Earlier this year, we posted a Facebook comment asking members to let us know which shops do a great job of providing top-notch equipment support, including boot fitting and ski and snowboard tuning. Feedback from PSIA-AASI members was overwhelming!
So, for the next 10 weeks we’ll be profiling your top shops across the U.S., each of which have an admirable reputation of helping clients who are looking for solid equipment advice from folks with enough moxie to keep things running smoothly through a season . . . or two.
Brad Nelson, based near White Bear Lake—northeast of Minnesota’s Twin Cities—has been working at his shop for more than three decades.
“Our store started in 1952 in a garage on Bald Eagle Lake, which is a local lake up in the White Bear Lake area,” said Nelson. “The original store was sold in the ’60s and my wife and I bought this shop in 1978. And prior to coming here, we met as ski instructors at a small ski hill in Wisconsin.”
WORKING WITH PROS
From late summer on up to November, Nelson works primarily with pro customers, and for a couple of great reasons. “It’s for payback, because that’s where I came from,” said Nelson. “It’s kind of a pay-it-forward. Plus, it’s how we build our business. We think that’s an extremely important market to pay attention to.”
“I’m that way with all the pros we deal with,” said Nelson. “It challenges me to make sure I’m on my game, and it’s the way I stay connected to the snow. We also do the pro form for all of the vendors that we sell."
“One of the pluses is that we came into the sport through teaching and view it through that lens,” said Nelson. Indeed, he noted that the two years he spent teaching proved incredibly instructive in terms of developing an understanding of a new skier’s frustrations—frustrations he now routinely relieves as a boot fitter and equipment guru.
The newest thing Nelson’s shop has added to its services is a tool that helps people book appointments on its website, www.hitempo.com. “Our clients really seem to like the ability to directly book an appointment with me based on my availability,” said Nelson. “They can just pick a time so there’s no waiting. And when they arrive, they will always get me—not a 16-year-old kid. Someone will always be there, attentive and ready to serve them.”
Shop: Hi Tempo, White Bear Lake, MN
Contact: Brad Nelson
Phone: (651) 429-3333
Next Friday, we’ll profile Jim Mates from Custom Boot Service in Seattle, Washington.
- Tim Johnson