Bad Bob Bio



Growing up in the 70’s when freestyle skiing was born, Bad Bob Salerno was a household name. Arriving on the Pro Freestyle Circuit in 1974, Bob won such a high percentage of competitions that it was chronicled in the movie Winter Equinox.

Among his many accomplishments, Bob earned international acclaim as: World Super Hotdog Champion; Aerial World Champion; Professional Freestyle Champion; and two-time Mogul Enduro World Champion. Ski Magazine featured Salerno as Hotdogger of the Year, and as a Legend of Freestyle. He was inducted in Utah’s Ski Hall of Fame in 2001. 

His history is of freestyle greatness and pioneering spirit. From that point to today, Salerno has served as coach, mentor, and trainer bringing thousands of people to the sport of skiing and snowboarding. Iconic national ads featured Salerno including Bogner, McDonalds and Right Guard.

In 1978, inverted jumps were banned in the U.S.  Bob responded with the development of a water ramp and an on snow jump, pushing aerials beyond its limits and resulting in the first triple twisting triples at Nordic Valley, Utah.

As Founder of Virtual Snow Ski & Snowboard Training in Los Angeles, Bob spent years writing, filming, and developing a video system for training on simulators. Virtual Snow now has locations nation-wide (and Canada) including Mountain High, California Snowsports School. Bob has well over 10,000 hours teaching all ages on his system and on the snow. 

His amazing contributions to Snowsports continue as he shares the greatness that was and is… Bob Salerno.

                                  BOB SALERNO – ACHIEVEMENTS




1972     Shirley Jensen Memorial Gelande – Snowbasin, Utah - 1st Place

1972     Junior Gelande Champion – Alta, Utah

1972     Intermountain Amateur Freestyle Champion

1972     Intermountain Freestyle Champion - Park West, Utah   

            1st Place Moguls

            1st Place Aerials

            1st Place Combined




1974     PFA World Aerial Champion

1974     Eastern National Freestyle Champion - Waterville Valley, New Hampshire

            1st Combined 

            2nd Aerials 

            2nd Moguls

1974     World Super Hot Dog Championship / Beconta Cup – Park City, UT (Largest cash purse in Skiing History)

            1st Combined

            2nd Aerials

            2nd Moguls

1974     Western National Freestyle Championships - Sun Valley, Idaho

            1st Place Combined        

1974     World Championships - Heavenly Valley, California

            1st Place Aerials

            2nd Place Combined

1974     Ski Magazine's Hot Dogger of the Year - Grand Prix Champion

1974     Midas U.S. Freestyle Open - Aspen Highlands, Colorado

            1ST Place Combined

            3rd Place Aerials

1975     Midas Ski America National Championships - Stowe, Vermont

            3rd Place Aerials

1975     Midas Freestyle Championships - Park West, Utah

            2nd Place Combined

1976     Colgate Freestyle Championships - Snowbird, Utah

            2nd Place Combined

1977     Professional Freestyle Championships – Heavenly Valley, Lake Tahoe, California

            1st Place Combined (Winning with a double front somersault.)

1977     Saint Moritz Challenge - Saint Moritz, Switzerland

            3rd Place Moguls

1977     Mount Saint Anne Challenge - Mount Saint Anne, Quebec, Canada / 30,000 Spectators 

            2nd Place Aerials

            3rd Place Combined

1977     Montreal Challenge - Toronto, Canada

            3rd Place Combined 

1978       Midas International Freestyle Challenge 

            2nd Moguls & MVP Award

1979     JC World Ski Enduro – Kirkwood Meadows, California

            Champion - Moguls, Jumps, and Race Course: 21 runs 

1980     JC World Ski Enduro - Kirkwood Meadows, California 

            Champion - Moguls, Jumps, and Race Course: 21 runs 








1994     Legends of Freestyle – Sunday River, Maine

            2nd Place Bumps

1997     Legends of Freestyle - Sunday, River Maine

            3rd Place Moguls

1998     Wayne Wong World Championships of Hot Dog Skiing

            1st Place

1999     Wayne Wong World Championships of Hot Dog Skiing

            3rd Place

2000     Wayne Wong World Championships of Hot Dog Skiing

            1st Place - Team Event

            (Skied on the back of Glen Plake’s skis on moguls, off a jump, and finishing with ballet tricks.)




1972     Appeared in Skiers to Match the Mountains by Gary Nate Productions

1972-98             Featured in over 100 Newspaper Articles 

1974     Stars as himself in Winter Equinox Movie

1974     Featured on ABC Wide World Of Sports - Park City Beconta Cup Winner

1974     Ski America Freestyle Exhibition half-time trampoline show on 50-yard line for New                             England Patriots - Schafer Stadium (60,000 spectators + national television viewers)

1974-88  Appears in Seven Warren Miller Films

1979     Stars with John Eaves in Willy Bogner’s Ski Fantasy

1975-79 Modeled for Bogner ski wear and photographed jumping a crevasse

1978     FIS World Championships Aerial Show for Opening Ceremonies

            Assistant Director to Willy Bogner – Garmisch, Germany

1978 &              CBS World Pro Am Aerial Skiing Championships - Nordic Valley Ski Resort, Utah

1979     Co-produced with Frank Bare - CBS Sports Spectacular

1980     Co-producer of Summer Air Festival Exhibition - Water Ramp and Trampoline

            Nordic Valley Ski Resort, Utah  

            Featured by Real People Television Show and PM Magazine

1987     Appears with Suzy Chaffee and John Eaves in Willy Bogner’s blockbuster movie Fire & Ice


Featured in the Book: Ski Free 

Featured in Magazine Advertisements for Western Airlines

Featured in McDonalds Commercial

Featured in Right Guard Commercial which aired during the Super Bowl

Bad Bob’s motions were captured for the Tomorrow Never Dies – James Bond Video Game

Guest Star on Donnie & Marie Show – Featuring Salerno’s Virtual Snow Ski Simulator




1978     Created a water ramp for aerial training (largest of it’s kind in the world), and an on snow winter             jump making training available at a time when aerials were banned from ski resorts.

1997     Founded Virtual Snow Ski and Snowboard Training

1999     Ski Dazzle Award                For Contribution to Sport of Skiing Through Innovations in                                                                              Teaching, Freestyle Skiing and Entertainment

2001     Utah Ski Archives                            Utah Hall of Fame Inductee

2011     Bill Mackey Award               Far West Ski Association

2011      Pioneer of Freestyle Award     US Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame


                                                                  BOB SALERNO




At the young age of 16, Salerno did a front flip at Park City Mountain Resort. Upon landing, Bob looked up and saw Stein Eriksen who said, “Very good front flip young man”. This was a major source of inspiration for Bob.


As 1974 Grand Prix Champion, Salerno was celebrated as Ski Magazine's Freestyler of the Year.  He received the highest points for this four-event professional tour by an incredible 33% higher score than the next closest competitor. Taking his place on the podium nine times; four of which were first place.


Signature Tricks:  Bob was the only competitor to do double front flips consistently. You rarely see front somersaults today because of the level of danger and difficulty to land. Salerno was also the first to do tip drop helicopters in competition.


In the late ‘70s the professional freestyle tour, screeched to a stop. Ski areas all over the country posted signs that said: “Inverted Aerials Prohibited.” In response to this Bob got permission from Nordic Valley Ski Resort, which he had a part ownership in, to build the largest water ramp in the world and an on snow aerial hill for winter jumping.  Bob, Frank Bare, Hans Ribi and Jeff Chumas built it. Bob made it available for aerialists from all over the US and Canada to train. The worlds first triple twisting triples were accomplished there. The water ramp, which was 28’ off the water, also enabled the quad somersault by Jeff Chumas, and the lay-full-full, and full-full-full by Frank Bare, which were literally years ahead of the sport.  This training resource was the largest in history at the time. As part owner of Nordic Valley and Director of Skiing, Bob produced several summer festivals involving his world champion friends. Salerno, along with Frank Bare, produced an NBC televised aerial event and a CBS televised aerial event, allowing competitors to have a playground for aerial acrobatic jumping in the summer and winter.  It was almost ten years later that the next water ramp was built for Lake Placid aerial summer training, just before aerials became an Olympic sport. 


Suzy Chaffee was terrified of somersaults, especially on skis! She was going to quit freestyle until Bob Salerno and Robert Young taught her front somersaults on skis.


Bob’s simulator was combined with a bungee system built by Frank Bare. Frank trained world class athletes doing somersaults and various tricks on his Virtual Snow “X-Deck” in Utah. Bob built his own in LA and got it on National TV for Ski Dazzle giving Frank credit on camera to the reporter.

This helped promote safety in aerials for winter sports.










Stein Eriksen                 P.O. Box 708, Park City, UT 84060


John Clendenin              P.O. Box 1092, Aspen, CO 81612


Glen Plake                    P.O. Box 503 Genoa, NV 89411


Wayne Wong                 5675 Tappan Drive, Reno, Nevada 89523


Doug Pfeiffer                  P O Box 1806 Big Bear Lake, CA  92315


Frank Bare                    2141 East 6320 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84121






Willy Bogner                              Fire & Ice                                  011 49 89 43606212 (Marita)


Willy Bogner                              Ski Fantasy


John Clendenin                          Winter Equinox                           970 274 0385


Brian Gilmore                             Dog Days of Winter                    360 961 1752


John Clendenin/                         JC Ski Enduro                           970 274 0385

Warren Miller Productions


Warren Miller Productions            Seven Different Films


Cordell Wolking/Gary Nate          Legends of Snowbasin               Gary Nate:  801 589 8856

Walt and Lisa Karam Fuller


SKI Magazine                            Photographer: Barthel / September 1974


Bogner Ski Wear Ad                   Jumping Crevasse in Saint Moritz


Frank Bare                                Footage of Nordic Valley water ramp in 1970’s

KSL TV5 - Bob jumps at Utah Olympic Park water ramp on his

                                                60th Birthday with a front somersault.                      







                                                                              Signature of Nominator