Utah Snowboarder Enjoys Slush Surfing As Temperatures Rise

Apr 30, 2021, 6:22 PM | Updated: Jun 7, 2022, 5:17 pm

SNOWBIRD, Utah — As temperatures rose into the 80s, the snow in the mountains baked in the sun and turned into slush. Those are not the favorite conditions for everyone, but some riders, including one Salt Lake City snowboarder, enjoy it almost as much as a powder day.

Dennis Nazari has been a connoisseur of slush surfing for several decades.

He headed up to Snowbird Friday to enjoy what he calls some of the best riding.

“For a lot of people, this is the best time of the season,” said Nazari, who owns Salty Peaks Snowboard Shop in Millcreek. “Anybody who is up here today has a love for slush.”

Nazari has been chasing the best late season slush he can find for about 30 years.

“It was fun back then, but as time has gone on, the equipment has made it easier to ride the deep slush,” said Nazari.

He rides the powder as it stacks up earlier in the ski season and then rides the slush as it melts out.

Nazari said the spraying slush sounds almost like a waterfall as you swoop down the mountain.

“It’s a different phase of water,” he said. “It’s not quite corn snow, it’s not quite wet, but the fact that you can turn into it and it moves is fun.”

Nazari tracks the weather and plans his Spring riding around peak times for the slush.

“It’s about wax, snow conditions and sun exposure,” he said.

There’s a window of opportunity each day, Nazari said, when the weather warms and the slush is just right.

“It’s fun to get a lot of speed, as long as you’ve got the wax to keep you going,” he said. “That’s half the battle.”

It can be more challenging on skis, but especially with fat skis, you can get the hang of it with practice.

So how did the day rate for Nazari?

“It would be on the same level as a two-foot powder day with walk-on trams and a t-shirt,” he said. “It’s epic today.”

As far as Nazari was concerned, slush surfing season isn’t even over. 

“Right now is the high tide, so to speak, but it really has to do with the weather,” he said. “We could come in and get another two-foot storm that extends the season another week.”

Nazari said tomorrow was likely a repeat of Friday’s conditions, but a cool down on Sunday may keep the snow from softening to slush.

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Utah Snowboarder Enjoys Slush Surfing As Temperatures Rise