WE NEED MORE FEMALE RIDERS IN THE SPORT
Meet Andrew Munster. He is a busy rider who is making sure to make time for his true passion in between growing his own business. Andrew tells us about how his snowmobiling journey started and also what’s missing in the industry. Dive deeper into the world of snowmobiling and read more inspiring stories.
NAME: Andrew Munster
HOMETOWN: Squamish, BC, Canada
WINTER SPORTS: Snowmobiling and snowboarding
RIDING STYLE: Exploration, technical terrain, and jumps
FUN FACT: I have a cat named Schmitty
DESCRIBE YOUR SNOWMOBILING JOURNEY
I purchased my first snowmobile when I was 18; it was a ZX 800. All I remember from that year is doing a lot of digging 😉 After many years of self-improvement, I found myself with a deeply rooted passion for snowmobiling. In 2011, after my snowmobiling skills had matured a little, I started to notice things I would like to see improved on snowmobiles to better my riding experience. I was always tinkering on my sled and trying to find ways to make it better. By this time I had a group of friends that were becoming extremely skilled in the backcountry, and we were feeding off of each other to progress our riding at an exponential rate. In 2013 I bought my first brand-new snowmobile when Skidoo released the XM chassis. Man, was I excited to be riding a brand-new machine! That season, I immediately went to work on developing a new finger throttle for my machine that could help improve my riding. After designing my first prototype, I got fixated on the idea that every snowmobiler needed to try this product. Introducing a new product to market was a daunting task, but I thought, maybe… just maybe if I could use my friends and my talent to help promote this new product, people might just have an open mind to it. This was a pivotal point when I started to promote myself and my friends as snowmobile athletes within the snowmobile community. The next several years were dedicated to creating films and content with friends to progress our skills and help advertise my company. This was a particularly fun time in my life, as I got to share so many awesome days of filming and riding with friends while learning new skills on so many different levels. Eventually, the responsibilities of running a business set in, but I have always made time for the mountains. Fast forward to now, while my company has matured, I am finally able to find more time than ever for snowmobiling. Snowmobiling is where my true passion lies and my drive for exploration and progression will never die.
HOW DID YOU DISCOVER TOBE OUTERWEAR, AND WHAT’S THE BACK STORY?
My first memories of TOBE were in our local backcountry in 2012. I noticed one of my friends, who was sponsored by TOBE at the time, wearing a jacket that didn’t look like the usual snowmobile outerwear. I remember it had more of a snowboarder vibe to it, but with a tougher material and build quality. In 2013, that same friend told me that TOBE was looking for more riders to help promote their brand. I was immediately interested, and I reached out to their rep to inquire about being an ambassador. That year, TOBE sent me a fresh set of gear, and I remember being blown away at how well it performed. I remember one day in particular, it was pouring rain, and I was soaked in sweat trying to break our way up through the trees in mashed potato snow unsuccessfully. Later that day, after a few hours of riding, I noticed I was bone dry, inside and out. I couldn’t believe it. Needless to say, I was hooked on the gear, and it didn’t take long to see that TOBE was a group of great people doing great things.
WHAT’S THE FEELING THAT KEEPS YOU GOING?
When I was a little kid, I will always remember how excited I was when I woke up in the morning and saw a foot of snow outside my bedroom window. It meant I was going to go have a lot of fun that day, whether it was skiing on the hill or building a snow fort outside. Snowmobiling is one of the only things to this day that still gives me that same exciting snow day feeling of when I was a kid.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LOCAL PLACE TO SNOWMOBILE?
My favorite snowmobile zone is the one I’ve never been to. There’s something about exploring a new zone that gets me excited every time
DESCRIBE ONE OF YOUR MOST MEMORABLE DAYS IN THE BACKCOUNTRY. WHY WAS IT SO AWESOME?
Two seasons ago I did a trip to Alaska, and we couldn’t have timed it better for weather. We rolled into Thompson Pass in the tail end of a storm and setup camp for the week. The next day, the sun broke, and it was blue bird for the next 5 days straight. Being in a brand new zone for that first blue bird pow day was unreal. It was like a giant playground with the best snow conditions you could ask for. I can’t remember how many jumps were hit that day, but we pretty much threw ourselves off of everything we could find. Talk about an all-timeday for the books. You can’t write days like that… and I can’t remember taking even a single photo.
BUCKET LIST LOCATION TO CHASE POWDER?
I’ve always wanted to go to Japan for both snowmobiling and snowboarding, but I have yet to make the journey. One of these days, I will have to pull the trigger.
WHAT’S MISSING IN THE SNOWMOBILE INDUSTRY?
More female riders! Snowmobiling is a male-dominated sport, and it can be particularly intimidating for women. Whether male or female, it’s a difficult sport to learn, but I have a piece of advice for anyone looking to learn snowmobiling successfully. Find a buddy! Find a buddy who you feel comfortable with and who is of equal ability so you can learn at the same rate. You can always learn from those who are better than you, but it usually comes at the cost of being intimidated and unconfident. A riding buddy gives you the space to make mistakes, laugh about it, and, most importantly, enjoy the process. You may not know what you’re doing, but you’ll figure it out together 😉
YOUR GO-TO TOBE GEAR FOR WINTER SPORTS AND WHY?
The TOBE monosuit is my number one “Go-To” for winter sports because it’s what keeps me dry and comfortable all day long. It doesn’t matter which suit either, I love them all!