It’s fair to say challenge is what drives Ski-Doo Ambassador Shena Thomas. Whether that challenge comes from pushing her limits on a sled, dirt bike, snowboard or just being a positive role model for the next generation of shredders, it doesn’t matter. She meets them head on with passion and a positive attitude that inspires others around her to do the same. Here’s more on Shena Thomas:
Favorite type of terrain to ride: My absolute favorite terrain is NEW terrain. The chance to explore and go somewhere I haven’t been before, even if it is a micro zone in my own back yard. That’s what puts a smile on my face.
What’s your “regular” job? I spend the 6 months a year I am not snowmobiling in healthcare. I made the transition from a Paramedic to my current job working in the hospital laboratory 7 years ago. Thank you to all the healthcare workers still showing up, I understand the new struggles you face, and I value you.
Interests and hobbies outside of snowmobiling: Exploring the world around me would sum up my hobbies and interests. I enjoy hiking, dirt biking and snowboarding to experience the mountains around me from a different perspective. When the mountains aren’t calling, I spend my available time travelling, during which time scuba diving has caught my curiosity.
What does That Ski-Doo Feeling mean to you? #thatskidoofeeling is a shared ideal among all snowmobile riders to have the opportunity to be 100% immersed in the moment. That moment could be with respect to mother nature, spending time with friends/family, a chance for uninterrupted inner self reflection, pushing physical or mental limits, an escape from life’s obligations, or a combination of all of those. For me #thatskidoofeeling is the sound of a factory Turbo, a pow carve and an all-day smile.
What motivates you to be an Ambassador? Having smart, confident, respectable idols to look up to when I was a new rider was a huge inspiration for me. Ashley Chaffin and Nadine Overwater inspired me to be better, to do better, and to appreciate the sport for all that it can be. Whether that be riding ability, avalanche knowledge, sharing the love of the sport or helping a fellow snowmobiler out when possible. Being an ambassador is an opportunity to share that “Ski-Doo feeling” with others.
Favorite Ski-Doo model of all time: I’m going to have to say my 2014 XM. That was the machine that turned sledding from a hobby to a lifestyle for me. It allowed me to do what I wanted to do with snowmobiling, and it took all the punishment I put it through without a hiccup as I learned and progressed.
How long have you been riding snowmobiles? Technically my first snowmobile was an old 72’ Arctic Cat Kitty Cat that I got when I was under 3 years old. My parents would take me to the club rides, and I still have trophies from then, over 30 years ago. I didn’t ride throughout my school years and got back into riding on my own about 12 years ago. Haven’t missed a snow day since!
What’s the most fun you’ve ever had on a sled? One day stands out to me. We were working up a hard drainage full of creek openings, tree wells and steep tight terrain. At the start of the day, I fully believed I was outside of my element and would hold the group back. Somehow my 2018 Gen4 850 and I managed to dance through every single challenge that came at us, and I crested onto the lake we were aiming for unscathed, ahead of the group and grinning ear to ear.
My most embarrassing moment on a sled is… Ok, don’t laugh. It was the day I bought my first sled ever on the shop floor. I was a motocross racer, so I had the moto mentality. I hopped on the foreign-to-me machine, and I legitimately asked the sales guy, “where is the front brake?” as I looked at my right hand and then down at my feet.
My guilty pleasure is… cuddling my dog Tilly.
One must-have item or accessory for every ride? Just One? That’s an impossible choice. I sure do love my Ski-Doo deluxe tool kit though!
What’s your favorite meal on a sled (trail stop, muff pot recipe, etc.)? I love a can of smoked oysters and crackers. Energy in a can.
Current SHV (Sled Hauling Vehicle): 2008 Chevy Silverado crew cab with a custom flat deck.
Favorite pro sports team: I don’t have one. I have an individual idol though who has influenced me through his humbleness, work ethic and must be better attitude. The GOAT -Ricky Carmichael. Guilty – I have a tattoo of him racing on my right rib cage.
Favorite season: The transition between late winter and early spring, just as the days are getting longer.
Favorite food: Alaskan King crab and a good steak.
Dream travel destination: I already checked that one off the list in 2014. Mount Everest Basecamp, Nepal.
What do you love about BRP? I love BRP’s Promise, “It is about the machines we build and the emotions they provide. A commitment to always obsess about creating the very best experience for our riders, without compromise.” Amen.