A snowmobiler’s pet peeves

A few pet peeves of shredders

by Trish Drinkle

A skidoo and a Artic Cat sled on a trailer.
One rider will be Ski-Doo-ing, the other Arctic Cat-ing. Not every snowmobiler is a Ski-Doo-er.

Sometimes snowmobilers encounter stereotypes that make us cringe. Here is a list of some pet peeves submitted by real-life shredders.

The term skidooing used to describe snowmobiling

You are not skidooing unless in fact you are on a product made by Ski-Doo (Bombardier). You in fact could be Polaris-ing, Arctic Cat-ing or Yamaha-ing, but not necessarily skidooing. Sledding, snowmobiling, even snow-machining (a term used by our neighbours to the south) are all appropriate terms to describe the activity. Other terms include shredding, hoonin' and visiting the white room. 

Ridding

What are you ridding the world of? Oh—you are trying to say riding. Well, riding has one D. Spell check police have exhausted themselves on this one, with the many "ridding" posts on social networks and online forums. One D in riding! One D!

Snow exaggeration

"There was like three feet of fresh," exclaims the excited rider relaying snow conditions from his latest adventure. Learn how to use a tape measure or accurate form of estimation if you are explaining snow conditions. A six inch skiff of snow is not three feet of fresh. Overexaggeration leads to animosity and open ridicule. Be truthful and humble when estimating snow reports, especially if you are using the report to antagonize and rub metaphorical salt in the wound of another who wasn’t able to get out riding that day. 

Extreme thrill seeking adrenaline junkies

Usually those who describe mountain freeriders as "extreme" will begin the sentence with "So, do you highmark?" They are most certainly pursing their lips and frowning as they ask this question. What is it this individual is insinuating? In their minds, anyone who ventures off the corduroy trail is indeed some kind of extreme highmarker who has an adrenaline-induced death wish. 

No, we are snowmobilers who enjoy boondocking and free ride play in the mountain backcountry. Extreme? Perhaps extremely awesome or fantastic. But extreme in a derogatory sense, meaning an adrenaline junkie who throws safety and common sense to the wind? No, not extreme. 

The keyboard jockey

They talk a big game on the Internet, but rarely do they actually ride. Full of advice and boastful posting, this online hero has forum generated reputation points and a puffed out chest. Get them actually on the snow and it is a different story. Their talk has no game, which is why they are rarely seen riding with others. Their sled has all the mods and they most likely have eight cameras located on various parts of their snowmobile to signify their expertise. If their skill matched half of their boasting they’d be amazing. Sadly, this is usually not the case. 

Self-proclaimed pro riders

Get some stickers in the mail from a company and bam, some peeps decide they are sponsored. That 10 per cent discount on gear means you're sponsored, right? And sponsored riders are categorized as professional, right? Wrong! Do you actually make a living from being a snowmobiler? If the answer is no, then drop the claims of pro status.

Many a rider seeks sponsorship in an attempt to get free stuff, not understanding the commitment and professionalism needed to be an effective brand ambassador. It’s not about free stuff, it is about marketing. Sponsorship, a vital part of marketing that showcases the product or brand with reputable riders, has proven successful on many levels. 

Many companies are sick and tired of superstar wannabes demanding free stuff. If you are trying for sponsorship, be prepared with a full sports resume, riding clips, photographs and an in-depth list of the ways you plan on marketing their product. The plan does not include piling up your free shwag on the bed and posting pictures on Facebook. 

Bigots of either sex

Yes, we all enjoy seeing women out there on the snow, but when it comes to war cries like “show the boys how it’s done,” a snowmobiling woman can turn into someone I don't want to ride with. Ladies, stay humble. To the dude who insists snowmobiling is only for men: Get over yourself and open your eyes. Women ride. Men ride. End of story. 

The know-it-all

"If you would have been over about two feet you totally would have fit between those trees."

Really? I thought the best way to boondock through the forest was to smash nose first into the gigantic Ponderosa pine that cratered my front bumper. Wow, wish I would have thought of that, Captain Know-It-All.

Too cool for school

You know the rider. They are too hip for an avalanche course, may choose not to wear a helmet and really don’t do our sport any favours. These riders will make excuses to try to justify their lack of education and safety equipment.

Ride safe and ride wise. End of story. It is hip and fly to be Avy Wise, smart and responsible out there in the great white open. 

Brand bashers

Undying loyalty to one specific brand, denouncing all other iron as junk, is a common attitude on many online forums and Facebook pages. But you know what? All the sleds on the market today are fantastic. Some sleds suit the needs of specific people, and dealer support goes a long way when making a brand decision. It doesn’t matter what you ride, only that you ride with enjoyment and passion.

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