Calvin Felker: 2015 X-Games Athlete and much more to our sports
31‐year-‐old Calvin Felker of Loveland, CO gave the Colorado snowmobile community great reason to celebrate as one of their own was invited to the Winter X Games this year. Felker was one of 10 people selected by the Winter X Games committee to compete in the hillcross event. What makes Calvin truly special though, is that he is much more then just a Winter X Games athlete. As a true enthusiast and businessman he is an ambassador to the sport he loves, volunteering much of his time with organizations such as the Colorado Snowmobile Association (CSA), The Colorado Blizzards, The Snowy Range and Tyler’s Backcountry Awareness.
Interview by Ben Janin
Photo Credit: Marlenee Photography and KTL Photography
Calvin how did you get started with snowmobiles?
I was born into it, for as long as I can remember my sister, my dad and I have always been on snowmobiles….My family is originally from New York and when my grandpa moved out here he opened a Skidoo shop. I have worked in my families business for or over 13 years.
But you got a new gig now with Aerocharger, how did you make the transition from your family business to where you are now?
My families business will always be part of me, but I have always gone beyond the normal 9-‐5 routine. I live and breath this sport and I tend always be up to something, pushing new limits. You know backcountry riders are just different bread; you got to be about half crazy to be a mountain rider. The sleds are just not made for it and your getting stuck all the time. There is real bond among your fellow riders as your either getting your sled unstuck, putting a turbo on it or what ever other mod. When you immerse yourself in the sport there is overlap and doors just open. A couple years back I was working with Skidoo’s Ambassador program. The company had been working with Aerocharger to make Turbo kits. I have always done R&D whether at the shop or through Ski Doo. In any case it seemed to be natural fit. It’s so cool I have been doing more then I ever imagined. I now get to test additional brands such as KTM’s with Timbersleds, the Polaris and even gear now. In addition to all that, I am getting more involved with the marketing side of it all.
What you think of the Timbersleds?
It’s something new and its something different. I have dabbled with the dirt bikes when its not snow season. I have done a little jumping and mx, but not much. When I first started testing the Timbersleds it was on hard packed snow. But when we got some deep snow and headed to the backcountry…it’s been a ton fun. I am snowmobiler at heart and always will be, but this new sport will change it up a bit.
It was easy to see that the snowmobile community was excited to see you go to the X Games. How did that go for you?
It was such a huge experience!!! I though it was never going to happen. You know I am getting older now and the window just seemed to be closing. Then out of nowhere I get a call from Joe Duncan and ESPN and they say that they are bringing basically this one off event called Hillcross to the X Games.…I love racing and I love Hillclimbing…..I was just pumped…So I went to work after getting the phone call and just built the coolest sled I have ever built. This thing was running good!!! But unfortunately a screw went through the cooling system and killed it, so I had to go with the back up sled that was just not built for the event. I ended up getting a bad whole shot and goofed on the turns…so while it didn’t turn out the way I want it, its just racing. I hope I get called again for next year and just lay it down.
What can you tell us about your volunteer efforts in the snowmobile community?
It’s just a way of life that comes with the sport. The CSA, the Colorado Blizzards, my sister, my dad and I always are trying to give back to the sport we love. There is so much to do and I wish I could do more. My sister Brook on the other hand, she is the social butterfly she puts in well over 100 hours a year. Unfortunately she is up in Gillete, WY now helping with the clubs up there. We miss her here in Colorado, she was and is still us such a valuable asset to our sport…..People don’t realize it but safety is something that all of us as backcountry snowmobilers are really engaged in. As a family we help with search and rescue and of course there is now Tyler’s Backcountry Awareness. Safety is never ending, I was really close to Tyler and was part of the rescue, it really hits home. Brian Lundstedt puts on some classes and I find that I am always learning every time I go. As an experienced backcountry rider I can share that the dirt bikers throwing on Timbersleds better go to these classes. Backcountry riding is inherently a dangerous sport with a lot a risk; you better know what you are doing…after all these years I am always learning. Tyler’s Backcountry Awareness is crucial for the sport.
What’s next Calvin?
Expanding…..I want to keep learning from the industry…..I want to build a facility in the mountains….I want to teach people how to ride….I want guide people through the mountains and help grow the sport I love.
Who would you like to thank.
My family, Dad and Brook. Areocharger, Felker Motorsports, CSA, Colorado Blizzards, Joe Duncan