Valcourt, QC - BRP’s Ski-Doo Freeride Ambassadors program enters its second year and brings a new perspective with the addition of two women riders, Ashley Chaffin and Stephanie Schwartz. This group of talented riders will once again be sharing their ride experiences, thoughts and opinions on everything for the deep powder market of western North America.
For those unfamiliar, the Summit Freeriders are this year comprised of seven mountain snowmobilers with a wide range of riding styles, riding interests and unique talents. A couple of them are seen in some of the extreme backcountry videos, one has an impressive collection of X-Games medals, one is a former racer and another is an adventure athlete who has competed in almost every kind of human powered race there is. It’s a wide range of people who can offer something for all riders. But they all share a passion for mountain riding.
Last year the Summit Freeriders gave you some great insight on what they’re up all winter long—how they prepare before the season starts, the gear they use, sled set-up and some great riding tips—that will continue this year and you’ll get the added benefit of a women’s perspective. Be warned, the ladies can ride ....
Summit Freeride Team
Dan Treadway: Pemberton, BC, professional extreme skier and snowmobiler, appearing in countless films and photos on both snowmobiles and skis for the past 10 years.
Dave Norona: Vancouver, BC, professional adventure athlete, motivational speaker and team building expert. Snowmobiles, dirt bikes, mountain bikes, skis .... he does it all.
Calvin Felker: Fort Collins, CO, extreme mountain rider, former snocross racer, mechanic extraordinaire. Currently works at the family dealership and has hand on the pulse of the market.
Rob Hoff: Alpine, WY, extreme backcountry rider. Appearing in eight films over the past three years, has a passion he wants to share with others by riding with them.
Heath Frisby: Middleton, ID, professional freestyle competitor, 7 times X Games medalist, freestyle motocrosser. One of the best known and hardest working riders in the sport—you’ll never find him at home because he’s always throwing awesome tricks at a show somewhere
Introducing new members:
Stephanie Schwartz: Revelstoke, BC, lifelong mountain snowmobiler, activist for women riders, preventing land closures and charity causes
Ashley Chaffin: Valdez, AK, professional extreme backcountry rider. Appearing in nine films over the past six years, has raced snocross and competed in freestyle shows.
Recently, Chaffin was invited to attend the annual Salute to Women in Sports Awards Dinner a week ago and was one of the athletes considered for her performances over the past winter—many caught on film—by the Women’s Sports Foundation.
The prestigious dinner is held in New York each year to honor the best female athletes in the world for individual and team performances, inspiration, contribution and courage. Chaffin was the first woman snowmobiler to be invited to the event and has helped blaze a trail for others to follow.
“This was such an absolutely awesome experience to come here with all these superstars of the sports world,” Chaffin said. “Being the first snowmobiler means a lot to me and I hope many others can follow or I can ramp it up and return again.”
There are five awards presented yearly. Yani Tseng took the top individual honor as the youngest golfer to win five major titles in one year as was named Sportswoman of the Year. Abby Wambach grabbed the award in team sports for her outstanding play in women’s soccer. The Visa Women's Ski Jumping Team received the Wilma Rudolph Courage Award, for the sport's accomplishments and the athletes' 12-year push to be allowed to compete in the Olympic Winter Games. Twelve-year-old tri-athlete Winter Vinecki was the recipient of the ANNIKA Inspiration Award, presented on-stage by Annika Sorenstam. Visa was presented the Billie Jean King Contribution Award, which recognizes an individual or organization that demonstrates a lasting commitment and dedication to the growth of sports.
What happened to Carl Kuster? Watch for an announcement on what Kuster is up to very soon. He’s not leaving the Ski-Doo fold and has a really exciting new venture that will bring some real value to Ski-Doo mountain riders.
The Freeriders will appear at the western snowmobile shows this fall and watch the Ski-Doo Mountain blog Elevation or Ski-Doo Mountain Face Book Page for updates on where they might appear at select dealer events and demo rides.