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Mountain Sledder Magazine | November 22, 2017

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Alberta Snowmobile and Powersports Show Recap

Alberta Snowmobile and Powersports Show Recap

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It was big. It was shiny. It was the Alberta Snowmobile and Powersports Show (ASPS) in Edmonton in all its glory.

 

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Speaking of shiny, a 509 display of its 2017 product lineup was looking sharp.

The 2016 trade show was much like those of years past, brimming with the excitement of new gear, new parts and new dreams for a big winter to come. And the feeling in the air was just that—the optimism that a cold and snowy season could solve all the problems of a slow economy and a melancholy vibe following a couple of mediocre snow years.

The show started out slowly, leaving many vendors concerned that the rock-bottom price of oil and back-to-back El Niño winters had finally crushed the spirit of sledders in Western Canada. But it turns out that a 4-way combination of a wicked early season blizzard making travel treacherous, a pivotal ALCS Blue Jays game on TV, an Oilers vs Flames Battle of Alberta and the 509 Volume 11 premiere party all happening concurrently with the show is what seems to have been the cause of lower than usual attendance on Friday night.

 

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There were a handful of sled-friendly accommodations at the show, including this newly renovated lodge near Golden.

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Many popular sledding destinations had a presence there, including Radium Hot Springs which was promoting the Forester Creek and Catamount Glacier riding zones.

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You can’t go wrong with t-shirts and stickers if you’re trying to promote your product at ASPS.

Things were back to normal by Saturday afternoon, with bustling crowds moving booth-to-booth, anxious to see what is new and exciting for the upcoming season. As always, new offerings by the manufacturers were a big hit, including the lineup of brand new Ski-Doo Rev Gen4 850 Summits and the Yamaha B-TX and M-TX Sidewinder mountain sleds with their new factory turbo Genesis motors. The other manufacturers had less to reveal; Polaris stretched its Axys chassis into a 174” model for 2017 while Arctic Cat made a number of smaller weight savings refinements alongside a 3.0” lugged track in its Mountain Cat model.

 

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The Ski-Doo Rev Gen4 850 Summit was looking lean and mean in person.

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Yamaha’s Sidewinder factory 4-stroke turbo M-TX will likely be a regular sight in BC’s mountains this winter.

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Polaris didn’t change much for 2017, but if it ain’t broke, why fix it? New this year is a 174” model for those ultra deep days.

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It was hard to miss the Arctic Cat booth with its bright signature green on display.

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Aisles were packed with show-goers by Saturday afternoon.

All the regular vendors were there as well—dealers, custom shops, aftermarket parts, sledding destinations, clothing and accessories, sled films, trailers and sled decks. That is not to mention the random and quirky vendors like those flogging neon signs, shoe shines and Segway tours.

 

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Slednecks rider Reagan Sieg could be seen chatting about his heavily-modded snowbike over at the Riderz booth.

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It was awesome to see so many airbags on sale at the show, including the massive selection at the Avalanche Safety Solutions booth.

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The vintage snowmobile display at ASPS is really cool.

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The Yellowstone Bombardier Snowcoach was on display as well, and it looked like a pretty stylish way to get around!

On par for Sunday, the pace was a little more casual in the aftermath of the rush of the crowds the day before. As usual, there were more than a few bleary-eye patrons casually strolling the aisles alongside the church-goers and families, all looking for last minute deals on gear or info on where to plan their winter getaways in 2017.

 

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Big name riders like Strikt’s Riley Suhan were there, and they were happy to help out with a photo opportunity whether you wanted it or not.

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The smiliest man in sledding, Cody McNolty, was there holding down the Munster booth and talking finger throttles all weekend.

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Big Jim Phelan from Team Thunderstruck was there, no doubt wondering during a conversation if he could crush Jeremy Hanke’s skull with his massive bare hands. (Not really)

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Swedish brand TOBE was there with a display, and its super popular monosuits could be seen at dealer booths all throughout the show.

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Bumpers in several bold colors from Skinz were a hot ticket item this year, and not a few attendees walked away with boxes under their arms.

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Photo bombs galore with the girls over at Avalanche Safety Solutions.

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BCSF was in attendance, working with clubs on a provincial membership permit plan.

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They also had the most comfortable and welcoming booth by far.

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Of course Mountain Sledder was there as well, handing out free copies of its latest issue as well as hosting the 509 Volume 11 premiere party on Friday night.

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Photos, stories, trip reports, big dreams—what Mountain Sledder is all about.

The 2016 ASPS was a weekend of four halls jam-packed with glorious sled related things, and likely not a single attendee walked away without dreams of deep days to come. Bring on the snow!

– Patrick Garbutt

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