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  • The key to the future of snowboarding is Snowflex. I mean you just wouldn’t dream of doing some of the things they are doing without Snowflex.
    – Adrian Cairns
    Photographer and Snowsports writer
  • If Snowflex® had been available 12 years ago, I would have not bothered with snow. This is fantastic.
    – Cor Mollin, Proprietor of the Belgian Indoor Snow Centres
  • We are very happy with our Snowflex summer tubing hill. It is attracting visitors from across the country!
    – Trueman E. Hoffmeister
    Center Director
    Snow Mountain Ranch, YMCA of the Rockies
  • The repeat business has been unbelievable, tasters develop to plough II, plough II's develop to plough III and they develop up to basic swings and even parallels, on a nursery slope!
    – Steve Foulkes - Director Rossendale Ski Centre
  • Snowflex is a great place for all levels of skiing and snowboarding. It provides and safe and fun environment that is extremely affordable.
    – Drew Sherwood
    General Manager, Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre, Lynchburg, VA
  • "Thank you Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre for the good times today. Can't wait to come back!!!"
    – Louie Vito
    American professional snowboarder, Olympian, Winter X Games and U.S. Grand Prix Champion.
  • for the first time we have a safe, clean surface that people will come back to time and time again.
    – John Shedden
    Director of Coaching for the English Ski Council
  • That's the brilliant thing about it, there is so much scope to give people different experiences.
    – John Larkin
    Founder & Ex-Chairman Kendal Ski Club
  • I can see it's better just looking out of my window because people are learning quicker.
    – John Fleetham
    former Managing Director of Sheffield Ski Village
  • A final note to all would be developers, build a slope like this and people will visit - it's really that simple
    – Russ Shea, Document Snowboard
  • Snowflex has changed the future of the ski, and snowboard industry forever.
    – Drew Sherwood
    General Manager, Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre, Lynchburg, VA

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Home > About > History

History

Brief history of BRITON Snowflex®

1979 Portable ski lift launched at the Daily Mail International Ski Show Earl's Court London
1981 Started manufacturing ski lifts for the urban snow sports industry
1984 Became agents for Doppelmayr, world's leading passenger ropeway manufacturer
1986 Invented BritonMist water lubrication for synthetic ski slopes
1987 Became designers and builders of urban snow sport centers
1989 Heavily involved in the construction of Britain's newest ski resort Nevis Range
1993 Snowflex® development began
1996 Snowflex® launched

The History of BRITON in more detail

Humble Beginnings - The 70's and 80's

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1979 saw the launch of BRITON Engineering Developments Ltd, 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 today.

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 at the time, 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/ski resort. This was a great recognition of the skills and expertise the company held.

Developments - The 90s

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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.

Global Expansion – Into the New Millennium

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The new millennium saw Snowflex® marketed and installed in a variety of locations worldwide. BRITON's projects have extended to countries as far afield as Hong Kong as well as the landmark installation at Noeux Les Mines France, Virginia's Liberty University in Lynchburg, USA and AltinOran, Ankara, Turkey.

The world of snowboarding and skiing constantly evolves in both slope design and equipment and BRITON has continued to maintain its unique position in snowsports evolution. The company has made itself a significant part of international snowsports. The experience and expertise has been proven through over 250 snow sports projects, with numerous new developments on the horizon.