A big question these days is how to get new people into the sport.
It’s a genuine fact that most new snowmobilers come into the sport on the seat of someone else’s sled. Maybe they had a weekend excursion with a snowmobiling friend or got to sample what it was like to ride groomed trails or to cruise through frozen powder in the heart of winter on a borrowed or rented snowmobile. That’s why it’s such a good thing to introduce new friends to the sport.
According to stats, many new riders buy used as their first sled. There’s an equal number, however, who shop for an ideal brand new starter sled.
The challenge the industry faces is offering entry-level models that will scoop up their attention before they buy from another competitor. Usually, when a new-sled purchase is made, the customer tends to stay with that brand and that dealer for a long time.
Over the years, many supposed entry-level sleds offered have been underpowered and under-equipped, stunningly boring models that haven’t brought much of a result in the sales department, anyway. Probably the biggest error is assuming that new riders only want to buy new if the sled is cheap.
Frankly, our experience has been that when a new rider gets the bug, they’re willing to spend fairly decent dollars to get into the sport. What they really want is enough power to keep up with their new riding buds and a sled with enough equipment they’ll not be bored or disappointed by it for a few years.
This doesn’t mean a first year owner is going to buy the fastest hypersled or the most radical climber or something that requires years of experience to master.
The balance seems to be sufficient power blended with (very important) reliability and a long enough list of equipment to keep the rider comfortable.
Here are some of our fave “first new sled purchase” choices: Polaris Indy 600, Polaris 600 RMK 144, Ski-Doo MX-Z and Renegade Sport 600 carb, Ski-Doo TNT 900 ACE, Summit Sport 146 600 carb, Arctic Cat 5000 & 4000 LXR, M6000 141, Yamaha Venture (the original).
These sleds each offer surprising performance, great ride and a very good list of amenities for a fair price.
We can guarantee, if you recommend any of these to a friend, they will not be disappointed.