When many Adrenalists think about wintertime, skiing and snowboarding are the first sports to come to mind. We’re so hyper-focused on the two behemoths of snow sports that the venerable and always extreme tradition of snowmobiling can fall by the wayside. And we’re not talking about the low-key, take an 8 mph ride over a Vermont meadow on a Sunday morning snowmobiling. We’re talking hard core, might-not-make-it-off-of-this-snowmobile-in-one-piece type stuff. We’re talking backflips, front flips, 45-degree mountain ascents and all the other things that rival the most awe-inspiring terrain park moves that skiers and snowboarders use to wow their spectators.
Here are five extreme snowmobile tricks.
We’ve shown you this skydiver flies under snowmobile video before and there’s one simple reason we bring it back to your attention now: it’s incredible. The perfectly timed skydive is usually the focus of conversation swirling around this piece, but the snowmobile stunt deserves some recognition. Not only did the rider have to pull off a high-speed backflip over a gap that looks anything but forgiving, but he also had to time said backflip so his sled wouldn’t impale the skydiver sailing ever so close to the mobile’s blades. We get double the Adrenaline dose here because two lives are on the line.
Rarely is it that exciting to see an athlete going uphill rather than downhill, but this video astounds us. The ease with which the riders motor up these unforgivingly pitched inclines make us think two things: first, that the mechanical power of snowmobiles is astounding and second, that the coordination it must take to stay on your vehicle when flying up an icy obstacle at 45 degrees or more is worthy of celebration. Clips at 0:27, 0:30, and 0:40 hammer home the second point. It’s a necessary reminder that stunts of this ilk are never easy, even for the pros.
Two Man Backflip
What do you do when backflipping your snowmobile is old news? You add another rider and backflip a twosome, that’s what. At least that’s the answer if you’re Colton Moore and you’re at the Winter X Games 15, looking to make a splash on your second run at the Snowmobile Best Trick event. As if this move isn’t cool enough already, the second rider is Colton’s brother, fellow pro, Caleb. These dudes would certainly be contenders for an Adrenalist Family of the Year award.
In most sports, front flips pale in comparison to backflips. Both are difficult, but there’s something about the backflip that goes against humans’ natural physical propensity for forward movement and is, therefore, more impressive. We think the snowmobiling front flip, however may be a very notable exception to that rule because executing it seems to require a halt in momentum, a physics-defying moment not as present in the backflip. Not being expert riders ourselves, we’re not positive which maneuver is more taxing. What we do know is that pulling off any flip where 500 pounds of metal is involved deserves huge props.
World Record Jump
This top-5 list wouldn’t be worth its weight in snowmobiles if we didn’t include a world record-setting trick. Luckily, the one we found is astounding, and the crazy part is: it didn’t even happen on snow. On December 31, 2011, pro racer Levi LaVallee sailed 412 feet to clear San Diego Bay. “We know my engine has more speed, but we don’t know what more miles per hour means in the air,” said Levi in an interview with ESPN. “Right now, the only way to test these distances is to go out and do it.” Spoken like a true Adenalist indeed.