As subscribers to Snow Goer have probably seen over the years, most of our magazine covers feature snowmobile action shots. That’s not just a coincidence. Snowmobiling is a fun, active sport most often enjoyed in beautiful, scenic surroundings, and that makes for great photography.
Beyond that, our readers have voted with their dollars over the years on our covers – typically, a cover featuring an action shot will outsell a cover with an still shot on the newsstand.
There have been plenty of nontraditional covers over the years, however, particularly “back in the day” when action photography was harder to capture.
For today’s Friday Fast Five, we dug through some stacks and file cabinets to come up with five interesting, non-action covers of Snow Goer over the years. Enjoy.
Sometimes, simple is better. There’s something stark about a straight-on photo of a snowmobile. This cover, from January 1980, exhibits that well, though it’s also been done with the Snow Goer Snowmobile Of The Year cover many times over the years.
We don’t know if a cover like this would sell on the newsstands today – we may have gotten to a place in our society where a pretty girl on the cover would have to show more skin – but this is an interesting cover from 40 years ago. Interestingly, the story inside the magazine features a Skiroule RTX, but the editors at the time picked this shot of the girl on the RTW for the cover.
Dry ice is often used in still shots to create a cloudy, mystical feel to a cover. Here, it’s employed by photographer Wayne Davis to lift the 1991 Arctic Cat EXT Special off of the ground. With the exception of “Spring” issues where we often have to use photos supplied by the snowmobile manufacturers, Wayne has shot every cover of Snow Goer since it was re-launched in 1990.
This cover begged the question “Who’s Fastest?” and featured the top two snowmobiles in the old Snow Goer Shootout’s 440 to 500 class. Notice how the Arctic Cat El Tigré 6000 is in front in this image? Well, sure enough, it was the fastest, but it didn’t win the shootout – the Polaris Centurion Indy 500 won the class title on points. The old Shootout featured a 2-mile run on Lake Namekagon near Cable, Wisconsin, and the Cat completed the 2 miles first, topping out at 92 mph. But in the multiple rounds, the Polaris was more consistent, and got to the quarter mile faster – 14.4 seconds vs. 15.2 for the Cat. (Sorry about the address tag and the writing in the logo — it’s the only version of this cover that we had readily available.) Beyond that — who doesn’t like the cover line: “Moon Boots Are More Than Fancy Footwork”?
What’s better than dry ice? How about dry ice AND a lightning bolt?! This cover featuring the 2004 Ski-Doo MX Z 600 H.O. SDI as the Snowmobile Of The Year incorporated a stormy background to attempt to reflect the bolt of genius of the REV chassis and SDI-fed engine.