Dan Gardiner

SLED: 2016 Polaris Axys Pro 800

Dan Gardiner SPONSORS


I started riding at 11 years old. My family bought a cabin in Northern Utah and we had two sleds at the cabin, a 95 Polaris XLT 600 and a 91 550 Indy Fan Cooled. The sleds were mainly used to access the cabin in the winter, I was the only person that saw them as primarily a recreational vehicle. I was hooked pretty quick. In hindsight, the stuff I did at that age was foolish. My parents were clueless to most of my riding activities, but by age 12-13 I was venturing deep into the backcounty by myself. After I buried my sled deep in a creek bottom and had to walk 5 miles back to the cabin to get help, my parents caught onto the fact that I wasn't sticking to the meadow by the cabin.

I'm riding a 2017 Polaris Pro RMK 155 this year. VOHK-built Boondocker low pressure turbo, ZBroz a-arms, EXIT shocks, 2Cool vents, and Sled Solutions bags. The VOHK setup, Boondocker turbo, and Zbroz shocks can hang with anything.

A typical day in my life is nothing exciting. I work a regular Monday-Friday job and ride weekends for the most part. In the summer I spend a lot of time mountain biking, running mountains, and fly fishing. In real life I am an accountant, attorney, or something like that.

My time with the Boondockers started when I met Andrew McCarthy (founder of Boondockers) in 2004. Andrew brought me up to Newfoundland to film for what was going to be Boondockers 3. We became great friends and after Andrew moved on from making sled videos he invited me and the Utah crew to continue the Boondockers legacy, it all snowballed from there. Over the years Boondockers has become a crew of great friends. If we weren't making the videos we would still be out in the mountains every weekend doing the same things.

My favorite riding area is usually the last place I explored. I love riding and exploring new terrain.

I am all about stock trucks. Could care less about throwing money at vehicles, to me it is just something to get from point A to point B.

It is tough to pin down one memorable experience. One trip that stands out is our first trip to Canada in 2008 to ride with Dan Davidoff (aka the Krazy Canadian). That was my first time riding BC and I was blown away. Many of the original Boondockers were on that trip and there were countless stories…from Rick totaling his sled one hour into the trip to Ryan and Phatty pulling incredible lines. Davidoff's antics were priceless, he had us laughing almost nonstop for 5 days. It was a huge blow to learn about Davidoff's death last winter, he will be missed.

It's hard to think of a “worst” experience snowmobiling. Some of the roughest days are the ones that we look back on and laugh about in hindsight. Getting cliffed out above a waterfall last season and having to walk/climb out 5 miles in the dark (in deep snow…) wasn't particularly enjoyable at the time…but the retrieval effort and the stories afterward made it a very memorable experience.
On one of my first trips to Newfoundland I ran out of gas on a chunk of ice that was floating down the river, with several hundred feet of open water on all sides (keep in mind these are big rivers, not the creeks we have out here). Waiting an hour for Andrew and Joey to bring me gas was a great test of patience.

Shane Kynaston is my favorite riding partner. My proudest accomplishment in the snowmobiling industry is volunteering and working with the Utah Avalanche Center to promote avalanche awareness and raise funds for forecasting and training. This upcoming season I plan to ride as much as possible and continue exploring new terrain. I am also hopeful that I will be able to teach Anthony Oberti to sidehill to his right side. He caught onto sidehilling on his left side last winter and it was a very proud moment for me as a mentor. A lot of doubters said that it could not be done, but he proved them all wrong.

I don't think I have ever had a huge mileage season. Somewhere around 1,500-2,000 miles is probably the most. The most miles I've put on a sled is probably around 3 to 4 thousand.