By Matthew Mallory
Getting into sledding can be a bit of an intimidating process. For those that didn’t grow up within a snowmobile family there’s a lot that goes into what seems simple for many of us. Introducing newbies to the sport doesn’t just involve teaching them how to ride and encouraging them to widen their avalanche knowledge but also how to set-up and maintain their sled.

Gathered together and ready to learn from the master. Photo: Matthew Mallory

In an effort to help broaden rider’s knowledge Revolution Powersports in Whistler held their first Sled Knowledge 101 night a little over a week ago. Started as a Facebook event it quickly booked up as fifteen people threw down their twenty dollars for a night of information, beer and pizza….talk about getting your moneys worth.

Felix-Antoine Savard, shop owner and mechanic goes over the clutch basics. Photo: Matthew Mallory

Felix laying out the low-down on track inspection and adjustment. Photo: Matthew Mallory

After locking the doors to the public, everyone was herded to the maintenance bay where Matty Markiewicz’s sled which had been rode hard and put away wet was sitting on the stand. Some quick and friendly introductions and passing of beer had everyone smiling, stoked on the winter and ready to learn. It was a large cross section of peeps who varied from their first year owning a sled to guys who’d been riding for a while but where interested in learning a little more from the experts.

After Felix ran down one side Jackson Whittaker took over for the other. Photo: Matthew Mallory

Jackson covered hot topics like the chaincase and suspension adjustments/maintenance. Photo: Matthew Mallory

Splitting the snowmobile down the middle Felix-Antoine Savard took the clutch side while Jackson Whittaker took on the other. Working his way through the clutches, Felix covered the basics of belt changes, deflection adjustment and quick cleans then worked his way back and touched on how to properly adjust the track. For the second half of the evening Jackson took over and walked everyone through suspension adjustment, chaincase oil changes and tensioning. Answering questions along the way, it was great to see how hungry everyone that came out was to learn. This wasn’t just a social gathering but riders who were clearly trying to become as independent as they can with the sport.

Felix showing James the finer points of track adjustment. Photo: Matthew Mallory

“The event went above and beyond what we’d anticipated. When we saw it sold out right away we said OK…. people have been waiting for those type of class for a while now. We started with a very basic one and are thinking on doing more with even more technical subject. This can easily become the “get together” event that brings together part of our sled community sharing what they like and learn more about their machine over a beer, pizza and great discounts on any purchase made that night. Big thanks to all from the REV Team, Felix, Marie, Jackson, Matty & Chris, we enjoyed doing it.” – Marie-Claude Rochette/Revolutions Powersports

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