Extra snow is winter wonderland for snowmobilersWORTHINGTON – At least one area group is actually excited about having to drive through large mounds of snow. Snowmobilers.
WORTHINGTON – At least one area group is actually excited about having to drive through large mounds of snow.
Sled sales have been good at Jaycox Implement, which deals in Ski-Doo snowmobiles.
“We’ve sold 100 sleds this winter and last year we were dealer of the year in the country. And we’re on pace to be somewhere in that neighborhood again; sales are good,” said Mark Grafing, who works in sales at Jaycox.
He said the majority of sales and repairs are for seasoned snowmobilers, but some beginners are also purchasing their first sled this winter.
“Now that there’s so much snow, the interest in snowmobiling has really increased,” Grafing explained. “In years past, there hasn’t been snow here, but they have to trailer their sleds to where there is snow. But this year they can ride locally.”
Sleds are also sold at the Worthington Sports Center. Area clubs include The Frosty Riders in Nobles County, which boasts more than 100 members; and the Drift Breakers in Murray County.
“The trails are in nice shape,” said Slayton resident David Brown, who makes contributions to the Drift Breakers. He’s spent the last 15 years snowmobiling. “We have three kids and the whole family snowmobiles,” he said. “I’m always excited to snowmobile and go tubing and everything that the snow has to offer. We enjoy going to Lake Shetek, Iona, Avoca, Lake Wilson, Hadley,” he detailed.
In Nobles County, the Riders maintain 150 miles of trail including paths along the Buffalo Ridge Railroad and the Graham Lakes county park area. The club also organizes poker runs, in which members snowmobile to a set of bars or other locations, picking up a card at each. The member with the best hand at the end of the run wins.
“You can ride 100 miles on a typical day so those are usually pretty fun,” said Jake Roethler of Worthington, a Frosty Riders member who has practiced the sport for about four years. “It gets you out and then you can enjoy the scenery. If you’re kind of … an adrenaline junkie it achieves that need there. Usually you don’t go out alone, you go out with friends that enjoy the same thing.”
Roethler said he does most of his sledding in Wyoming with his family, but last week’s extra snowfall made for good local conditions.
“It’s the best snow around here that I’ve seen since I’ve been snowmobiling,” he said. “I’d say the average person with a snowmobile was probably drooling.”
Mother Nature had good timing, at least, for national enthusiasts of the sport. Last week’s winter blast will usher in this week’s International Snowmobile Safety Week. In mid-February is Take a Friend Snowmobiling Week, according to information found on the American Council of Snowmobile Associations Web site.