OFSC Go Snowmobiling Show Report
Show attracts new snowmobilers to the sport
Story by Snowmobile.com Staff, Oct 03, 2008
Billed as the largest snowmobile show in Canada, the OFSC Go Snowmobiling Show returned for its second year at the Toronto Congress Centre in Toronto, Ont. from Sept. 26-28.
With the long, hot summer days now in the past for Ontario residents, the Go Snowmobiling Show proved to be a great way to kick off the upcoming snowmobile season in the province. The show was home to pretty much everything snowmobile, including the latest sleds, accessories, fashions and information on how to get started.
While there were plenty of exciting things to see and do at the show, the underlying theme was to actually get out and go snowmobiling. The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) runs this show and is doing a lot to get more people interested in the sport.
The OFSC was represented by all 17 of its districts at the show and each one of them was eager to talk to people. Because it is a non-profit, volunteer driven organization, the OFSC is always on the lookout for snowmobilers who want to lend a hand to help keep the province’s 40,000 kilometers (about 25,000 miles) of groomed trails going strong.
New snowmobilers or people thinking about getting started could easily find somebody to talk to and lead them in the right direction. The Go Snowmobiling 101 seminar is a great example of that. This seminar focused on how to get started in snowmobiling, where to rent, where to ride, how to dress and how to be safe.
Speaking of safety, perhaps the most talked-about feature from the first Go Snowmobiling Show returned this year and made another big splash…literally. John Blaicher, who the OFSC calls Canada’s leading snowmobile safety expert, put together a very interesting safety presentation. Blaicher jumped into a tub of icy water and taught people not only how to get out of that predicament, but also how to avoid it in the first place.
While most of us would be shivering uncontrollably and unable to speak coherently in that situation, Blaicher spoke calmly to the many children and adults in attendance and explained everything from what safety gear they should always have on hand, what kind of clothing to wear and the best way to get out of the freezing water safely without falling back in.
Another popular feature making its return was the Lucas Oil Sled Test Track. This was another great opportunity for people who had never been on a sled to take one for a couple of laps around the track. It was also a chance for Yamaha to show off a pair of new sleds - a Phazer RTX and a Venture Lite. Each sled was outfitted with wheels on the skis and the track provided a bevy of short, crisp turns to keep the speed down. There was one short straightaway where you could squeeze the throttle a little, but there really wasn’t a lot of room to go fast and that was probably a good idea.
The Ice, Fire and Fashion Show was the best place to see the latest snowmobile fashions from Arctic Cat, Polaris, Ski-Doo and Yamaha, but there was also plenty of gear to look at among the various exhibitor booths on the show floor.
There was no shortage of accessories to be seen at the slow, including a large variety of snowmobile trailers, Ryde FX high performance shocks, helmets, cleaning products, storage solutions and much more. Planning a snowmobile-related vacation was also easy with trips available around Ontario and eastern Canada.
Even the original snowmobile was on display – dogs. Haliburton Forest and Wild Life Reserve had a display at the show, including some key members of a dogsled team and information on how to book a tour.
Of course, the biggest attractions at a snowmobile show are the sleds and the Go Snowmobiling Show had plenty. Attendees could check out the latest and greatest 2009 sleds from Arctic Cat, Polaris, Ski-Doo and Yamaha all under one roof. Everybody who was interested could hop aboard any sled they liked and ask questions about each model to the staff.