Since their inception several decades ago, snowmobiles have improved for better safety and performance for more adventurous snowmobilers. When first manufactured, their basic purpose made traveling across snow-covered landscapes less of a chore that what it was. But as with every produce, snowmobiles have constantly been updated and improved upon as technology and snowmobile lovers have changed. Snowmobiles have been made to go faster and other accommodations have been made to make the sport of snowmobiling more exciting and interesting. As a result, snowmobile competitions have become one of the more popular spectator sports across North America.
The most popular snowmobile competition occurs at the X Games in Aspen, Colorado. In 1998, the Snocross event was added to the roster of the X Games. At the time, it was similar to the Motocross event in that it was a lengthy course with holes and jumps. The Snocross differs from Motocross in that it is held outside and the holes and big jumps are covered in snow. Snowmobilers will enjoy watching this event as current snowmobiles can gain speeds of 70 MPH in less than 4 seconds, making the Snocross event one of the most popular events at the Winter X Games. An added event for 2007 will also be exciting for enthusiasts. The Snowmobile Freestyle event will consist of 10 riders in the first-ever snowmobile freestyle course. Riders and spectators will undoubtedly marvel at the individual runs that include jumps ranging from 45-100 feet, enabling participants to come up with bigger and more awe-inspiring tricks. As an added benefit, the X Games have become a breeding ground for events that often make their way into the Olympics, so Snowmobile Freestyle may soon become an Olympic event.
In Michigan, spectators and sportsmen alike will enjoy watching any of the events that make up a full winter schedule of snowmobiling and snow-related sports. These events often take place at various Michigan county fairgrounds and other venues. Popular snowmobile locations in Michigan are often in Upper Peninsula region of the state in cities like Mackinac, St. Ignace, and Sault Ste. Marie. But there are also places in the Lower Peninsula where the winter weather is ideal for snowmobile enthusiasts, including Cadillac, Traverse City, and Gaylord.
Annual snowmobile regional races take place throughout the northern states. In Minnesota, spectators and enthusiasts will surely enjoy the Minnesota State Championship Series. In Wisconsin, the Northwoods Challenge is a respectable and exciting snowmobile racing event as is the Rock Maple Racing Regional in New Hampshire. Canada is no stranger to snowmobiling, either. The Ski-Doo Grand Prix de Valcourt in Valcourt, Quebec is one of the more recognized and popular events in North America, although Canada is the leader in the snowmobiling and winter sport industry.
Although the X Games provides the most popular venue for snowmobile competitions, every winter there are events occurring across North America in which snowmobilers and spectators can participate. The National Snowmobile Racing Association sponsors and sanctions many of these annual events and they are often broadcast on television so the less adventurous spectators can enjoy the events from the warmth and comforts of their own home. Thanks to the popularity of the X Games, the snowmobiling industry has attracted some of the world’s top athletes and a larger group of spectators. The sport of snowmobiling is one of the more exciting events to watch and there is no sign of its popularity fading anytime soon.