Lake George Man Invents Safety Device for Snowboarders: the Booty Guard
When Denis Lemek was a boy, he cracked his tailbone during a tobogganing accident. He can still remember the pain.
So when he took up snowboarding a few years ago, while in his mid-fifties, he wanted to protect himself from a similar injury. “Wearing a helmet is now the norm; protecting the tailbone should be, too,” he says. The products purporting to protect the tailbone, though, seemed inadequate, so Lemek devised one of his own.
“Since I’m retired, I had the time and the resources to develop a product, find a manufacturer and then market and distribute it myself,” said Lemek.
He found a motorcycle parts manufacturer in New Hampshire that could make the product. His son Kevin created the logo and packaging, and in 2011, Lemek began selling the “Booty Guard.”
“From the start, it was very well-received, so that gave me hope that it would be successful,” said Lemek.
With his $20,000 investment, Lemek acquired 1,000 pieces, which are sold for $19.95 per device on-line at bootyguard.com and through the shops at Gore, Killington, Pico and Willard as well as at Sports Page in Glens Falls.
Lemek, who spent most of his career on Long Island with the retailer J.C. Penney, began visiting Lake George in 1983, when he attended his first Americade. He bought a house here in 2002, and now spends most of his time here.
“Everything I like to do, I can do in Lake George,” said Lemek.