Snow Flex Dry Ski Slopes

Posted: Thursday, 29 September 2011 by Mark Kinnon in Labels: ,

1979 saw the launch of BRITON Engineering Developments, but the story begins 10 years earlier.
When British winters were reliable for heavy snowfall, enthusiastic engineer Brian Thomas combined his two main passions, skiing and engineering. The goal was to get the most out of the seasonal snow. After various experiments he created the perfect solution, the BRITON Portable Ski Lift. It was an instant success and used Worldwide including the French and Japanese Winter Olympics in ‘92 and ‘98.

Ski lifts remained the sole objective of the company and when synthetic slopes started using the Portable, BRITON saw a new opportunity, leading to the invention of the QueueDodger in 1981 and the BritonButton in 1985. Both lifts are still widely used.

The company’s dedication to innovation was acknowledged in 1984 when Doppelmayr appointed them sole UK Agent, a position still proudly held with the world’s leading ropeway manufacturer.

BRITON increased its involvement with synthetic slopes as UK winters became less reliable for snow. The invention of BritonMist, the remarkable slope lubrication system was heralded by the industry as “The Biggest Advance in the Dry Slope Industry for 25 Years”.

The company went from strength to strength as it rounded off the decade with a key role in building Nevis Range, the UK’s newest mountain resort. This was a great recognition of the skills and expertise the company held.

1990 saw BRITON turn its attention back to the synthetic slope market. Seeing a chance to improve on current slope styles BRITON seized the opportunity to expand its design and build packages to create more exciting slopes..

This move was rewarded with the 6000m2 Søhøjlandet Snowsports center contract in Denmark and included the creation of features such as moguls, jumps and a half pipe previously seen only on mountain snow. The project was another great success, although injury rates highlighted the problems with outdated surfaces. BRITON could see that urban snowsports were still far from their potential; the challenge to improve the industry was too tempting to resist.

In 1996 after several years of intense development, encouraged by two UK Department of Trade and Industry awards, the revolutionary snowsports surface Snowflex® was launched transforming the possibilities of synthetic slopes.

When interviewed about Snowflex®, John Shedden, Director of Coaching for the English Ski Council said;

“…for the first time we have a safe, clean surface that people will come back to time and time again.”

Tired of the painful products manufactured as a sideline by the brush, plastic and carpet industries, BRITON had engineered Snowflex® on a clean sheet basis. This achieved the key criteria of producing a cost-effective, high quality urban snowsports experience.