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  #1  
Old 12-05-2007, 12:38 PM
AKrider AKrider is offline
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Default Have limited build "race sleds" ruined local racing?

I got to thinking about this after learning that my club will not be doing any sno-x races for this season. Since '99 or '00 we've been part of the state circuit and usually hosted 3 races. Last season Fairbanks dropped out and now we are. Our problem is a lack of volunteers. I believe that is caused by the lack of local racers competing in the races. If locals aren't racing, there is much less interest in helping out and spectating.

When sno-x first started it was a run what you brung type atmosphere. You had the open class and the 500 class. There were lots of guys running their trail sleds and having a good time. As the years went by and the sno-x sleds became more and more specialized, consumer trail sleds were no longer compeditive and fewer and fewer locals came back each year because of the cost. Now the new 600's are supposed to address this but you still have the limited build, idiotic, apply to buy a race sled programs.

For the past two years I've watched local particiaption drop off in our cross country race and IMO, this is primarily due to the 600 only rule. The majority of locals don't want to buy 600, race sled or not, because it isn't versital enough.

I'm wondering if others are experiencing a less participation in their events and what they think the cause is?
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Old 12-05-2007, 08:56 PM
Andrew486 Andrew486 is offline
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One thing BRRP does that is cool is the "chuck norris class" where it is any trail sled or pre-04 race sled. There isnt really many racers in the class though. I think if WPSA did it they would get a fair amount of racers in it just because of the amount of riders they normally get anyways.
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Old 12-05-2007, 10:13 PM
ArcticBoy ArcticBoy is offline
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How about insurance requirments in regards to junior racing. While safety is a priority we had problems telling 13 year olds they had to run a fan sled. Over-regulating rules are a few of the reason some peops have just decided to spend their weekends play riding. For the sport to grow you need to have new blood coming in. Out west we have one option for racing, therfore new racers must get their start by racing the best young racers in the area. I have seen it more than once where a new kid get his butt kicked and is never seen again. Small organizations must remain to help feed other oranizations or I believe all may fail. Just my $.02
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Old 12-06-2007, 02:06 AM
robm robm is offline
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Snowcross has a lot of problems right now but I think a lot of the problems being mentioned stem from the cost of racing. A lot of people just can't swing it financially. Cost of the sled is huge, racers need a new sled pretty much every year to remain competitive. Hopefully the introduction of the 600's will eliminate (or at least greatly reduce) the big hit racers used to take unloading their sleds at the end of the year. But then there's fuel, parts, hotels, entry fees, insurance etc...it all adds up to big numbers if a guy wants to race a whole circuit. You've gotta have money to race, plain and simple. That seems to be the most common reason that racers quit, in my area anyways.
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Old 12-06-2007, 08:30 AM
Irace Irace is offline
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I too agree there's problems with sno-x as it is today. The new 600's should help racers sell their sleds at end of season but they are also paying around $8000 for them this year. I've been holding sno-x races for 5 yrs. now and entries are going down. There is less "grass roots" races like ours every year. Some of the problems are:
1. Lack of snow in recent years
2. High fees to race charged by BIG circuits
3. Expense of attending a 2 day race- Hotel, fuel, food, etc.
4. Sponsors are only supporting "big" series, we've had riders sponsors tell riders what races they have to go to or they won't be sponsored anymore
5. Riders are supporting the big circuits by attending them, smaller circuits can't make ends meet without entries. Expenses are the same whether there is 20 riders or 300 riders.
6. Less locations are willing to hold an event cuz they are being charged so much for the event that they can't even break even
7. Competition at nationals and regionals is so tough that the average guy doesn't stand a chance
In a nutshell...unless either sponsors/ manufacturers start helping out the small circuits or riders make an effort to support the smaller circuits you'll see less options for sno-x racing. It's the "grass roots circuits" that actually draw more new riders into the sport. With todays economy and gas prices I see #'s going down more in the future unless something changes.
My 2cents
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Old 12-06-2007, 10:00 AM
zach477 zach477 is offline
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In my opinion I donít think the costs of sleds are what really is hurting sno-x racing. Sure a specialized sled for sno-x is a little spendy and is hard to get rid of but when you look at all the other cost of sno-x this cost is only 1/3 of the problems. Now with the 600s I think this issue will be decreased greatly but even before there are always people that want a race sled, I think its because people want something a lot of people cant get. Every one wants the newest and coolest thing out there and itís a snowball effect, 7-8 years ago 90% of sport riders rode trail sleds and raced to try it out and have fun. Of course this was when sno-x was still pretty new and a true production race sled wasnít available yet, but if you watch a sport race now you have to have a brand new machine to be competitive. Heck half the national sport riders come in semis. Gas prices donít help any either, when you have to drive 800 miles a weekend to race pulling a trailer you looking at $240 right there, add $200 for two nights of hotels plus $50 for food if not more you are looking at $500 just to get to the race, stay warm and not starve. Add the $150 race and pit fees plus the $40 in race fuel and another $50 of mics parts that get wore out or broken on a weekend you are up to $700. Do this 8 times a year to complete a whole series and your looking at least $6000 in direct cost that cant really be cut out. If you look at racing a small venue the cost are a lot lower but kids that have mom and dad write the checks while they have fun donít want to race at some fair race with 10 spectators and no overnight hotel stays to hang out with friends and raise hell. The ****ty economy doesnít help much either, if you look in the pits a few years back half the sport and semi-pro racers had dads construction company as a sponsor on the side of their trailer and with the current housing market dad prob isnít raking in the dough like he was a few years ago. Pretty much what im getting at in all this mumbo jumbo is its the nature of the beast. In mx you always know you can ride your bike, you donít have to wait for dirt. Its warm, enjoyable for fans to watch and can be done all over the nation. Sno-x is cold, you need snow, itís popular only in the Snowbelt regions. In mx you can camp out and grill and save some money that way, in snox you need a $30000 trailer to keep warm in to camp and who wants to grill brats in -30 degree temps. It seems to be the guys that have the money to race only want to race big venues and the number of guys that cant afford to do that but can afford to race small venue racers is pretty slim.
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Old 12-06-2007, 12:25 PM
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Lots of good points being brought up. The costs of travel, lodging & food cannot be understated. Those are the reasons I never raced sno-x outside of town. Even just having more than one sno-x per year creates problems with a small club because the novelity quickly wears off and the time demands on the volunteers burn people out.

I was thinking there might be some simple answers to solving the problem but I can see there aren't. I think the OEM's could help by just going to a production sno-x or race sled and offering it for sale to anyone who wants one. Make it just like motocross. If you want a YZ you buy one, they are on the showroom floor like everything else. That should lower the cost of the sleds for both the OEMs and consumers. Changing the courses to more a european style with less big air and more sweeping corners might attract more people and be easier on equipment.

Then again, so many things are out of our control. The cost of gas needs to come down, snow isn't guarenteed, the cost of insurance makes following ISR rules a requirement for our club and further reduces the participants because their sleds don't fit the classes.

There will always be those who want to race so some type of racing will always continue but I'm not certain that sno-x will remain the biggest thing.
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Old 12-06-2007, 09:20 PM
zach477 zach477 is offline
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I think there are some things that could be done to help, with mx there are 8-9 races around here a season. They end up getting hard to find workers by the end of the season because people get burnt out. I think 8 sno-x races would be too many. I think one venue putting on 4 a season would be a good start. If temps and snow wasnt an issue things would be wayyyy easier. I think if you could set up a venue out of the wind so your track doesnt blow away..... and temps kept cold you could build a track once and only need to prep it after the first race rather than rebuild. Finding a place that is kinda in the middle of everywhere so its not a long drive for everyone. It would take someone that has winters off and can devote all their time to it, working a 8-5 and trying to make races happen just wont cut it. I think making a track that has a little for every rider helps. Have a track with a sections that only semi-pros and pros do, make it tough with the bigger jumps, the other section would be used for beginner to sport riders. I think spending money on the fans needs to be addressed, even at national races 3/4 of the venues you freeze your balls off. Even making a wind shelter and a warming building would be huge. Also spend the money to get a beer license......people like watching races and drinking BEER! You make money and more people are going to come. Advertising helps but i think you get most your fans by word of mouth, make sure first timers that dont have race sleds are welcome. Switch up the classes so guys that come can race a trail sled....get together with some pro and semi pro riders that might have extra gear and see if they mind borrowing a tek vest or look for some used tek vest to rent out. I know of a couple kids that would love to try out snox but cant swing the $300 on a tek vest to give it a try. Also another idea to help the track out....use hay bales and dirt to build a base for the track, it will help with low slow conditions. I think the guys up in fargo at buffalo river have a good program going, hope they get more riders and can keep their head above water.....just my $0.02
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Old 12-06-2007, 09:25 PM
zach477 zach477 is offline
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Oh and normally I dont say "I think" so many times....its late and im lazy
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Old 12-06-2007, 09:34 PM
zach477 zach477 is offline
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Old 12-07-2007, 08:06 AM
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Old 12-07-2007, 08:51 AM
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Old 12-07-2007, 12:33 PM
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Old 12-08-2007, 05:25 AM
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