Nobody in Orange County has a snow-covered slope in their backyard to practice slalom runs. Some think they can just march up a mountain and dominate a black diamond on courage and instinct alone. Instead, they wind up face first in snow, wishing they’d practiced.
In order to prepare skiers and snowboarders for the real deal, and to spare them from slushy, frostbitten shame, two-time world ski champion Bob Salemo devised his innovative Virtual Snow training system. In a controlled indoor environment far away from menacing ski lifts and snowballs tossed by mountain goats, winter-sports enthusiasts perfect their maneuvers in fun training drills led by skilled instructors. The faux ski-course simulator, which resembles a large conveyor belt, mimics the smooth surface and wily turns of a downhill slope as its carpeted surface rolls beneath the feet of students on skis or snowboards. Future Picabo Streets or Shawn Whites not only expand their abilities to new levels, but they can also practice tricks without bailing out and shake off any bad habits they learned from sleet gangs.
Jeremy Godo Kiss’ earliest love of the adrenaline rush surfaced in his passion for skateboarding. As he grew older, he began to feel the need for something that would give him higher jumps, bigger thrills, and taller windswept hair pomps. In 1988, he found that something—he discovered the extreme art of snowboarding. Determined to help others achieve the same sense of exhilaration he experienced zooming down the steep bluffs of June Mountain for the first time, Kiss opened Olympus Board Shop in 1998. Here, he and his staffers stock a wide range of high-quality boards of all types from brands such as Solomon, Imagine, and Liquid Shredder. Since opening, they’ve expanded their inventory to include other extreme sports, including surfing, stand up paddling, and kayaking. They also host interactive, pulse-pounding lessons in surfing, paddleboarding, and kayaking.