5 Reasons Why "Your Sled Sucks" Comments Have Gotta Go
Patrick Garbutt | On 19, Sep 2018
Those of us who have spent time on sledding-related social media have inevitably been subject to a barrage of comments along the lines of: ‘Such and such a brand sled sucks.’ Or, ‘Should have bought a [insert brand here].’ Or some meme indicating the same. Here are 5 reasons why ‘your sled sucks’ comments are lame, and why we should all move on!
5 Reasons Why Your Sled Sucks Comments Are Lame
But before we get into it, I know what guilty parties are going to say in defence: “It’s part of the sport to heckle one another and it’s fun.” Sure, I get it. It’s fun to razz the shit out of your pals. But teasing your friends online for their personality deficits is one thing; trashing complete strangers in an open forum for their choice of over-snow vehicle is way different.
The negativity is demoralizing, the joke was never that funny and—worst of all—the unoriginality of it is painfully mind-numbing! Let’s go.
Reason #1: Too Much Can Ruin a Good Thing
Remember how excited everyone was, when after a 15-year hiatus, Guns N’ Roses finally officially released a new album? Chinese Democracy was released, and the music world was abuzz.
But after you’ve heard that album like 20 times, its shiny luster starts to fade. Maybe it’s because we are 15 years older than when we last rocked out (in tight jeans and a three-quarter-length concern t-shirt) to a new G N’ R album. Have our tastes changed? Or after enough listens, can we no longer ignore the uneasy realization that Chinese Democracy is just a sad reminder of what was once a fresh and wonderful thing?
The never-ending bashing on social media is the equivalent of pumping Chinese Democracy on the stereo…on repeat…FOREVER. How much of that can a guy take? Well, I know what some of you are thinking: if you don’t like it, don’t read it. Well, it’s pretty hard to avoid when just about every single sled-related discussion on social media invariably decends into some form brand bashing. Right?
Reason #2: Were the Jokes Ever Actually Funny in the First Place?
Okay, some were. But the best jokes are always rooted in reality. Look at Jerry Seinfeld’s career for example. As a comedian, that guy made a gazillion dollars cracking jokes about simple, everyday realities.
“Just what is the handicapped parking situation at the Special Olympics? Is it still just the two spaces?”
– Jerry Seinfeld
Unfortunately, brand bashing doesn’t follow this proven recipe for humour. Mostly, the jokes have no basis in reality whatsoever.
Here’s an example of what I’m talking about. So many brand bashing memes hinge on the ridiculous premise that beautiful women are just dying to have sexual relations with guys who ride a particular brand of snowmobile (keep dreamin’ fellas). Like that brand is just the most potent female aphrodisiac known to humankind. The ‘Spanish Fly’ of snowmobiles as it were. Babes just can’t get enough of that stuff.
In reality, the picture of us dudes hanging out in the garage, talking sleddin’ and swilling beer with filthy, greasy hands probably doesn’t actually do much for the female libido at all. We definitely know that OEM branded jacket of yours with the checkered flag on sleeves never got you any action! Let’s face it, sleddin’ ain’t sexy to the vast majority of women out there. If you’ve got a lady who thinks it is, hang on to her—she’s a keeper!
Reason #3: What Do Sledders Get out of It?
What about telling someone that their sled sucks makes folks feel good in some way? It’s all very self-righteous. Let’s face it: God didn’t put you on this earth to inform other sledders of the ignorance of their snowmobiling ways. Imagine if he/she/it did? Would your saviour’s chosen path for you to spread your infinite wisdom be via snarky comments on the internet?
And let’s be crystal clear about this: this is not about hurt feelings. Brand bashing doesn’t hurt my feelings or offend me in the least. Or cause “butthurt”. U mad bro? No, it just bores the crap out of me, as I sift through piles of garbage comments, trying to mine the few useful tidbits out of a sled-related thread.
Reason #4: It’s Better to Look on the Bright Side
Did you know that being constantly negative can actually re-wire your brain? That’s one scientist’s theory anyway, and the way he describes it kinda makes sense.
But it is also your night at the bar with your friends who love love love to constantly bitch, whether it’s about their job, the man, the government, or about their other so-called friend’s short-comings, or whatever little thing they can pick apart in order to lift themselves up and give themselves some holier-than-thou sense of validation when you nod your head in acquiescence, agreeing like a robot afraid of free-thought : “Totally, man. It’s bullshit.”
Maybe, as a community of sledders, we should try to rewire our collective brain.
Can that something new be a little humility? An acceptance that we’re not the final word on everything snowmobiles? That perhaps we are, in fact, not experts on models of snowmobile that we might never have even thrown a leg over? Just because we talk about our sport ad nauseam, does not necessarily make us experts in it.
A little self-awareness in that regard would be a welcome treat!
Reason #5: You Don’t See the Professional Guys Doing It
Here’s why, and it’s not because they are controlled by the decree of some sponsorship agreement. It’s because they realize that all mountain sleds these days are very capable, and that it’s a stupid, boring argument that has no winners—just wieners.
The stark reality of the situation is that 95% of riders today cannot outride the mountain sleds currently available on the market. That is a fact. I know this to be true, because I see many snowmobilers riding out there on a regular basis. And if we can be honest with ourselves for a sec, we’ll sadly discover that we’re mostly unspectacular at it. But that’s okay. We try, and we have fun. That’s the real point.
But here’s the thing about professional athletes. They can do things on a sled that we mere ham-fisted mortals can barely imagine, let along accomplish. And they do it on every make and model of snowmobile available on the market today. That pretty much destroys every hater argument right there.
By all means, discuss the merits and pitfalls of certain models. It’s thought-provoking and fun. But if you want your arguments to be taken seriously, you’ve got to know that trash talking and posting memes of dudes in rainbow unicorn costumes is only going to undermine the public perception of your ability to analyze a subject objectively.
Professionals know that their voice must exude authority and carry weight. Not come off like an emotional teenager suffering from unbalanced hormones, using their keyboard to exact their revenge on the unfair universe. The same should hold true for adult who wants their opinion to be respected in our social media circles.
It’s Time to Move on from ‘Your Sled Sucks’ Comments
I know nothing I say is ever going to fully convince sledders to desist from trashing others’ preferred brand of snowmobile. But please, I ask that you at least consider the idea.
To be serious for a moment—the constant brand trashing is one thing about our snowmobiling culture that I don’t personally care for. And I know I’m not the only one—not by a long shot. It just doesn’t get us anywhere as a group.
Instead, wouldn’t it be great if other sledders were appreciated for their knowledge, ability and contribution to our community, rather than the irrelevance of their choice of vehicle? That would be pretty cool. With increasing regulation and pressure on our access to riding areas these days, there are plenty of avenues for sledders to share their energy and passion for our sport in a positive way.
Let’s shift our culture, and it can start right now! Leave us a comment, and let us know—who in your community deserves mention for their positive actions?
“He died because I didn’t have a [transceiver], probe and shovel. Neither did he. He died because we didn’t take nine hours out of our busy schedule to take an avalanche awareness course. Now I realise the importance of equipping myself with avalanche safety knowledge and search and rescue gear. I also realise that in the end it is up to each individual to be responsible for their safety.”
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