Sam is one of the best photographers in the snowboard industry, also one of the coolest. His enthusiasm and laid back nature makes working with him a pleasure, not to mention he always “gets the shot”.

It was a 10-week volunteer program in Namibia that started Sam off in his photography career. He started learning the basics of 35mm photography using an analogue Canon E0S 500. The idea that he could express life through images really intrigued him. After a few seasons in the mountains, he began getting involved with photographing snowboarding and the action sports industry. The Reason Magazine was among the snowsports publications he worked with during this time. As well as action sports, he loved working with lifestyle images, all with his unique style that captures that special moment in time.

Fast forward a few years and he has an MA in Photojournalism and various commercial and editorial commissions under his belt. The highlight most definitely being photographing the GB Park and Pipe Team and GB Team for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.  

In 2010 Sam created his own company, Diesel Books in which he's published a number of titles. He has displayed his work in countless exhibitions, worked with some pretty prestigious clients and won many awards.

So as you can see, Sam is an all round photography boss. Also just a really nice, down-to-earth guy. Many of us at The Board Basement have met Sam at various events and we are pleased that he’s our next guest blogger in the never-ending #wearetakingoverthisshow blog project.

Sam Mellish Profile Picture 

This is a blog entry about the Radical Gains book and why it's so important to tell the story: Indeed these are strange times here in Great Britain.


Our island is clearly divided. Yet in a time that we don’t necessarily feel proud about our small nation, this new photography title from Diesel Books, Radical Gains: The GB Park And Pipe Story, offers a ray of light, and shines brightly on the world of British snow-sports. It clearly represents the core values that we can celebrate and really feel proud of. We’re a small nation, often punching well above our weight, and this is no truer than in the world of snow sports. Over the past 20 or so years, we have well and truly placed our names on the international field and come away with global, and Olympic, success.

Radical Gains

It’s not all about the 5 rings though. The work spans almost 30 years of ski and snowboard history with an international photography rooster that will blow your mind. Sharp shooters such as Dan Milner, Pally Learmond, Matt Georges, Mike Weyerhaeuser, Tommy Pyatt, Kirill Umrikhin, Nick Atkins, Natalie Mayer and James North have all contributed. Jamie Johnston even submitted archival negatives from Belgium featuring a young and stylish Danny Wheeler shredding the local dendix at Ski Rossendale. And that’s not all. Our favourite snowboard television host, Ed Leigh joins head GB free-ski coach, Pat Sharples, to offer inspirational insight into the early days and the coming together of the renowned GB Park & Pipe team. While action sports journalist, Matt Barr continues the narrative with quotes from head snowboard coach, Hamish McKnight. And Lesley McKenna rounds the book off, talking Radical Gains and the constant quest for progression, passion and ultimately - what’s at the core of the team - having a good time, all the time.  

 Radical gains Front Cover

Packed with over 180 pages of high octane ski and snowboard photography from the UK to Russia, Iran to Japan, this is a must for anyone with an interest in snow sports and action sports alike. Within the first few pages, the book begins with nods to the dry slope scene, with images of a young Jamie Nicholls and James Woods as they thrash it out on snow flex and dendix.

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There are fantastic archival images of Jenny Jones as she celebrates Britain’s first ever Olympic medal on snow - a moment that brought tears to many of the snowboarding community. The book also includes Billy Morgans groundbreaking first ever quad cork in Italy and his righteous Big Air glory in Pyeongchang, as well as Izzy Atkin claiming women’s free-ski slopestyle bronze - the first ever British woman to win an Olympic ski medal. Its achievements like this, that make the GB Park & Pipe story a must tell narrative. But as I touched upon earlier, it’s not just about the competitions and contest circuit. The book tells the story of how the team traverse the globe in search of the best snow parks and training grounds in the world. Documenting the highs and the lows and what goes on behind closed doors. This is a beast of a book, with images that speak volumes of the hard work and determination that the team have gone through to make them one of the most respected action sports teams to date.

Radical Gains


£10 from every Radical Gains book sold goes back to GB Park and Pipe. You can pick up a copy from The Board Basement store, or check out this link for more info. A massive thanks to everyone who took part in the creation of the Rad Gains. And keep on sending it!

The Board Basement Spotify

 Sam has added the following song to The Board Basement playlist: Caroline - Wolfmother

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