What's your story?

Dec 10, 2012
26
8
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I haven't been cruising the Sled forums for that long, but am struck by the diversity of ages, technical skills, and knowledge. I read various posts, some that interest me personally, others that don't apply, and in every case, am struck by how much you guys know about your sleds. Some of you appear to be tied to one brand. Others own at least a couple of other brands, and the list of former sleds owned by each of you, is often loooong.

Now it's not that I'm nosy, ... OK, maybe a little bit.

What really interests me is how so many of you guys came to know so much. I mean, really. I see a discussion with many members chiming in, some of them rated as Advanced, or Senior, or some other rating indicating a high ranking knowledge level. And I'm impressed by the content of your posts. Then I look at the age... 37, or 40, or so.

How long have you been riding?
Even if you were riding since kidhood, that does not explain how you managed to be sled savy. Most people just jump on and tear off.

So... My question is:

Where did your knowledge and love of sledding start?
What is your story?

Please do tell how you got involved in sledding? How many years? At what age did you start? Was it your dads, or uncles that got you started? What sleds did you ride? What sleds did you own? What sleds did you fix? Were you, or are you involved in automotive repair? And the fabricators... How the heck did you learn to modify tracks, and to move seats from one model to another totally different model or vintage?


Anybody out there with a story?
 
Last edited:
Dec 10, 2012
26
8
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71
OK, to get the ball rolling, I'll start.

Winter in Canada can be a long boring season. I knew that when I retired, I'd have to have something to do to keep from getting cabin fever, so when a close friend suggested that we buy sleds, I was interested but skeptical. I mean, really. I retired at age 62 in 2010, and had never ridden on a sled, except for maybe one time 30 years ago.

My buddy bought a 'Cat; I couldn't even tell you what kind, except it was FAST, and about a '02... 600 something.

At that point I wasn't even sure if I would like sledding, so I didn't want to spend too much money. And I didn't need to go fast. I just wanted something that we could drive around our lake lots up near Edmonton.. Maybe go across the lake, on the trails, into some field powder...

I ended up with a '92 Polaris 440 Sport. It was fan cooled, seemed to run OK, and would go 40 - 50 mph. Plenty fast for me. And it was cheap!

What I soon found out was 3 things:
1) Sleds get stuck
2) Sleds are HEAVY
3) What you want in a sled, is reverse!

OK... 4 things. Sleds break parts. A lot.

Maybe it wouldn't have been as bad if I hadn't bought a relic, but I had.
The first couple of stucks and breaks were a bit dis-heartening. My buddy said basically, to 'suck it up'. That getting stuck and towed back just added to the experience. Turned out he was right.

The riding part was, and is, great. And it's fun learning a new thing. Leaning, turning, side-hilling, using the throttle to your advantage.

Neither of us have mountain sleds. We can't do deep powder and we don't even think about high marking. We ride the trails, go through the trees, practice our sharp turns in deeper snow. It is fun.

When we break down, or get stuck, we all ( about 4 of us ride together ) help out.

We don't go far on any given day. About 50 miles max. And we don't get out that often... 5-6 times a winter; but the times we get out we love it!

Whenever possible, if the breaks aren't too technical to diagnose and fix, we do the work ourselves. So far it hasn't been too bad. A couple of the buddies did give up fixing their heaps, got PO's from their wives, and bought better sleds. Being retired, I can't really get into the sleds that I want, so I have to make do with what I can afford.

Last year I decided to buy a better sled, and this time get reverse!
I brought home a '99 Polaris XCR 700, with the Xtra-10 suspension and a track stretched to 144 with 2" paddles. FOX shocks, a Team secondary and mechanical reverse. Nice. For what I could afford.

What I didn't ask, was how much the sled weighed. If I thought the Sport was heavy, the XCR at 575 lbs dry... Well, you know. Let's just say I try really hard to not get stuck!

So that's where I am now. I had some clutch issues with the Sport, and am waiting for some tools, so I can deal with it. That machine is ear-marked for my 15 year old grandson. I really want to get him hooked on sledding. Now.

If he's 62, it might not happen.
 

Reeb

Modding mini's
Lifetime Membership
Jul 6, 2001
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Twin Rivers
www.robinsms.com
I'll join you!

I'm 28, hometown is Kamloops BC.
My dad owned a Ski-Doo Shop.
My Uncle owned a Moto-Ski shop, sold it, and bought an Arctic-Cat shop.

My dad was a Champion Oval Racer in the 70's and part of Team Ski-Doo. My uncle, being older, was among the first to explore using nitro methane on 3 cylinder free airs in the late 60's and early 70's. By the early 80's both brothers, as well as a handful of others were proficient in watercrossing their sleds. By the mid 80's they were jumping them off of water-ski jumps.



So I was born into sleds and started off with a Kitty Cat painted up in Ski-Doo colors. I took a liking to engines and mechanics pretty early.





By the early 90's I was the test pilot for all the new sleds coming into the dealerships. When i was 7 I was given a MX-Z 470. The new bubblebee yellow one in a F-Chassis. Not to be outdone, my Uncle declared over a family dinner that I was not allowed to ride it when I was with him. So he promptly introduced me to a brand new Jag Z 440. To say I was a wee bit spoiled is an understatement. And to top it off, I was designated to break-in every new demo that came into both dealerships. Wildcat 700's, Mach Z's, Thundercats, ZRT 600/800's. My Dad and Uncle would let me ride them for the first half of the day, then swap me sleds so they could ride them for the second half. I remember time apon time when customers would ask to ride the new sled but my Dad and Uncle would turn them away saying that nobody will ride their new demos until they get a chance to. The puzzled looks on most peoples faces were always worth a chuckle.

I learned how to jump on a clapped out SS25, that sled lasted half a day jumping a bank off of a lake. Broke the sled in half. Dad wasn't impressed and soon taught me the mechanics of hitting the beach at 40mph was never in the best interest of snowmobiles.
I learned how to sidehill on a 440 Prowler with a 136x1.25 track. I was pretty proud of that moment.

We oval raced, hillclimbed, and eventually got into snocross by the time the 90's were over and into the 2000's.





Before I was out of highschool I started a lightweight snowmobile business out of my Dad's 2-car garage at home. Did very well, then Boss Industries tried suing a 17 year old. I proved their patents were false, but because they are in Utah, and me in Canada, and 17. I didn't force the issue. I stopped making seats and went to University.



Soon after I built my first Mod Sled from the ground up. Started my career of choice in the Powersports Industry. My end goal is to own a dealership one day. So I started in a distribution warehouse getting to know supply chains and making contacts within the industries.(M/C, Marine, Sled)
Then moved on to be a parts man at one of the biggest Yamaha/Triumph dealerships in Western Canada. Soon after I moved to a bit of a hole in the wall town managing a Arctic-Cat/Kawasaki shop. Moved on after that to a bigger town(and closer to my hometown) that sold Honda/BRP/KTM and managed that place for 5 years.

I have a hard time staying in one place without learning, so whenever I felt that I learned what I needed to do, I moved on. Now I work for a Canadian Mining company running the Exploration Drilling side of things. The career change is completely about my end goal. Which has never changed. I do still intend to own my own dealership.



I took advice from my Dad and along the way and started collecting my toys. He always told me that as soon as I start a family, I'll have to start selling the toys. And if I don't start with any toys, I won't have them until after I kick the kids outta the house. So I started my collection of boats, bikes and sleds.

I ride a Ski-Doo Rev, a Yamaha Vector Turbo, M-Series Mod and my Mod Arctic-Cat I built after highschool.





I've ridden with X-Games medalists, Jackson Hole Kings, World Champion racers of every caliber. I even get to call some of them my friends. It's been a fun ride, I hope it doesn't end anytime soon.
 

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Last edited:
Dec 10, 2012
26
8
3
71
Wow!

Well Reeb. Quite a story. A lot of background there in not that many years.

Makes me wish I had found sledding years ago.
But then again, when I was younger, money was tight and there was nothing left over for toys. Good thing your dad and uncle were in the Biz and got you started young! Sledding is a great family past-time.

And I would say your Dad had the right idea. Get the toys NOW, while you can.

Keep riding, and if and when you have a family, get the kids started early, just like you!

Best wishes in your future business venture!
 
Jul 3, 2020
1
1
3
I haven't been cruising the Sled forums for that long, but am struck by the diversity of ages, technical skills, and knowledge. I read various posts, some that interest me personally, others that don't apply, and in every case, am struck by how much you guys know about your sleds. Some of you appear to be tied to one brand. Others own at least a couple of other brands, and the list of former sleds owned by each of you, is often loooong.

Now it's not that I'm nosy, ... OK, maybe a little bit.

What really interests me is how so many of you guys came to know so much. I mean, really. I see a discussion with many members chiming in, some of them rated as Advanced, or Senior, or some other rating indicating a high ranking knowledge level. And I'm impressed by the content of your posts. Then I look at the age... 37, or 40, or so.

How long have you been riding?
Even if you were riding since kidhood, that does not explain how you managed to be sled savy. Most people just jump on and tear off.

So... My question is:

Where did your knowledge and love of sledding start?
What is your story?

Please do tell how you got involved in sledding? How many years? At what age did you start? Was it your dads, or uncles that got you started? What sleds did you ride? What sleds did you own? What sleds of did you fix? Were you, or are you involved in automotive repair? And the fabricators... How the heck did you learn to modify tracks, and to move seats from one model to another totally different model or vintage?


Anybody out there with a story?
Makes me wish I had found sledding years ago.
But then again, when I was younger, money was tight and there was nothing left over for toys. Good thing your dad and uncle were in the Biz and got you started young! Sledding is a great family past-time.
 

christopher

Well-known member
Staff member
Lifetime Membership
Nov 1, 2008
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20,581
113
Rigby, Idaho
Makes me wish I had found sledding years ago.
But then again, when I was younger, money was tight and there was nothing left over for toys. Good thing your dad and uncle were in the Biz and got you started young! Sledding is a great family past-time.
Ain't that the truth though
 
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