Tom Cepek

Meet Tom Cepek, the European half of the West Coast Sledders

by Matthew Mallory

A guy on a black sled spinning on a sidehill.
If there’s fresh snow, Tom Cepek will often be the one to make first tracks. David Dobson photo

The West Coast Sledders thing was fermented in the cauldron that is Tom Cepek’s brain. It was a perfect concoction of a platform and two average dudes who happen to be way-above-average riders.

While crazy Jon Jean was back in Quebec slaying giant moose, Cepek was pecking away at his keyboard and setting up the Facebook page that launched West Coast Sledders to the world. Having garnered a reputation for getting out there breaking trail, schralping pow, slaying lines and catching air, the duo have become quite the hit in the freeride snowmobile world.

The story of Cepek slightly reveals itself when you read his posts on the West Coast Sledders page. Occasionally the English can seem a little broken and, well, there is good reason for that. Until the age of 11, Cepek was hanging out in Praha. The first part of his childhood was spent in the Czech Republic, but things changed when his family moved to Canada.

These days, Cepek hangs his hat in Langley, B.C., and he rides a lot. Getting out sledding takes some dedication, though, since it means driving to the snow. As a tile setter, he works hard all summer so that he can have a more free schedule in the winter months. If there is snow coming, you can bet he will be out there—and if there is fresh pow and blue skies, it’s a guarantee that you will be following his tracks in.

From a newbie to a natural

It was seven years ago that Cepek started riding. His first trip out was a deep day and he spent it stuck. When asked how the day went, Cepek said, “Great, until I got into the fresh stuff and then it sucked. I should have watched a video on how-to.” Well, it would be fair to say that he has come a long way since then.

Cepek said his favourite style of riding is “everything” and it shows. He is equally comfortable breaking trail, riding tight technical trees and big mountain pow descents or hitting drops and jumps. He has a love of riding in the mountains and two simple goals: to have fun and run the tank almost dry but not quite empty. It’s simple, but it doesn’t get much better than that.

That being said, Cepek describes his perfect day: “(It) starts after it dumps for a few days and then the sky goes blue. Avalanche ratings are moderate and just Jon and I are punching the trail through the forest to the goods. In that time, all the boarders turn around and go somewhere else. Two hours later, we are playing in bottomless, blower pow with nobody around.”

Dreaming of cold winter days

It’s summer now, so Cepek is busy at work, making the green for the winter yet still finding time to get out on his moto, ride his mountain bike, chill with his wolf and keep updating the West Coast Sledders page. Through all this though, he is still dreaming of the cold winter days spent behind the bars rooping it up. For this coming season, Cepek and Jean have picked up more sponsors and will be rocking gear from SpySnowPulse, MammutTobe 2.0 and of course loving the support from their local dealer Greater Vancouver Powersports.

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