Redundancy can feel like a blow but do something positive with your enforced break, and it could change your life.
Mike used his to train as a snowboard instructor with Nonstop and, in the process, developed a revolutionary helmet camera mount and launched a new business.
A new path in life
I discovered snowboarding at the age of 26 on a trip to Borovets in Bulgaria and instantly became obsessed. After that, I began going on snowboard holidays all over the world but it wasn’t until I got made redundant that I thought about becoming an instructor.
This enforced break in my career was a chance to do something different, and maybe even set off on a whole new path in life. So, after a bit of research, I signed up with Nonstop and went to Fernie in Canada to train as a snowboard instructor.
I absolutely loved it out there. The course was amazing, I met some wonderful people, and I genuinely had the best time of my life. Our days were jam-packed with training, riding and socialising but, somehow, I managed to find time to work on a side project: I wanted to design a helmet camera mount that everyone could afford and use to capture those awesome shredding moments on the mountain. The mount would fit all cameras and enable anyone who owns a digital camera to use it as a helmet camera, just like a GoPro. Camera Demon was born.
Our days were jam-packed with training, riding and socialising but, somehow, I managed to find time to work on a side project.
A natural testing lab
Within my first week in Canada I knew that my current design wouldn’t work – after trying it out myself while riding in Fernie’s challenging terrain and deep powder, I realised that it just wasn’t practical.
Fortunately, being in Canada’s powder capital – surrounded by epic mountains, some of the best instructors in the business, plenty of skiers and snowboarders, and all that snow – I was at a huge advantage. It gave me time to rethink the solution, with a team of testing experts and the perfect natural laboratory to fine-tune my design.
After plenty of rigorous testing and seeking advice and feedback from those in-the-know, I created a new design that worked. I’ll always remember the day that I tested it on a day trip with all the Nonstoppers. I was so happy that it worked – I was completely over the moon.
By the end of my Nonstop course, I’d massively boosted my own riding, qualified as a CASI level 2 snowboard instructor, and developed a whole new product for the action sports industry. Not bad for a few amazing months in the mountains.
By the end of my Nonstop course, I’d massively boosted my own riding, qualified as a CASI level 2 snowboard instructor, and developed a whole new product for the action sports industry.
Although I’ve never used my snowboard qualification professionally, I’ve never regretted doing my training. A Nonstop course immerses you in the ski industry like nothing else, and that experience is invaluable.
That season gave me the final push I needed to get Camera Demon off the ground. Since then, it’s also enabled me to teach several of my friends how to snowboard, including my best mate who is registered blind and has about 20% vision in one eye. A true inspiration, he doesn’t let things hold him back, and it’s amazing to share the sport I love with him.
Still going strong
Thanks to my season with Nonstop, Camera Demon really took off. We started selling lots of units and had some great feedback. We also got featured in Easyjet’s in-flight magazine, in Metro’s ‘Top Father’s Day Presents’ and in all Dixons travel outlets. We’re also stocked by Snow + Rock, and you can buy us on Amazon too. There’s even been talk of working with Olympus, which would be amazing.
My Nonstop experience changed my life. Besides being the launch pad for my business, I am now a much better snowboarder than all my mates, which is what really matters.
My Nonstop experience changed my life. Besides being the launch pad for my business, I met some great friends who will be mates with forever, and discovered a lot about myself at the same time. Oh yes, and I am now a much better snowboarder than all my mates, which is what really matters.
Want to develop a snowsports product, train as an instructor or simply be a better rider than your mates? A Nonstop course can make it happen. Contact our team to find out more, or check out our ski instructor courses / snowboard instructor courses.
We look forward to speaking with you.