Dr Ned Buckley
Owner, Specialist Podiatric Surgeon, Master Bootfitter
Almost by chance, Ned landed his first boot fitting role in London in 2001. Having been a passionate skier all his life, Ned quickly developed a strong interest in the role, and with one thing leading to the next, he embarked on a journey that would see him fitting boots across the globe for the next 14 years.
After several years in the industry, Ned had a desire to take his boot fitting to a new level. He had a great deal of technical knowledge of ski boots and how to custom fit them for different foot types, but he yearned to fully understand the biomechanics and anatomy of the lower limb so he could offer a truly holistic boot fitting service for his clients. This led him to complete a Podiatric Medicine degree at the University of Western Australia, followed by a Doctorate of Clinical Podiatry. Ned now operates Ned Buckley Podiatry in West Perth as a Specialist Podiatric Surgeon. Ned is also a trainer with Masterfit University and travels to Melbourne annually to run a boot fitting course.
Ned founded Boot Solutions in 2006 and as it has grown year on year, Ned has carefully handpicked his team from all over the world. A number of our bootfitters are also podiatrists, and all our bootfitters are highly skilled and experienced. Most importantly, they are all passionate about their job, our industry, and helping our clients have the best possible experience.
NISEKO HIRAFU STORE
Niseko Hirafu Manager, Master Bootfitter, Ski Instructor
Born in Scotland, and having worked in an enviable number of exotic ski locations for the past 10 years as a bootfitter and ski instructor, Ruairidh now calls Niseko home. He joined the Boot Solutions team in 2012 and manages our Niseko store.
When asked what he loves most about being a bootfitter, Ruairidh says it’s the interactional nature of the job.
“This role affords an amazing opportunity to meet clients from all over the world. And simply talking to our clients is the most powerful and effective diagnostic tool we have.”
In recent years, Ruairidh has travelled extensively throughout Japan and is currently learning Japanese.
With an incredible 35 years of bootfitting experience under his belt and 23 years as a practicing Podiatrist, we are very pleased to welcome Gord to our Hirafu team this season.
Born and raised in Ottawa, Gord has worked in Whistler / Blackcomb at the High Performance Centre, Vail / Beaver Creek at Ski Boot Fitting Inc. and at various specialty shops at home in the Outaouais region of Canada.
Professionally Gord is most passionate about solving problems that others have had difficulty with.
“I consider myself an outside the box thinker or “fixer” if you will - using my various skills, experience and learnings over the years to help people feel better and improve excites me. I feel that this is the biggest contribution that I bring to the table.”
Besides skiing, Gord loves working with his hands rebuilding/ “resto-mod” older bicycles and wood / metal working. He also collects vintage slalom skateboards.
The most unusual thing he’s ever eaten was since arriving in Japan - raw octopus. It’s not something he wants to try again!
Kimberley joins our Niseko Hirafu team this year for her first ski season in Japan. Hailing from Northern England, and now residing in New Zealand, Kimberley has worked as a Sports Podiatrist for both the All Blacks and the Manchester Football club. Kimberley loves paragliding and would love to gain her tandem paragliding license. If she could have dinner with anyone it would be her Dad, Noam Chomsky, Bob Marley and Nina Simone. The most unusual thing she’s ever eaten is curried chicken feet. And what’s the one thing she’ll never do again? Eat curried chicken feet.
Born and raised in New Zealand, Luke now calls Melbourne home, where he has been practising as a Podiatrist for the past 5 years. While attaining his qualifications, Luke was able to utilise his Podiatric knowledge to prescribe footwear at specialist stores Active Feet and the Athlete’s Foot. Luke loves keeping fit, whether it be through skiing, cycling, hiking or running. He is always looking at using exercise to explore new places and to push for new Personal Bests. His interest in Sports led him to become a Consultant Podiatrist for several Victorian Football and Soccer teams. Luke also loves cooking, and as a Coeliac (gluten intolerant), likes the challenge of creating gluten-free, yet delicious dishes that everyone can enjoy
Teet ‘Ted’ Suurkivi
Estonian-born Ted has spent his last 9 winters working as a ski technician and bootfitter throughout Canada, Australia, Austria and New Zealand. His passion for skiing and snowboarding drives Ted’s desire to learn everything there is to know about skiing biomechanics and the products he works with.
Ted is a keen martial artist, rock climber and singer/songwriter and he would love to take up BASE jumping and wingsuit flying one day soon. This adventurous spirit led him to ride his mountain bike across Canada solo for 8400km in 69 days with no previous touring cycling experience. It also compelled him to eat Rhino Beetle lava, but that’s another story!
Sydney-born Mike has been a boot fitter for 5 years, worked in the Australian ski industry for 11 years and has been skiing for as long as he can remember. He now calls Jindabyne in NSW home.
“I love being able to help people experience the snow and enjoy skiing as much as I do, and seeing their faces when boots are actually comfortable!”
Mike enjoys writing, reading, watching TV and movies and spending time with his mates.
And when asked what’s on top of his bucket list? “To design a better bucket”.
Cam grew up in Auckland and has been bootfitting seasonally between Wanaka and Japan for the past 7 years. He loves getting people into the best equipment so they can have a great time on the hill and develop a shared passion for skiing. Cam loves New Zealand for its array of outdoor activities and in the warmer months, he enjoys spearfishing, diving, hunting, camping and cooking. And topping Cam’s bucket list is to one day fly a helicopter.
Phil hails from The Vosges, a small mountain village in the north east of France. He has worked as a boot fitter and in other ski-related roles for 7 years in France and Queenstown. Phil spends his Winters skiing and his Summers trekking and Mountain biking and he dreams to one day visit all the mountain ranges in the world. If he could share a meal with anyone, it would be Jimmy Hendrix, Freddy Mercury, Nelson Mandela and Vincent Van Gogh (to try dissuade him from cutting his ear off haha). And the one thing he can’t live without? French cheese.
Felix grew up in the beautiful town of Mont Tremblant in Quebec. He has spent more than a decade in the ski industry and has spent the past four years bootfitting in Canada. Felix loves helping people enjoy skiing as much as he does. He dreams to one day ski in Alaska and do a season in the French Alps. And if money were no object, he’d buy a camper van and travel the world.
Front of House Assistant
We welcome Katey this season as our Front of House Assistant. Although Katey grew up on the beautiful beaches of the Australian Sunshine Coast, it’s the snow that’s stolen her heart. This will be her seventh ski season, following stints in Queenstown and Wanaka, Mount Hotham and Whistler. Katey loves reading and will often pick up a book and finish it in the same day. And if she won lotto, Katey would love to buy some land and own a lot of goats.
Front of House Assistant
Heehwa joined our Hirafu team as a Front Counter Assistant this season. Born in Kyoto, Heehwa has recently moved to Niseko to work in the ski industry. When she’s not skiing, Heehwa enjoys skateboarding, craft, drawing, cooking and gardening. If she won the lottery, she would buy a mountain and build a house at the top. Heehwa loves to collect snow globes and stickers from everywhere she travels.
NISEKO VILLAGE STORE
Niseko Village Manager, Master Bootfitter
Rob has returned to Niseko for his fourth season to manage our new Niseko Village store.
After gaining experience in the UK, Rob says he loves being able to put his knowledge of boot fitting to good use.
“Often what seems to be a complex problem can actually have a simple and effective solution.”
And when he’s not finding a solution for someone’s boot issues, or studying for an Economics exam, Rob likes to cycle, play guitar and discuss his thoughts on philosophy, politics and music.
Niseko Village Assistant Manager, Bootfitter
Florian has returned to Boot Solutions for his second year.
He was born and raised in the French Alps. For the past seventeen seasons has been working in the ski industry in France, New Zealand and Japan in Megeve ,Val Thorens, Queenstown and Niseko.
Prior to bootfitting, Florian worked 4.5 years for ski brand Rossignol and spent a few years as a Laboratory Technician in the French Army .
Florian loves the mountain scenery anywhere in the world and shares his passion/obssession for skiing with good friends all year round. Winter back to back is his life now.
Beside skiing, Florian has nothing against a good cheese platter and wine with his mates, he is French after all.
Joe joins us this season for his first stint in Japan, following 3 years in Whistler and Wanaka. He was drawn to bootfitting for the technical problem solving it involves as well as the opportunity to interact with people from all walks of life.
Born and raised in London, Joe has always worked in the outdoors industry and loves everything the outdoors has to offer. He especially enjoys skiing and mountain biking and is a keen football and rugby fan. If he won lotto, he’d take his friends on a round the world skiing trip and if there was money left over would buy the Ipswich Town Football Club.
Prior to joining our Niseko Village team this season, Harrison has been busy working as a custom bootfitter in his hometown of Jindabyne, while completing his Bachelor of Industrial Design at RMIT. Born and raised in the Snowy Mountains, Harrison has grown up on the slopes and his skiing talent has seen him sponsored by leading ski brands such as Volkl, Dalbello, Marker and Oyuki. When he’s not skiing, he loves to ride motor bikes, go fly fishing or dabble with 3D printing and drawing. If he ever won lotto, he’d love to fund some project design ideas and perhaps expand his ski google collection.
Hakuba Manager, Master Bootfitter
Josh was born and raised in the beautiful ski town of Telluride,Colorado and still proudly calls it home. He has lived and breathed skiing all his life and has worked 26 winter seasons in the USA, New Zealand and Japan. Josh is returning to Japan again this season to manage our Hakuba store.
In between all that bootfitting, Josh has managed to rack up a wonderful assortment of job titles: Guide, Professional freelance recreationalist, Stunt Man, President of the Telluride Air-force, Model, Taco Vender, Open Space Ranger and Carpenter.
On the job, Josh loves creating solutions to a good challenge!
“When working with people, no two are alike. Every new client gives me a new challenge. The fruits of my efforts are made all the more sweet by the smiles and satisfaction of my clients.”
When Josh isn’t working, he’ll be sure to be out gallivanting in the wilderness, having fun doing one of his umpteen recreational activities, or staring down a mountain lion (that’s a whole other story)!
Skylar was born in Washington, but has been travelling the world for many years and has worked for nine seasons in US, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.
Prior to chasing powder, Skylar was an engineer, working mostly with robotics.
“Professionally I love approaching bootfitting from an engineering perspective and being able to not only execute all the established methods for fixing fit issues, but finding new ways to solve these problems. Eventually, I’d like to be involved with design work within the ski industry.”
Besides skiing, Skylar loves music, traveling, playing and watching soccer, craft beer, and making action sports film edits.
Following a stint in Val Thorens, Alex has re-joined our Hakuba crew for his fourth season in bootfitting. Born in Bordeaux and now living in Tokyo, Alex is fluent in French, Japanese and English. He loves to be able to help people feel good in their ski boots, and be able to make the most of their ski holidays. When he's not on the slopes you'll probably find him binge-watching movies or relaxing in the onsen. His dream is to run an online store for Japanese Craft Beer.
With 17 Winters of bootfitting under his belt, Alex returns from New Zealand for his second season with our Hakuba team. In the rare times Alex finds himself in warmer climes, he enjoys wakeboarding, surfing and windsurfing. If Alex were to win lotto, he’d build a little log cabin somewhere snowy and live off grid, with his own little chair lift for easy pow laps. And if he had the chance to dine with anyone, he’d choose Victor de la rou, Jimmy Hendrix, Muhammed Ali and David Attenborough. No doubt it would be an evening full of great stories!