Brian Findlay – rides two planks with training heels!
A local resident of Niseko, Brian is integrally involved in Hokkaido’s winter tourism industry. Not only is he a member of the Niseko Winter Guides Association, but he pioneered the first foreign license instructor training academy in Japan – Niseko Instructor Training Academy.
Brian’s done over 34 seasons around the world (12 in Japan) as an instructor, guide and ski patroller (he’s the only non-Japanese person to work in the Niseko Patrol team). He is ISIA qualified with the NZSIA and has spent 17 years of back to back winters trotting the globe in search of the ultimate locations. Brian speaks good Japanese from working as the only foreign instructor in several Japanese ski schools (or some would say thanks to his lovely Japanese wife) and is 100% committed to his life as an ex-pat ski bum in Hokkaido.
Keith Stubbs – slides sideways dragging his hands!
A seasoned snowboarder based in Wanaka, NZ, Keith first fell in love with Japan in 2007. He’s been coming back every year since and has even written a book about the place called Snow-search Japan – a unique ski/snowboard guidebook covering over 70 resorts across the Japan. The book has allowed him to travel extensively throughout the country and has given him extensive knowledge on many off-the-beaten-track locations.
Outside of his writing, Keith coaches and trains instructors down in NZ, working for Snowboard Instruction New Zealand, the Snowboard division of the NZSIA – check out his profile here. He’s done over 20 seasons in a number of locations around the world, but is pretty much addicted to Japan and doesn’t see himself going anywhere else in the Northern Hemisphere winters. Keith also rides for Rome Snowboards, Adidas Eyewear and Atmosphere Clothing.
Biff Russell – does lunges with granola in his pockets!
Biff “we don’t need no training heels” Russell splits his year between a sleep-out in Wanaka and a cabin in the woods of up-state New York. Instructing and coaching since “god was in short pants” he has accumulated 36 seasons between both hemispheres.
With ISIA stamps for both Alpine and Telemark, he is a Nordic Downhill Examiner for PSIA, certified by NZSIA, and a NATO Clinic Leader. Years ago, as one of the original “Belleayrians”, Biff left the comfort of the Catskill Mountains in search of the best snow he could find. Travels took him all over the world and after spending the ’09/10 season in Hokkaido training Japanese Telemark Instructors he believes he has found Tele Nirvana. Come explore the qualities and culture of Japan with a like minded band of knee dipping tree fairies.