Russ Zee

This 20-year-old ripper from Ontario made his first visit to B.C. this season and he ended up scoring a part in the next Fourcast 3 sledding flick

by Matthew Mallory

A guy soaring though the air on a sled.

Full name: Russell Zarzeczny

Age: 20

Hometown: Stouffville, Ontario

Rides: 2012 Ski-Doo MXZ 600/770RS

So Russ, you just made your first trip out to B.C. What did you think? The trip was amazing for sure! It was everything I expected, plus some added bonuses. It was a wicked experience.

Who did you come out with and how did this trip come about? I came out with Clint Miller who I knew through working at the local bike and sled shop. It had been a dream of mine to ride my snowmobile in the mountains but I was smart enough to know I couldn’t just go out with my flatlander buddies. I had to go with someone who’s had some experience out there and that’s how I got the idea to hook up with Clint who was going out for his annual trip.

You were riding a short track in the mountains. How did that go? It went pretty well. We certainly struggled on the days that there was some fresh (snow)—pretty much just trying to not blow the sled up or get stuck 10 times but otherwise it was really good.  With the spring snow conditions, we were able to pretty much get around everywhere but it was still a little challenging, which was fun.

Where all did you ride and what was your favourite place? For the most part, we rode in Whistler,  but we also did two days in Revelstoke and two days in Golden. I definitely liked what I saw in Revelstoke and wish we could have rode there a bit more, but my favourite zone was probably Sproatt in Whistler.

So, your first trip to British Columbia, first time riding in the mountains, and your scoring a part in next year’s flick, Fourcast 3. How was the filming experience? The filming experience was amazing! It was definitely unexpected and I’m stoked I got the opportunity to do it. I learned a lot about the filming process and had a ton of fun doing it. It was also awesome to have that little bit of extra motivation from the camera being there.

You were hitting some big airs and styling out some sweet whips. How did you learn this stuff in Ontario? For the most part, my skills came from motocross. There is no comparable terrain and not really enough snow here to practice the stuff I was doing on the sled. It was, however, my first season hitting a freestyle ramp on the snowmobile, which was fun and good jumping practice. Other than that, just some natural jumps and transferring everything I know from riding dirt bikes over to sleds.

Fill us in about your sledding background. For me, growing up snowmobiling was always just a pastime during the off-season from motocross—pretty much ripping around fields by the house and trail riding at the cottage. It’s really only been the last two years that I have found a real love for sledding. Since I got my first race sled last season, I’ve really been having a lot of fun riding and jumping it.

You were following the old dawg Clint Miller around, who is arguably one of the nicest sled dudes ever. What did you learn from him over the course of the trip? Yeah, Clint definitely taught me some important things riding in the mountains. He had all the good hook-ups, good riding areas and was always pumped and, most importantly, (I) learned about hitting some big jumps and safely building them too.

Any plans to return or maybe spend a winter out here? Yes, I definitely want to return and the ultimate goal would be to spend the whole winter one year. For now, I just hope to keep staying a little bit longer each year, and try to get myself a mountain sled.

Cheers dude, thanks for catching up with us. Any shout-outs or thank yous you would like to add? No problem! Thanks for the interview. I’d like to thank everyone out west who helped me out—Clint, Machine Racing and my family, friends and girlfriend.

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