Should My First Sled Be A Summit Freeride?

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My brother and I started watching your SnowTrax last year and loved it! We got out to ride our first snowmobiles and had the best time of our lives and now are looking to buy our own and have a couple of questions.

First, I’m only around 145 pounds so I don’t want a snowmobile that’s too powerful. We’d mostly be riding on trails and watched the show that featured the 2011 Ski Doo Summit Freeride and were saying that we have to get that!

I want a sled that I could ride comfortably and not have to work the too much around every corner. I’d also like it to be kind of fast.

Any help would be great.



Hi Bryce,

I read your message about the 2011 Ski-Doo Freeride. While I truly enjoy riding the Freeride and think it’s one of the best mountain sleds out there I can say with confidence this is not a good sled for a first time rider. You had mentioned that you will be mostly riding on trails and the Freeride is essentially built to be ridden almost entirely off trail.

If you want a sled that will perform exceptionally good both on and off trail a better sled choice would be the Renegade Backcountry, and if you are looking for something that’s got a custom look the Backcountry X in particular would be a great choice.

The problem with the Freeride is that if you are riding mostly on trails the huge deep lug track will cause the motor to overheat, melt sliders, push in the corners and throw a roost of snow and ice out the back that will make anyone you ride with want leave you at home.

The other half of the equation is the Freeride is designed to be a hugely potent “Freeriding” sled capable of doing massive drops, and withstanding the harshest abuse possible, while this is a great thing if your a veteran freerider and able to comfortably drop 50-100 foot cliffs the downfall is that the sled rides way harsher and is far less responsive on the trails because of it’s off trail ability.

Again I think the Renegade Backcountry will answer your questions and give you what your looking for.

Check out last season’s test ride of the Backcountry X

I’d like to know what sleds you ride for your first time recently to understand what kind of power you had to play with, when it comes to an 800 E-TEC found in both the Freeride and the Backcountry X you might not need all that horsepower to be happy.

The 600 E-TEC motor is an amazing performer and keeps most riders very happy. It’s capable of going well over 100mph on open lakes and has a quick, fun and snappy throttle response not to mention it’s amazing gas and oil economy.

The 800 is a great motor and will get you up to and over 100 mph faster then the 600 but for a first sled purchase don’t let the “Bigger is better” mantra get you caught, in a lot of ways the 600 E-TEC is as good if not better than the 800 and this is especially true for a first time buyer.

The other thing to keep in mind is that your not a very heavy rider so the 600 will feel like a rocket and the 80 in all honesty can be hard for lighter riders to hold on to all day long.

If you don’t really want to play in the powder and are more of an “On trail” or “Lake runner” I would recommend looking at the TNT or MXZ line up. In comparison to the Freeride you’ll save huge money buying a TNT or MXZ and you still get an amazing sled that is more tailored for trail riding.

However with that being said if you do like playing in the powder and going “Off Trail” the Renegade lines up is the way to go and if your especially fond of the cool looks of the Freeride then the Renegade Backcountry will probably catch your eye and get you pretty amped up to ride.

I hope this helps and thanks for watching the show!

AJ Lester

AJ Lester
AJ Lester
AJ is a former CSRA snocross racer and Co-Host of SNOWTRAX TV which can be seen on Sportsman Channel across America and in Canada on OLN, Sportsman Channel Canada, Wild TV and REV TV and globally on our YouTube channel.

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