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Letters to the Editor

Published in the March 2009 Issue Published online: Mar 27, 2009 Column, Product Tests
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East Coast Mountain Sleds

Dear Editor:
I wonder if you could help me out. I have been riding all my life in western Pennsylvania and once in awhile I get a trip out West. I hate trail riding and spend all of my time-snow permitting-running long and deep power lines, jumps and tree lines where the powder builds up.

My problem is that crossover sleds with wide front ends just don't get it done for me. They are still just trail sleds with longer tracks. I was wondering if I could get away with running a short mountain sled for my type of riding, something with a 144- to 146-inch track, like maybe a Polaris Assault or a Summit 146 sled?

The smaller sleds like hybrids don't climb well and they still get stuck way too often for my type of riding. I know I am a whack job for wanting a Western sled for the East Coast, but I have ridden a lot of mountain sleds out West and I think it is just what I need. I also don't do any long trail rides. I just find the deepest snow I can and play it out.

And by the way, you guys always have the best sled magazine. I love everything about it. I look forward to the day when I can move to Wyoming but until then I'm stuck with the flatlanders who think a ride is going on a groomed trail at 80 mph for 100 miles then getting drunk. Please help a subscriber for life.

Thank you for your help.

J.R. Kondisko
Via e-mail

P.S. My heart will always be with you guys in the mountains. Will all this butt kissing get me some stickers, a key chain, maybe a sled?

(ED-If you're in enough snow to get a hybrid stuck, you should be fine with a shorter mountain sled. However, we would recommend adding a few idler wheels to the skid frame of whatever sled you go with. Polaris has been selling quite a few Assaults to riders in your situation, and they have firmly recommended adding wheels to prevent premature wear to the hyfax, especially with a firm track like that sled has. It sounds like you can resist rocketing a mountain sled down an ice trail at 80 mph, so a mountain sled should work fine for you. Better hurry and get to Wyoming, we hear it's about full.)

 

Average Resale Value

Dear Editor:
Are the average sale prices on the used sleds in the latest publication ["Your Guide To The Used Sled Market," SnoWest, November, 2008, page 50] from last year?

I am having a difficult time getting any interest in my 2004 King Cat for $4,000.

Your magazine shows an average sale price for this sled at $5,350.

It may just be too early or the economy and/or the aftermarket pipe, can and reeds I have on it.

I displayed it at the snow show two weeks ago and the only interest I saw was from people who had one just like it, no buyers.

Also, in your article of great places to ride in Washington state, I appreciate you not mentioning my favorite area west of Yakima in the Ahtanum.

Keep up the good work.

Dennis Nash
Via e-mail

(ED-Those resale prices are from the current issue of Kelly Blue Book and the NADA guide. Our guess is that the economy has something to do with the resell value of just about anything right now, including snowmobiles. Of course, KBB and NADA don't take things like a down economy into account, at least not that quickly. Perhaps next year's publications will more accurately reflect what's going on.)

You Guys Can't Ride

Dear Editor:
I just wanted to let you know that it is your riders who couldn't handle the Ski-Doo Summit XPs ["800 Questions," SnoWest, October, 2008, page 33].

Tell them to stand up straight and don't lean forward. Because you are moved forward on the sled or rather the engine is moved back, you don't need to lean forward to pull the sled over for boondocking. You will find that the sled is the most versatile of the bunch, well maybe not the 2009 Arctic Cat (I haven't ridden that).

Jameson Ferney
Via e-mail

(ED-I'm pretty confident we know how to ride a snowmobile, including the Ski-Doo Summit XP. We've ridden the sled in all kinds of conditions and have the opportunity to compare it head-to-head with other machines in the same conditions. I think that allows us to make pretty fair comparisons between all the machines.)

Ferney's response to my e-mail back to him.

You're the one who said that you may not know how to ride the XP. I was just confirming that it was probably true.

 

SnoWest Is Irresponsible

Dear Editor:
I just wanted to comment on a letter to the editor in the Volume 35, No. 6 issue by Blayne Solberg ["No More M1000," SnoWest, November, 2008, page 34]. I think that it is very irresponsible to print comments about a product by a person who we have no idea of his credibility, riding ability, riding years, riding conditions, etc.

There are many aspects to riding a machine of that power and skill level. Plus the fact that it appears that he has something to gain, with no credibility, by promoting Ski-Doos.

There are many people out there who would read those few unfounded words and make a decision based on those no fact statements.

I expect a little more from a magazine in your category. Please think about the impact statements in your magazine have on the people who read them.

Peggy Matz
New Richmond, WI

 

Dear Editor:
I'm surprised to see that SnoWest would publish such a biased asinine letter such as the one written by Evan Boberg of Sandy, UT ["Yamaha Snow," SnoWest, January, 2009, page 10].

All I can say here is that SnoWest used bad judgment in publishing this moron's opinions and that we can simply consider the source here. My opinion is that Mr. Boberg is nothing more than a *#$%. Whether he agrees or not is of no importance.

Steve Goff
Horseshoe Bend, ID

(ED-I ran those letters for the same reason I ran Matz' and Goff's letters-everyone has a right to his own opinion. And unless it's way overboard, which neither of those two letters were, I don't see any reason not to print them. We do, on occasion, choose not to run letters that cross the line. Brand bashing is as old as snowmobiles themselves.)

 

I Agree With Josh

Dear Editor:
I totally agree with Josh ["More Kids," SnoWest, October, 2008, page 93] and started my son Chris's indoctrination into snowmobiling when he was 10. He got his safety certificate when he was 12 and started driving his own snowmobile, a 1991 Formula Plus. That was 15-plus years ago.

He did wreck a few times over the years but he learned a lot. Where did it lead? Well Chris is now the BRP DSM for Ski-Doo/Sea-Doo in Northern California.

He was a flatlander growing up but now he's a mountain rider and after riding with him this past March he's a pretty good one.

Josh, keep having fun and remember you never know where it might lead.

Jim Jost
East Troy, WI

 

No More Loud Machines

Dear Editor:
I agree with Pat Spiker ["A Trumpeting Elephant," SnoWest, October, 2008, page 12] of Laramie, WY.

Loud snowmachines will eventually keep us off public lands.

Educate those who like noise and power that other means of increasing horsepower are there.

People are very aware of noise in the forest.

James Raffe
Basin, WY<

 

Fight Over Your Magazine

Dear Editor:
We got snow in eastern Oregon and it's about time to ride.

Your magazine is the best. My wife and I fight over it all the time (she wins).

Keep up the great reviews.

Shawn Wood
Via e-mail

(ED-We just can't win.)

 

A Different Kind Of Story

Dear Editor:
I think you guys should do a story or comparison of short track sleds in the mountains.

There are a lot of us Midwestern riders who take our short track trail sleds to the mountains and still have lots of fun.

I would like to see just how much a short tracker can do versus a middle to lightweight mountain sled.

Thanks and keep up the great work.

Logan Schonert
Via e-mail

(ED-I have no doubt many Midwesterners have fun on their short tracks out West; however, I'm also pretty confident in saying you'd have more fun on a mountain sled, especially as the snow got deeper and the mountains steeper. Comparing a short track to a long track is not apples to apples and would be almost a nightmare trying to find someone who would continually dig out the short tracks when we headed for the deep snow. It just wouldn't be fair to compare, as you say, a short track to a middle to lightweight mountain sled. You're almost suggesting comparing say an 800 trail sled to a Phazer MTX or even a mountain 600. It's possible but what would the results tell you?)

 

Enjoying This Year's Issues

Dear Editor:
I can't tell you how much I have enjoyed SledHeads and SnoWest this season. Keep up the great work.

I especially enjoyed the ones on Timbersled, Nytro-G and Dan Adam's sled. I have personally known Allen [Mangum, owner of Timbersled] for several years. Allen, along with my husband Budd, are who I attribute my own passion for riding from the basics of riding skills to understanding the technical aspect of a great boondocking sled.

I think it is fantastic that all of you at SnoWest are able to catch that talent and innovations and bring it to others. The articles were very interesting and attentive about pointing out things the average person might not even know (for instance, powdercoating a tunnel or why his tunnels are angled for a sidehill maneuver). That in return makes our industry better as a whole. Once again, great job to all of you.

I look forward to more this season.

Amber Holt
Kootenai, ID

 

An Alternative

Dear Editor:
I agree. Trailers suck. The editorial entitled, "My Trailering Nightmare" that you wrote for the September, 2007 SnoWest [page 10] conjured up recent memories of my own trailering mishaps.

A necessary evil to enjoy the sport of snowmobiling, there are very few alternatives. However, there is an alternative that I have found that works better than trailering and makes hauling snowmobiles a lot easier.

The product, a sled deck, is gaining popularity with more manufacturers than ever before. I was surprised not to see sled decks covered in the annual trailer buyer's guide edition of SnoWest, especially with the concentration of manufacturers in the northwest part of the country.

The sled deck I have, manufactured by Silver Lake Manufacturing in Idaho, I purchased without knowing a lot about the product or the competing manufacturers. As an avid reader of SnoWest, I can only imagine there are a lot of fellow sledders who may be looking for information on sled decks and would encourage SnoWest to do an in-depth product review and comparison of manufacturers.

As a true believer in the sled deck concept, I would personally be willing to lend you my deck for a part of the upcoming season to allow you to form your own opinion. At minimum, you could learn more about decks, but it also may prevent you from having another trailer experience from hell.

Joe Fronden
Rochester, MN

 

Especially For SnoWest

Dear Editor:
Cpl. Cole FoillardMy name is Cpl. Cole Fouillard from the 2nd Battalion Princess Patricias Canadian Light Infantry and I had taken a picture especially for your magazine while serving my tour in southern Afghanistan that we just got back from.

Myself and a lot of other soldiers serving in Afghanistan would wait patiently in the plus 45°C (113°F) desert heat sweating our balls off waiting for our mail to come in, as our family would send us our SnoWest magazines and seriously, reading them and seeing the snow cooled us off a little.

My Uncle Dwayne Dancy got me riding when I was four years old and it never fails that he keeps my mind on sledding by sending me this magazine even in the hottest, toughest times halfway across the world when morale couldn't be any lower. And it still gives me the chills when I think about going back home to the BC Rockies where there are miles of free mountain riding and no sand dunes and gunfights.

I think I speak for everyone who rides in the Canadian forces when I say you guys can make the desert a cooler place. Thanks a lot.

Cpl. Cole Fouillard
2PPCLI
Canada

(ED-Fouillard e-mailed us recently to tell us he just bought a 2009 Arctic Cat M8 HCR. Have fun with it.)

 

Ads

Dear Editor:
I have been a faithful reader of SnoWest for more than 11 years and I still love your magazines.

However, two times this season alone you guys have posted letters or e-mails from people who are sick and tired of all the naked girls on your website. If I can remember correctly, you lost both of them as subscribers. My question is, when are you going to figure it out? People who like that crap are not offended if that stuff is not there. But the people who don't want it are offended and you lose them as subscribers. I am a third person who is sick of it.

I want to get on your site but there are always naked girls on the right side of my screen. Please get the stuff off her here or I will have to leave you guys too.

Thanks and keep up the good work.

Ryan Sears
Via e-mail

 

Dear Editor:
A couple of months ago you printed a letter from one of your readers who voiced his disapproval of the calendar advertisement on your website ["I Do Not Approve," SnoWest, November, 2008, page 13]. I would just like to say I agree with him. I really enjoy SnoWest and your website, but it takes away from the family-friendly atmosphere when that ad shows up. Just my ten cents worth.

Stuart Davis
Via e-mail

 

Dear Editor:
In response to "I Don't Approve" by Ribby D.

Ribby, are you complaining about language contained after you let your subscription expire? That's what it sounds like.

If you're reading SnoWest for snowmobile news, quit looking at the girly pictures. Take it for what it's worth.

If SnoWest lost your subscription, complain to some other magazine.

Send me a calendar.

Dennis Nash
Via e-mail