Hope all is well and you are starting to get excited for the up and coming snowmobile season. I have already started going through my gear, inspecting, fixing, updating and helped a friend wrap a sled!!
As I mentioned in my previous post, I am somewhat new to snowmobiling as this will be my fourth year to this sport. It was at this time 4 years ago that I was looking at my checkbook and budgeting how I was going to get myself ready to ride for the upcoming season. Starting from scratch however, I wasn’t sure how to decide what gear and sled to purchase?
Here’s my story:
First, I reached out to my family in Alaska to ask that question. The good, I thought: I was able to talk to numerous family friends that were able to provide A LOT of information that I thought pointed me down the right road. Stay tuned on the bad…………
The next step was going to the different dealerships with the information that I had obtained and quickly found out that the homework I had done wasn’t necessarily accurate. You see, I was preparing myself to ride in Washington State. In Alaska, from the riders that I spoke with, most of the terrain that people ride is open area “boondocking” over rolling hills with frozen lakes and ponds in between. It is also very common that a lot of the rides are “destination” rides so most people ride 600’s for the added mileage economy vs a typical 800.
The bad: I was back to square one.
Every dealership that I spoke with was helpful. They understood that I was new to the sport and gave me the proper information regarding our typical terrain and snow conditions in Washington State. I spent the next few weeks spending my evenings on the internet doing research about what snowmobile would be best for me. After filtering through all of the “hater banter” about every sled brand I had made my decision.
I think each manufacturer makes a great sled. I really do. But my decision came down to basically 2 things. 1. I wanted the dealer to be close to my home for service appointments, parts etc. 2. At the time that I purchased my first Skidoo, the reliability of the ETEC motor sold me over the other brands. That’s it. For me it was that simple.
My advice for new riders, or people that have been away from the sport for a few years, is to definitely do your own homework but also reach out to a snowmobile club and talk to people. You will definitely get your “brand smashers” in jest, however, I have also learned that people will provide you with proper information as well.
After all that, I’ve since upgraded to a Summit 800 T3 163” wrecked it, fixed it and wrapped it. It never ends is the best advice I can give.
Feel free to let me know if you have questions. That’s what I’m hoping my blog will encourage.
My next blog entry will discuss my first ride. What a shit show, I was.