Brian Erickson, past president of SDSA and a member of the Town & Country Snowmobile Club was named 2021 Snowmobiler of the Year by American Council of Snowmobile Associations (ACSA) at the 53rd International Snowmobile Congress. Brian was also elected as a director at large to the ACSA board while at Congress. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Pictured are Brian, his wife Tracey, and his parents, Lois & LeRoy. We managed to surprise Brian and sneak his parents into the banquet so they could see him find out he had won the award!
Congratulations to our two scholarship winners! Each will receive $500.
Bradley Heinemann from Egan, SD was the first recipient. Brad plans to attend Dakota State University majoring in Cyber Operations.
Next winner is Caeden Bunde of Garretson, SD. Caeden plans to attend SDSU for ag business.
South Dakota Snowmobile Association (SDSA) is excited to announce that we’ve been awarded a $3000 grant through The International Snowmobile Manufacturer’s Association (ISMA) to help us host a successful Governor’s Ride in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
ISMA is an organization representing the four snowmobile manufacturers (Arctic Cat, Ski-doo, Polaris, & Yamaha). They coordinate committees within the industry to handle concerns such as safety, promoting the lifestyle activity of snowmobiling, document accurate statistics, reporting the growth of the industry and the positive economic impact snowmobiling has throughout the world.
SDSA is host to the annual Governor’s Snowmobile Ride headquartered from Hardy Camp, near Lead, SD which is held on the Saturday of the President’s Day Weekend in February. This year’s ride, the 42nd, will be held on February 13th in honor of South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem and her family, as well as Lt. Governor Larry Rhoden and all South Dakota Senators and Representatives. Invitations have also been extended to US Forest Service, Black Hills Badlands and Lakes Association, and several key people from South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks (GF&P).
The Governor’s Ride is an opportunity for SDSA members to showcase the Black Hills Snowmobile Trail system, one of the finest in the country featuring 350 miles of marked and groomed trails. This annual event continues to grow in legislative attendees and continues to increase the opportunities SDSA has to foster relationships that can be used to secure and maintain the necessary support from the legislators for land access throughout the Black Hills Snowmobile Trail system as well as the 1100+ miles of trail that make up the East River Trail System. Also highlighted throughout the day is the $130 million economic impact that snowmobiling brings to South Dakota on an annual basis.
The Governor’s Ride is a full day event beginning with a brunch breakfast served at Hardy Camp. This year’s breakfast will be served by the Black Hills Snowmobile Club.
A short program allows for dignitary introductions, keynote speakers,extending SDSA’s appreciation to partners and sponsors and an explanation of the rules of the day and safety on the trail. The Black Hills Trails District Supervisor, along with assistance from the SDSA’s Governor’s Ride Committee, is responsible for planning the ride route which will be dependant also upon snow conditions. The route itself is approximately 3 hours with a stopping point mid-way through the route at a scenic campground or meadow area. This spot provides a time for discussing the trail conditions, the fun and excitement of snowmobiling and to answer any questions on snowmobiling the guests may have. The event concludes with an evening social.
Participants are assigned to specific groups which are led by SDSA Board of Directors and Governor’s Advisory Council members. The number and size of groups are determined by actual attendance with the ideal size of group being between 12-15 sleds. Groups are identified by colors with coordinating colored flags on the staging area, on the guest’s sleds, on the breakfast tables and also on the participant’s arm bands. This color coordination has become a vital organizational tool used to gather group members together, putting riders with the assigned sleds at the staging area, keeping groups together and keeping track of the riders throughout the day. Each group has 2-4 red bibbers to lead the group, ride in the middle of the group and bring up the end of the group. This format ensures no rider is left behind and assistance will be readily available if needed.
SDSA is a non-profit corporation comprised of 21 snowmobile clubs across the entire state. Membership includes approximately 1000 families and individual memberships along with over 100 associate (business) memberships in South Dakota. While the 350-mile Black Hills Trails system is marked, groomed and maintained by the SD Game Fish and Parks, there are 15 clubs that mark, groom and maintain over 1100 miles East River and 11 different trail systems as part of the Grant-in-Aid Program through the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks. SDSA is dedicated to the preservation of snowmobiling as a safe and organized, Family Sport. The purpose of this association is to promote, protect, and represent snowmobiling in a positive, safe manner, bringing together people who have a common interest and enjoy exciting and constructive snowmobiling activities. Greg Nordstrom of Sioux Falls currently serves as President, with Jon LaFramboise of Rapid City as Past President. Duane Duerr of Brandon is our President – Elect. Each area of the state is served by a District Director: Mike Boock, Rapid City; Kelly Weaver, Aberdeen; Tracey Erickson, Arlington; Pat Hanten-Duerr, Brandon; Jason Shepherd, Watertown; Trace Damm Lake Norden. Kirsten VanDenHemel of Sioux Falls represents the YETIS (Youth Empowerment through Involvement in Snowmobiling), SDSA’s recently organized youth group. Mary Anne Grabow, Gary is Editor and Secretary and Diane Hiles, DeSmet is the Association’s Treasurer.
Pat McCoy of the Aberdeen Driftbusters was named Groomer of the Year at the 51st Annual Convention.
The Pat McCoy’s have been members of the Driftbusters since 2019 but the McCoys have been snowmobiling for 21 years. Dennis & Ann McCoy have been members of MN USA for many years.Pat and Jennifer help the Driftbusters with whatever projects they can. All of them are knowledgeable about snowmobiling and are willing to talk to people to get new people involved. Pat operates the groomer and Pat an dJen help sign 20 miles of trail. Dennis taught snowmobile safety courses in Minnesota.
Larkyn is a very energetic girl that loves everything outdoors. Larkyn likes all animals, especially puppies, cats, and horses.
This past year Larkyn has shown a big interest in snowmobiling. She made it to most club meetings and always asked if she can go back to see her “friends.” Larkyn lives in Tea, South Dakota. There has not been much snow locally, so the only trip she was able to attend, was the Trailbusters Club trip to Mallow Camp in the Black Hills. She rode with her dad every day. She was also able to ride a youth snowmobile that another club member brought with. She was in heaven.
Larkyn is also very willing to help out with the club. In the spring of 2020, Larkyn went along to help remove club signs. After attending the October Trailbusters Club meeting, Larkyn is planning on helping install trail signs on November 1st.
Larkyn has not been able to take a safety course yet. She is planning on taking one next time we have a safety course available locally. Larkyn has had instruction for snowmobile safety. She knows to wear a helmet and goggles. She also knows not to go too fast and knows to use the brakes. She is also aware that two people do not ride the 120 at the same time.
For the past three years, Larkyn has helped pick out toys and clothing to be given to a child need from around the world. This was through the Samaritan’s Purse Shoebox project.
In October, Larkyn received her very own Polaris Indy 120. She was able to ride it after the first snowfall of the season. She also plans on taking it to the Snowy’s in Wyoming, Togwotee Pass in Wyoming, and the Black Hills in South Dakota this coming season.