect fit.

What are your current skis?

The Amplid Facelifts, I use these as my touring skis and they’re are setup with a pair of G3 ION bindings. The Facelift is a lightweight touring ski built with Amplid’s revolutionary Topless Construction which cuts almost half a kilogram of weight from each ski vs conventional ski construction. They’re 108mm underfoot so enough surface area to surf in deep snow, but due to the weight the Facelift literally flies up the skin track.

What is your favourite ski boot?

Tecnica Mach 120 LV – I love the Mach series of boots, both as a bootfitter and a skier. Tecnica made this range of boots for bootfitters. With the equipment we have at The Boot Lab each and every part of the boot is adjustable. The shell features areas that are easy to heat up due to the dimpled finish, this makes it possible for us to stretch the shell easily. The boot board inside the boot can be sanded to provide extra volume across the top of the foot. But one of my favourite parts of a Mach is the liner, it features Tecnica’s C.A.S material which gives the liner added rigidity and really increases the level of fit. With all these adjustable parts to the boot and our equipment we’re able to make this boot fit precisely. As a skier I really like the precise fit of this boot. It helps create a real connection with my skis and the snow.

Top Tip for boot care

Wear clean ski socks everyday! Don’t ski in the same pair of socks for the entire week, the foot sweats throughout the day, even in cold temperatures, and that sweat is absorbed by the sock. Wearing the same sock the following day can cause movement in a ski boot and cold feet.

Tom Pinches

What is your favourite part of boot-fitting?
Well, obviously it's seeing our customers' happy faces when their new boots have given them the best ski day ever! Aside from the customer satisfaction, I also love being able to test the latest new gear and giving feedback to the manufacturers to help develop the skis and boots of the future.
How many winter seasons have you done?
I've done 13 winters, all here in the Three Valleys!

Which countries have you skied in?

Well, mostly in France! But I’ve also skied Austria, Italy, America, New Zealand and most recently, Japan.

Which ski are you most looking forward to this winter?

Last year I was lucky enough to test a new ski from Head called The Kore which I was seriously impressed by. They’re exactly what I’m after: light yet skiable (which is normally quite hard to come by). My decision now is what length and width to opt for!

What are your current skiboots?

The new Tecnica Cochise. It performs just as well as a downhill boot even though it has a walk function. It’s a perfect all-rounder for me: it clips into an alpine binding when I’m taking new skis out for a test AND has tech inserts for skinning and my own personal skis. It’s also super light and has the best standard liner I’ve ever used. Perfect!

Top tip for boot care?

Make sure that they’re dry when you put them on in the morning. BUT please be wary of boot warmers in chalets or hotels, which can affect the mouldings inside. Instead, put them in a warm spot (eg. underfloor heating or near the radiator) or think about investing in specialist boot dryers which will also be a good way of ensuring they’re fully dried out once you put them into storage at home.

What type of skiing do you like?

Tree skiing on a snowy day, skiing huge faces on a bluebird powder day and if there’s no powder to be found, then putting in as many turns as possible on finely-tuned slalom skis. I also like skiing off mountains with my paraglider or speed wing, but I’m not sure that really counts?

Grant Purvis

How many ski seasons have you done?
Five across Switzerland, Austria and France.
Top Tip for boot care?
Keep them buckled! Walking around town, dancing at Apres, and even once they are off for the night. This will keep them in shape, as well as prolong the integrity of your custom fit.

What are your favourite skis?

The Amplid Rockwell – I’m not much of a planner, particularly when it comes to deciding how I’m going to spend my day on the hill. For this reason, I need a true ‘all Mountain’ ski and nothing says all Mountain like the Rockwell! I consider Amplid as a real sleeping beauty among the more well-known brands, and they continue to raise the bar for versatility. Controlled and stable on the piste, flexible but strong enough to pop in the park and truly unsinkable in the powder. They are ultra-responsive and handle even the worst abuse I can give them. Most importantly they are robust! I’m a magnet for rocks in even the deepest powder and the Rockwell’s sintered base brushes them off better than any other ski I have tested. A winner for an all-round skier like me, looking for a single ski for every occasion.

Which new ski boot excites you the most this winter?

This season I am looking forward to upping my Ski Touring game, therefore I cannot wait to step into the New Scarpa Maestrale RS2’s. Scarpa continue to set the bench mark for touring boots and have added a batch of new technical features which are as intriguing as they are useful. With its unprecedented 130 flex, single ‘wave’ buckle and improved heel retention strap all at a pinch above 1400 grams the Maestrale 2 promises to be the best fitting and lightest boot on the market. They could be the perfect weapon if I plan on keeping up with the rest of the Boot Lab team.

What is your favourite part of boot-fitting?

This may sound slightly cliched but I really enjoy customer satisfaction. We’re lucky at The Boot Lab as we get to see our customers straight after they come off the hill, fresh from a day in their new ski boots. And there is nothing I enjoy more than big grins! The instant feedback we get really helps us improve at our job, we’re able to learn and to continue to offer the best service possible.

 

Meet the Team at The Boot LabAdam Naden
How many years have you boot-fitted?
Five seasons, in Canada and Meribel.

Top Tip for boot care?
Struggling with cold feet? We can fit heated pads into your custom made insoles.

 

Meet The Team at The Boot Lab

Graeme Stenhouse

Where have you skied?
Zell Am See, Mayrhofen, Kitzbuhel, Fiebeberbrunn, Chatel/Morzine, Meribel/Courchevel, Zermatt, Banff
Favourite Ski?
My favourite ski is the 4front Gaucho. Perfect for those playful days but also stiff enough for when you want to charge around the mountain. I find myself skiing these more than any other ski from the shop. We have lots of skis on test so why not come and test a pair?

What is your favourite part of boot-fitting?

Boot fitting can be a tricky yet very rewarding job, correctly fitted ski boots make a world of difference to skiing. I enjoy knowing that sometimes customers have been so frustrated with their skiing and by fitting a ski boot I’ve helped them fall back in love with skiing and the mountains.

What type of skiing do you like?

I like all types of skiing, from ripping around on fresh groomers with well serviced carving skis, to lapping the infamous Fork Tree on a powder day.

What is your favourite ski boot?

Technica Mach LV the perfect boot to lock in my skinny little chicken legs giving me maximum responsiveness from my skis. Also a brilliant boot from a fitters point of view.

Top Tip?

Make your appointment at The boot Lab in the first half of your stay, and come back to us for free of charge adjustments, should you have any niggles. 

Meet the Team at The Boot Lab
Scott Naismith

Top Tip?
As much as we all love apres, dancing in your ski boots late into the night is not the best way to get the longest life out of your boots. The longer you spend in your boots, the faster the liners pack out shortening the performance life of your boot. At the end of the day remember to store your boots in a warm dry place so they have time to dry before stepping back into them in the morning.

Which Resorts have you skied in?

I learnt to ski in Courchevel when I was 3 years old and since then have been lucky enough to ski all over the alps with return trips to La Plagne, Les Arcs, Cervinia, Champoluc, Chamonix, Les Deux Alps, Alp d’Huez, Val d’Isere and Tignes but I’m yet to find a resort I prefer to the Three Valleys.

Favourite Ski?

I have spent almost all of my ski career riding soft noodle style park skis and to clip into the directional, stiff-tailed, rocker tipped charger that is the Nordica Enforcer completely changed my perspective of what a ski can do. The edge hold, cornering speed and the power transmission achievable on this ski made me rethink my life choices. It is extremely stable at high speed both on piste and through crud and chop. With enough width and early rise rocker to float exceptionally in soft snow and charge through crud and with miles of effective edge and a stiff core this ski doesn’t just handle all conditions, it destroys them. A true one ski quiver, terrifyingly good.

Favourite Ski Boot?

Dalbello Il Morro – This boot took my skiing up a gear. The extra control and power transmission over the ski that this boot gave me was extraordinary. The 3 piece shell design with the Kinetic Response Tongue gives an even, consistent flex to the boot, with no pressure points. This design spreads weight evenly across the whole shin and allows the ankle to flex naturally. For someone like me with skinny ankles the intuition wrap liner allows me to wrap the liner tight around my ankle giving an extremely firm heal hold. The consistent flex and the wrap liner have both contributed to reducing boot-bang compared to all of my previous boots, without compromising on performance and rigidity. This boot will be loved by park rats and powder hounds alike.

What is your favourite part of boot-fitting?

Skiing is my absolute passion, I live and breath it, I am happiest when I’m on the mountain. I also know, from personal experience, that poorly fitted boots have the potential to ruin a days skiing. To enable someone to enjoy their time on the mountain as much as I do by solving a problem or correctly fitting a pair of boots is hugely rewarding. When a customer comes back into the shop, grinning after a great day on the mountain, there is nothing that makes my job more enjoyable. To spread my excitement for skiing and see it on other peoples faces fills me with delight.

What type of skiing do you like?

Skiing is just skiing, park, piste or pow – on their day, theres nothing better. The last few years have been park focused for me but after a run of injuries I am starting to get the message. When it’s on there is nothing better than pulling the fat skis from the back of the ski locker, calling your buddies and lapping your spot. Those sort of days leave my face hurting from grinning. What it boils down to is riding with a good crew. Whether you are mobbing around the mountain, standing at the top of the pipe, hiking for powder turns or sitting on the drag-lift in the driving rain at Hillend. You need your mates there to fist bump, to hoot, to holler, to laugh and to cheer. But more importantly, if you land a 720 in the forest and no one is there to see it, did it really happen?

 

Jen Ashton

How many years have you boot fitted?
6 years, mainly in London, but looking forward to fitting in resort.
What is your favourite part of boot fitting?
Getting hyped with customers about their own holidays and seeing the smile on their faces as you’ve contributed to that journey.

What are your favourite boots?

Dalbello Panterra 120s- love them, the same great shape from seasons past has come into the new 2017/18 boot, but a change in shell materials has dropped their overall weight by about 1/3.

What is your favourite type of skiing?

All mountain – only managed to see snow for the first time 11 years ago, as an Aussie it isn’t always on your doorstep! So still in the process of evolving my skiing.

Which resorts have you skied in?

Aus- Hotham, Falls Creek, Mt buller. NZ- remarks, cardrona, Treble Cone, coronet peak. France- three valleys, Alpe d’huez, tignes/Val d’isere, avoriaz, chamonix, la plagne. Italy- Courmayer. Switzerland- Zermatt. Andorra- pas de la cassa. Finland- Ruka. Austria- Khutai, stubai glacier

Top boot care tip?

Always make sure you’re liner is completely dry before storing for the off season.