Salty Peaks helps support ‘appreciative’ snowboarding communityMar 29, 2022 10:07PM ● By Daniel Olsen
By Daniel Olsen | [email protected]
With the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics in the rearview mirror, it’s important to look at the future of winter sports in the state of Utah. Salty Peaks is a local store that’s helping with that.
“Salty Peaks is a skate and snowboard specialty shop that caters to passionate individuals and beginners alike,” said store founder Dennis Nazari. “There is not much we can’t do. We can fix just about anything from broken BOA boot laces and dials, replace missing binding parts, fill avalanche airbags, and do repairs on snowboards that other shops just cringe at.”
The store was founded by Nazari and several other dedicated snowboarders and skateboarders. While Utah does boast the “Greatest Snow on Earth,” boards of all seasons require repairs to keep their riders cruising on whatever terrain they choose.
Salt Lake City is making a push to host the Winter Olympics again in 2030 or 2034. It wasn’t long ago that they hosted the 2002 Games.
“In the short term the Olympics itself while in Salt Lake City seemed to be good for those renting out their home or selling event tickets or souvenirs, it hurt many local businesses,” Nazari said. “A lot of riders left town during the melee of Olympic security and travel restrictions. Whether they realized it or not, they avoided the area due to the rising rates for lift tickets, food and lodging.”
While there were some pros and cons to the Winter Olympics back in 2002, it was an overall positive branding opportunity for winter sports in Utah.
“On the flip side, it has been awesome for the long-term exposure to the greatest snow on earth (Utah) and snowboarding,” Nazari said. “It has led to a continued growth in snowboard participation and retention rates and fueled the population growth we have seen in the state over the last 20 years.”
While it has been two decades since the Winter Olympics came to Salt Lake City, it hasn’t been high on the radar for some in the snowboarding community.
“I haven't really kept up on all the Olympic happenings unless it had something to do with the US Snowboard Team athletes,” Nazari said. “In the snowboard community, the Olympics can be just as divisive as politics and mask mandates. Some high profile pro snowboarders have boycotted the Olympics or come out publicly over the years against the IOC or FISC with claims of skier control of snowboard events or outright corruption.”
While some snowboarding companies sponsor top riders, Salty Peaks has taken a different approach.
“Salty Peaks pioneered the concept of shop teams in the beginning that helped up and coming riders get connected with local reps and manufacturers to use the shop as a stepping stone to greater things,” Nazari said. “While there were many success stories over the years, the concept of a shop team has diminished in recent years and like so many other shops and brands that
have quit doing pro-model boards. They are realizing it does not increase sales and quite often can turn into an over-bloated drama filled and expensive headache. A small percentage of riders have an entitlement complex which is ruining it for others. So while we still support riders today, we are not looking for the quote on quote ‘top pro riders.’ We tend to support those who are approachable, personable, have a great attitude, and most importantly are appreciative of the support.”
Salty Peaks is also not shy about offering advice to beginning or aspiring riders.
“Take a lesson on a Magne-Traction board from a qualified instructor that has been riding long enough,” Nazari said. “They should explain how a snowboard functions on snow before you ever touch the snow and can show you the best way to catch an edge and get thrown violently to the ground so you know what not to do.”
There are different types of perks that resorts will offer to new riders as well.
“Most resorts have awesome instructors that have been instructing for years,” Nazari said. “Most resorts have specific beginner hills with low priced lift tickets in a secluded part of the hill with a mellow pitch where traffic is light. You are there with others that are learning as well which helps take the fear and intimidation away from learning.”
Where is the best place for beginners to learn? Salty Peaks has you covered.
“Brighton has one of the best places called the Explorer Lift,” Nazari said. “Snowbird has the Chickadee Lift and Solitude has Easy Street as learning centers.”
There are also extra tips that Salty Peaks can offer exclusively.
“It is also imperative that beginners don't try to learn on a traditional camber board geometry that increases the chance of getting hurt by catching an edge and taking a fall,” Nazari said. “Patented Magne-Traction geometry with catch free edges and more contact points while edging the board will make learning and progressing on a snowboard so much easier without paying the price for making mistakes.”
Snowboarding fans don’t have to look far to find Salty Peaks.
“We are at the heart of Millcreek in Shred Row which is 3055 East 3300 South,” Nazari said. “Shred Row is like the food court of action sports retailers all clumped together to provide everything you need to have fun in the great outdoors. It starts with REI and IME at the top of the street then you have Ski ‘N See, Milosport, Salty Peaks, Level 9, Lone Pine and even the Utah Avalanche Forecast Center is housed in a half-mile stretch on 3300 South.”
“Our hours change seasonally,” Nazari said. “But currently, we’re open every day 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and close at 7 p.m. on Sunday.”