By clicking "Accept", you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyse site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.
Inside Snow: Andy Collin Inside Snow: Andy Collin

Inside Snow: Andy Collin

April 2024

Carving up the slopes since the age of four, Andy’s passion for skiing led him from skipping college to ski at Castleford Snow Dome to becoming a competitive freestyle skier. Due to injury, he set to work carving out his own niche to stay involved in the industry. Honing his skills in sales with Groove Armada before founding his own company, Black Peak Trading, in 2018, representing K2 Sports brands in the UK. His career so far underscores the importance of seizing opportunities, accumulating knowledge, and embracing the camaraderie of the UK snowsports community. We caught up with him to find out more.

SIGB: Have you always been a skier, Andy?

AC: Since I was about four years old. I started on a family holiday at a small resort in Austria called St Johan. I went on school trips through my youth and then, when the Castleford snow dome opened, I used to skive off college and spend all my time there. I got a job at the rental department and I just went skiing all the time. I met skiers like Mike Wakefield, one of the UK’s best skiers at the time, and Joe Tyler, who’s now a coach for athletes like Kirsty Muir. That inspired me to become a freestyle skier, so I started hitting rails, doing jumps, and then got involved in competing and making films.

SIGB: How did you make the transition from competing on the circuit to working in the industry?

AC: Unfortunately, I had some bad injuries that forced me to rethink how I could be part of this world. I skied until I was 23 when I had a big crash and ended up having a few surgeries. In 2012, the guys at Groove Armada sales and distribution either, felt sorry for me, or saw something in my sales potential, and thought they’d give me a chance. They were really small at the time and brought me in to be a sales manager for Armada Skis and Orage. I worked for them for the best part of ten years.

SIGB: So, what happened next?

AC: In 2018 I saw that K2 were potentially needing new representation. I reached out to them and pitched for the business. That ended up being successful, so later that year I started Black Peak Trading.

SIGB: What gave you the confidence to pitch yourself as the right representative for K2Sports’ brands?

AC: I think it was down to being fully involved in the process of pitching for new brands when I worked with Groove.

Learning on the job was especially important. It’s funny, there’s not really any qualifications you need for being in sales, it’s all about how you deal with people, how much knowledge you can absorb and then communicate.

SIGB: What’s your best advice for somebody looking to take a similar path to you?

AC: I think you need to fill your head with as with as much knowledge as possible around the snowsports gear that you want to sell.

Make the contacts where you can and look for the opportunities. If your eyes are open and you make yourself visible, things often pop up.

Generally, if you want to work in the industry though, you've got do a few hard years of doing it just because you love it (and not for much money). And then, if you're lucky, you'll branch into something that actually works for you as a career.

SIGB: What's the best thing about working in the UK snowsports industry?

AC: It's a really friendly small community of like-minded people. We're all very happy to chat to each other, ski together, party together. It’s great that we all get together a couple of times a year, most people are in it because they just love to ski or snowboard.

SIGB: What do you think has helped you most to progress your career so far?

AC: I think just being prepared to go the extra yards. When I was working for Groove at the start it was a small company so there was a lot to keep on top of, from all the training in stores, to shipping out items in the warehouse.

You do the six weeks in a row with two days off because you want to, and that extra effort really makes a difference.

Keep up with Andy over at @blackpeaktrading


More news