There comes a point in every snowmobilers life where they find themselves questioning their love for the sport of snowmobiling. The usual rush of excitement isn’t as it used to be, which can be incredibly perplexing for die-hard shredders. What’s wrong? Is there some sort of human equivalent to an ECU reflash we can do to our grey matter that will bring back the same passion and excitement as was felt seasons before?
Don’t worry! You are not broken. It’s all good, in fact this is a natural transition that can be prompted by many factors:
- Age- As we start to get older our bodies change. Things like throwing your neck out because you shampooed your hair wrong can become a reality, so the thought of hucking it hard off a cornice, may not be as appealing. You may look down that creek draw that you used to ride and remember the afternoon you spent standing in water digging Frank out. With age comes the knowledge of where you can go for fun, the strengths and weaknesses of your riding crew, and where there is lots of great terrain to explore without spending a day digging. We also garner a new appreciation for a freshly groomed snowmobile trail.
- Family- This is a big one, our risk tolerance changes once we start to bring little humans into the world. We know there are people relying on us waiting at home, so pushing boundaries to the point of danger is really not an option This can be a doozy for women riders out there, because of the wonderful little internal gremlins called hormones, that heighten a woman’s sense of awareness after giving birth. These mommy hormones can create a heck of a lot of stress when away from baby. So finding opportunities to enjoy snowmobiling as a family will become more important to you.
- Marriage- There is a huge movement happening in the sport, with men introducing their significant others to the sport of snowmobiling. On the flip side, more women than ever before are passionate about the sport of snowmobiling introducing their significant others to the backcountry riding. There really is something special when you are out in the backcountry riding with your significant other. You may ride differently, and have to adjust to the more inexperienced rider’s skill set allowing them to grow with confidence. You also may want to simply head out with your loved one as a date like experience. Sure some of your past ride crew may not get it, but some say there is no greater experience than being in the backcountry shredding it up with your partner.
- Risk Tolerance- If you have been in a close call, broke a bone, witnessed a devastating situation, or if you have lost a loved one you will look at all risky activities differently. As you get older and have more responsibilities your ability to go to work on Monday becomes essential to keeping a roof over your head. This influences your decision making and may make you assess your current ride crew. The “Ride or Die” types that you used to ride with may now make you uncomfortable because of the level of risk they are willing to take or the situations they have put you in. It is important to find people to ride with that have similar risk tolerances and may require a change of ride crew to include other people that want to have fun but still need to go to work on Monday.
Snowmobilers do experience many mindset transitions through their riding lifetime that prompt a different focus to the sport for them. As riders mature, the backcountry experience does seem to get a little more meaningful, and a deeper appreciation for such wild adventures is realized. As we are bombarded with technology and the stresses of life getting out on your snowmobile to enjoy the snow with friends becomes part of your personal selfcare plan. Seeing the world through a different mindset allows for overwhelming feelings of gratitude...there is still excitement, but it is different than before. Introducing family and friends to the sport of snowmobiling becomes far more exciting than climbing chutes, or hucking cliffs.
So all in all, it’s all good, you are NOT broken. This is a wonderful natural shift that occurs in most every riders life, which explains why the average age of today’s snowmobiler is 45. Not just a young bucks sport, snowmobiling is a sport that every rider, no matter their gender or age can enjoy well into their senior years.
Shred on people!