My wife wants to come mountain riding - what to buy?

Blk88GT

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My wife has finally :)heart:) decided she'll come out west with me. She is not aggressive at all and her off trail experience is limited to trapping lines and remote lake crossings at home. She enjoys trail riding, but she hasn't done much of that in the last 5 years as we had a daughter and stopped sledding for a while.

Seeing as how she wants a sled, I got her to take out my Summit on the weekend to get a baseline as to what she likes/doesn't like. She expected the sled to be too tippy and the track too long. We did a quick 6 mile tour on it between a rutted out creek, some groomed trail, whopped out sections and some fresh snow. She admitted she couldn't tell how long it was while riding and loved the way it drove. She did say that she may feel more comfortable with a wider front end, but admitted she really liked the way it handled in the powder.

We were considering a Freeride but I keep wondering if maybe she'd be better off on a Summit? Track length we'd like to keep to 146/154 but can't seem to come to a hard decision there there.

She's 5'8" 115lbs. Any input would be appreciated. We will NOT be purchasing a Polaris, FWIW.
 

Wowmom

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Not sure what kind of riding she will be doing, but if you are doing any mountain riding don't go shorter than the 154, floatation is big in the mountains. Trust me she does not want to be stuck all the time..... Would keep ski stance narrow for sidehilling. As per Summit vs Freeride don't think there is a huge difference in those setups.
 

Murph

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My wife is 5' 2" 115 lbs.

She rides a Pro 155 and a Pro 163. I know you are sticking with Ski Doo (great sleds) I would go with the longest track she is comfortable with-- after riding, not discussing. If you can, take out a couple of sleds with different track lengths and cover the track length sticker. See what she notices/ likes/ dislikes.

Val likes the 163" because she can poke through the trees at a slower speed and stay on top. She also likes how the 163" is less prone to washing out while sidehilling.

Let her learn (re-learn) at her own pace, find other women who snowmobile to ride with-- not trail riding meadow muffins, but women who actually push their limits and RIDE. Not many women really ride around here, but Val has gotten to the level that she can hang with the men just fine.

Val is not the best rider I ride with, but I enjoy riding with her more than any other. I get so stoked watching her pull a line or make men look silly-- especially the ones who don't "want to ride with a girl".
 

Blk88GT

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I don't trust the Polaris 800, so it's out. Sorry Missy. Getting her to ride with other women will prove difficult as we have to plan our trips and don't know any other women who ride. She'll be stuck with me for a while ;)

I'd like to buy a sled in the next week or two and get her comfortable on it at home before we head out on a trip. It may result in having to buy a different (longer shorter, etc) sled later, but I think that would be the easiest thing to do in our situation.

I appreciate the feedback.
 

Murph

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I don't trust the Polaris 800, so it's out. Sorry Missy. Getting her to ride with other women will prove difficult as we have to plan our trips and don't know any other women who ride. She'll be stuck with me for a while ;)

I'd like to buy a sled in the next week or two and get her comfortable on it at home before we head out on a trip. It may result in having to buy a different (longer shorter, etc) sled later, but I think that would be the easiest thing to do in our situation.

I appreciate the feedback.
Buy her a sled that you would ride yourself. I hate it when I see a guy on a new sled and his wife/girlfriend is on a ten year old sled and he can't understand why she can't ride it or doesn't like to ride it.... It doesn't have to be brand new, but if it's a Ski Doo, make sure it's an XM.

Personally, like Missy, I like Polaris-- I understand why you don't. I actually think a Ski Doo is easier for a new rider to follow on because it is so planted. A new rider can steer (vs countersteer) up a hill, where a Pro wants to roll in off camber situations if you aren't on edge (sidehilling on one ski).

More important than the sled is attitude. Hers and YOURS. I still fall into this trap sometimes where I get frustrated and it wrecks the vibe. The best thing we can do when she gets stuck is laugh and get it out (sometimes the laughing part is easier said than done). If we make stucks no big deal, then they happen less often. It's when we get mad or frustrated that it becomes no fun for the person learning.
 

05900

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154! there is not enough "extra" to be noticeable except when you need it .. set suspension.
Raise / Lower bars so it fits and GO.

Ski Doo has big sale push now?!!
 

papafinger1

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I have recently found myself in the same situation. I just picked up an m5 for my 8 year old and now momma announced she wants to learn as well. I'm pretty excited. Probably make the first trip a training playing trip on the m5 and see how she handles just being there. If she likes it an upgrade is certain to come. She can trail ride just fine but has never been off trail or in the backcountry. She has listened to mean stammer on about riding and sat thru hours of sledding videos so I think she is more than capable of becoming a decent rider. I just know it will be my responsibility to make sure she enjoys her first experience. If it goes poorly in any way I risk the chance that she will never try again. Always stay positive, listen to what they have to say, push them only if they are comfortable, and always make sure they are enjoying themselves. Good luck. Keep us in the loop because you may just have some helpful tips I can utilize on our first couples mountain adventure


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Blk88GT

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I have recently found myself in the same situation. I just picked up an m5 for my 8 year old and now momma announced she wants to learn as well. I'm pretty excited. Probably make the first trip a training playing trip on the m5 and see how she handles just being there. If she likes it an upgrade is certain to come. She can trail ride just fine but has never been off trail or in the backcountry. She has listened to mean stammer on about riding and sat thru hours of sledding videos so I think she is more than capable of becoming a decent rider. I just know it will be my responsibility to make sure she enjoys her first experience. If it goes poorly in any way I risk the chance that she will never try again. Always stay positive, listen to what they have to say, push them only if they are comfortable, and always make sure they are enjoying themselves. Good luck. Keep us in the loop because you may just have some helpful tips I can utilize on our first couples mountain adventure


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Make no mistake, I will struggle bigtime with this but I think I can do it. It will be difficult for me to set my mind back 8 years and see from the outside what the struggle looked like, but at the end of the day I think we'll have a ton of fun!
 

Thistledoo

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I have recently found myself in the same situation. I just picked up an m5 for my 8 year old and now momma announced she wants to learn as well. I'm pretty excited. Probably make the first trip a training playing trip on the m5 and see how she handles just being there. If she likes it an upgrade is certain to come. She can trail ride just fine but has never been off trail or in the backcountry. She has listened to mean stammer on about riding and sat thru hours of sledding videos so I think she is more than capable of becoming a decent rider. I just know it will be my responsibility to make sure she enjoys her first experience. If it goes poorly in any way I risk the chance that she will never try again. Always stay positive, listen to what they have to say, push them only if they are comfortable, and always make sure they are enjoying themselves. Good luck. Keep us in the loop because you may just have some helpful tips I can utilize on our first couples mountain adventure


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from what I have learned over the years is make sure they have the right and good quality gear....start at the bottom and work your way up. Wet feet and legs or bum are not an easy thing to change on the hill, the rest u can warm up!
 

papafinger1

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Was home this weekend off of work for the first time in 6 weeks. Momma and I had plenty of time to visit and she is very excited to go. We even spend a few hours watching and analyzing sled videos together with our son who will be ready possibly next year. What a great night combining sledding talk whiskey waters and family. Very excited! Now just need time off work to get west.
I bought her a quality coat this fall. She has a good helmet as well as base layer. She is definitely going to need new boots, bibs, and gloves. Ladies what do you prefer for quality gear designed for a woman? She isn't in to flashy.


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Missy

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I bought her a quality coat this fall. She has a good helmet as well as base layer. She is definitely going to need new boots, bibs, and gloves. Ladies what do you prefer for quality gear designed for a woman? She isn't in to flashy.


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I wear men's Klim Free Ride Pant. They have a lot more leg room. I am not a fan of the bibs because undressing completely to pee is not exactly convenient. You can find non current stuff on their site for a great deal but sizes are limited. I really like the Allure glove and the 3.0 liners. I am digging the new Boa system on my boots. Look for the sales, people will start clearance things soon. :face-icon-small-hap
 

Blk88GT

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from what I have learned over the years is make sure they have the right and good quality gear....start at the bottom and work your way up. Wet feet and legs or bum are not an easy thing to change on the hill, the rest u can warm up!
We decked her out head to toe in Klim gear already. Wasn't cheap, but it'll pay off :)
 
We decked her out head to toe in Klim gear already. Wasn't cheap, but it'll pay off :)
Good move, you can't go wrong with Klim. Once she gets a few rides under her belt you might want to do a women's clinic for her. I have learned we guy's ride different than most gals. Such as 240lbs. pulling my sled on one ski to 120lbs. trying to do the same. The experienced lady riders will be able to shine a different light on the subject. There are some good videos out on the web that will assist in her quest. Have fun, and just remember how many times you were stuck while learning.... My wife and I sled together,dirt ride a little and have adventure bikes we travel together on and the only problem is having to have two of everything. There is always time to go out with the guys there is never enough time to spend together.
 

Blk88GT

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Good advice! Thank you. We'll see how much she enjoys riding off trail before I worry about a clinic, but I would absolutely sign her up in a heartbeat if she wanted to.
 

Wowmom

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I wear klim gear. Love everything, but their gloves, they don't seem to last as long as I expect for the price. First place parts just put klim on sale, Dennis Kirk has the cheapest return shipping ( I usually order a couple sizes for best fit, I am hours from any where to try on gear )
Good Luck!

Was home this weekend off of work for the first time in 6 weeks. Momma and I had plenty of time to visit and she is very excited to go. We even spend a few hours watching and analyzing sled videos together with our son who will be ready possibly next year. What a great night combining sledding talk whiskey waters and family. Very excited! Now just need time off work to get west.
I bought her a quality coat this fall. She has a good helmet as well as base layer. She is definitely going to need new boots, bibs, and gloves. Ladies what do you prefer for quality gear designed for a woman? She isn't in to flashy.


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revrider07

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Also make sure she has a good helmet and googles that fit good together. I'm not a fan of mix and matching these combos. Klim helmets were designed for Klim googles.
 

papafinger1

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Well spent the money on gear. Picked up some diva sled bibs and gloves. Fly helmet w/Scott goggles. Also got a pair of fxr boots. Should be delivered to her next week for a late valentines gift. She questioned the spending at first but after explaining quality gear is 90% of providing a quality experience she gave in quite easily. Found some really good late season deals. Didn't go absolute top of the line just because this may be her only trip ever but if it is just the beginning we have set a good baseline to build on.


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