Snocross (also known as snowcross) is a type of snowmobile racing in which competitors race on specially designed, high-performance snowmobiles around tracks that feature tight turns, banked corners, steep jumps, and other obstacles. At speeds of up to 60 miles per hour, motorcycle racers compete (96 kilometers per hour). Riders can travel up to 130 feet (40 meters) before touching down, thanks to jumps that can reach a height of up to 30 feet (9 meters). According to the World Snowmobile Association, the most popular type of snowmobile racing is snocross. They also oversee watercross and hillcross competitions.
Motocross was the inspiration for snocross. The words “snowmobile” and “motocross” are combined to form the name. Snowmobiles are used instead of motorcycles, and the sport is played on a snow or ice surface. Whether it’s natural or man-made, the snow/ice surface. The frozen surface of the track necessitates higher latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere for installation of tracks. Snocross is a popular winter sport for motocross and supercross riders.
In 1998, the X Games added a snocross competition. The X Games are a well-known event in the United States for a variety of winter sports. X Games snocross course layouts have changed significantly since the first event, which had a motocross-style layout and was much longer than today’s courses. With the snow, it had deeper holes and higher jumps, which have now been covered by it.
If you want to buy a snowmobile sled, you might feel like there are too many brands and models to choose from. In the article below, we’ll talk about Ski-Doo, Polaris, Arctic Cat, and Yamaha, which are the four most popular snowmobile brands.
Ski-Doo is the clear leader in the snowmobile business. In America, almost every other snowmobile is a Ski-Doo. It shows how trustworthy Ski-Doo sleds and snowmobile tracks are.
Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP Inc.), which is based in Canada, is the company that makes Ski-Doo snowmobiles. Joseph Bombardier came up with the idea for the first Ski-Doo, which came out in the late 1950s.
The funny thing is that the word “Ski-Doo” came about because of a spelling mistake in a brochure about BRP products. At first, the sled was going to be called “Ski-Dog.” But, just like with Google, the mistake helped the brand become as popular as it is now.
Polaris makes snowmobiles, motorcycles, UTVs, ATVs, and Polaris snowmobile tracks, among other things. They have a market share of one-third in the snowmobile business, which isn’t bad.
The business started 67 years ago, which is just five years before Ski-Doo. It has grown into a huge company with more than 30 brands that sell all kinds of vehicles, including military, electric, commercial, and personal watercraft (which they no longer make).
Many people think of Polaris when they think of passion and adventure, and it’s easy to see why: their vehicles are the best. They are very reliable and can meet the needs of anyone. Polaris has come up with Polaris Snowmobiles and Polaris Timbersled to set them apart from snow bikes, which are narrower, lighter, and easier to turn.
Even though it has nothing to do with the snowmobiles, another great thing about the brand is that it is very team-oriented. It helps its employees develop their skills so they can reach their full potential. It sounds cool and fits with their slogan “Think outside.”
So, yes, Polaris is one of the best companies that makes snowmobiles, and many people think it is the best.
Arctic Cat Snowmobiles
Arctic Cat is also in Minnesota. It was made for the first time in 1960, but Textron only bought it four years ago. It makes snowmobiles and other off-road vehicles, as well as the Arctic Cat snowmobile tracks, as its main business.
Even though it only has 15% of the market share, Arctic Cat is thought to be one of the best snowmobile brands.
Edgar Heteen, a former Polaris worker, made the first Arctic Cat sled. At the time, the company was called Polaris Manufacturing. In the 1990s, the company had some hard times and almost went out of business, but Arctco saved it. The company has been called Arctic Cat ever since.
Arctic Cat is a big brand now, but the company is still based in the US and doesn’t have any other facilities outside the country. Customers like Arctic Cats products because they are reliable, which makes the brand stand out from its competitors.
The company said last year that they would start making side-by-sides and ATVs, which is very exciting for such a well-known brand.
In the beginning, Yamaha was called Nippon Gakki Co. Ltd. and sold organs, pianos, and other musical instruments. In 1955, the company started making motorcycles at a new location called Yamaha Motor Co.
Yamaha is a well-known brand that makes parts, accessories, and Yamaha snowmobile tracks for Mountain, Trail, Youth, Utility, Crossover, and 2-Up Touring snowmobiles. They still make motorcycles, jet boats, personal watercraft, and musical instruments, of course. In the 1980s, the company made the Phazer, which was the first light snowmobile on the market.
Yamaha is still in fourth place in the snowmobile industry, with 5% of the market share, despite all of this.
Since it’s a Japanese company, the brand’s philosophy is very important and has a big impact on how it grows. At Yamaha, they care about action guidelines (like accepting challenges and acting quickly), management principles (like going above and beyond what customers expect), and the company’s mission (creating satisfaction and delight).
Once you start using a Yamaha product, you won’t have any doubts about its quality. Arctic Cat has been working with the brand since the 2010s.
Rider Protective Equipment
Unless it says otherwise, these general rules apply to all classes. All members must know and follow the rules below.
- Helmets with full coverage are required by law. Helmets will cover the whole head and have the “Snell Foundation Approval Code” from 2010 or later. Helmets that meet the European Standard ECE 22.05 are also OK. If you take off the “Snell 2010” tags or stickers, the helmet might not be legal for competition. Helmets must always be fastened securely. Riders who go out on the course without their helmets securely fastened will be disqualified right away. The 2015 Snell foundation approval code will have to be on all helmets. Helmets that meet the updated ECE 22.05 European standards for the time frame will also be approved. Any person under the age of 18 who drives a snowmobile at the racing facility must wear a helmet at all times.
- Helmets don’t have to be half orange anymore, but it’s still best for racers to wear orange or a high-visibility color. Helmet wraps should be avoided as much as possible so that in case of an accident, medical staff on the track can check for possible head injuries. No rigid items or recording devices are allowed on the helmet or visor at all.
- At all events, the rider’s front and back (upper body) must have at least 144 square inches of international or blaze orange color that can be seen. Jackets, pullovers, and jerseys will be measured with the front and back flat on the ground (288″ total). At all Snocross events, this is a must. If the rider has a question, they should talk to the Race Director or Technical Director.
- You must wear gloves, the right clothes, and leather boots that go at least above your ankles (above ankle boot must have a minimum of 6 inches of leather above the ankle).
- You must wear eye protection. If a person needs corrective lenses to drive a car, they will also need to wear them while racing.
- All modified classes must have noise-canceling devices or hearing protection. In stock classes, it is suggested.
- It is required to use equipment to protect the upper body. The protection for the upper body must cover all of the body. It will protect the rider’s back and middle of the body. It will also be able to stop penetration and spread out the force of impacts while absorbing the shock of most hits. Hockey gear and motocross vests do not fit this rule.
- Shoulder pads need to be added to protect the upper body.
- You have to wear shin and knee guards. On both legs, shin and knee guards will be worn. The shin guard must go from the foot to above the kneecap and be made of a material that can’t be broken.
- It’s a good idea to wear elbow pads, mouth guards, chin guards, and neck collars.
- You can’t wear blue jeans or jackets, overalls, or anything with bad language on it.
- All 120 competitors have to wear mouth guards. The mouth guards have to stay in place for the whole race.
- If you have questions about safety gear, you should ask the ISOC Tech Director.
- Racers with long hair must tuck their hair inside their helmets.
- Hoodies can’t be worn outside of a jacket because it could be dangerous.
- During a race, pit coats are not allowed.
Race Start and Start Line
1. On the start line, only the rider and one (1) crew member are allowed. The crew member has to wear a TEK vest or other ISOC-approved chest protection. The only person who can be in front of the machine is the rider.
2. The race is considered to have begun when the machine leaves the starting line on its own.
3. If a rider has a problem with his equipment at the start line, he can raise his hand. The starting flagman will wait for the rider for up to two (2) minutes before moving on.
Penalty at Race Start
- Getting an early start.
- Starting over.
- Behavior that isn’t sporty (at the discretion of the Race Director).
Start Line Penalty
For classes where everyone makes it to the final, any rider who gets a DNS (did not start) in qualifying may have to start from the penalty line in the final. This is up to the Race Director. If a rider gets a “did not start” in all of the qualifying rounds, he or she will not be able to compete in the final. All competitors must be able to compete in the final.
A rider should always be ready for another machine to pass, so they should keep an eye out for machines coming up behind them. Riders won’t slow down or get in the way of a vehicle that is passing them. A slower rider must move out of the way so that the faster rider can pass.
Leaving the Course
1. Riders who leave the course must get back on in a way that is safe and doesn’t give them an advantage. The rider must get back on in the area that is closest and safest. If you don’t follow these steps, the Race Director may give you a penalty or kick you out of the race.
Riders can’t stop on the course of the race. If this has to happen because of a broken part, it is the rider’s job to get the machine off the course. If you don’t help the race officials pick up the downed sled, you may get a DNS score.
If a rider’s machine breaks down before the finish line, the rider can push or pull it across the finish line using only his or her own muscles, and the rider will be considered to have won the race. A rider finishes a race when he or she is still in touch with and in charge of the machine as it crosses the finish line.
Snocross is a great way to have a good time. A family-friendly sport, it’s a great way to spend time together, whether you’re going to the races or just enjoying the sport on the trail. Just like any other sport or activity that requires hard work and practice and sacrifices in order to succeed, racing and being competitive requires a similar level of dedication. So, all that’s left is to get out there, do it, have fun, and put in the effort.