2024 Ski-Doo Summit & Freeride – First Ride!
Following the incredible upgrade to the Gen5 platform for 2023, Ski-Doo again advances their deep snow platform to new heights once again for 2024. Ski-Doo is refining all of their Summit and Freeride models to make each one more distinctly unique. This in an effort to more effectively satisfy their customer’s needs based on riding style, conditions and personal preference. As such, the 2024 Summit line is now a tale of some very different sleds.
2024 Summit Adrenaline –Value & Capability
The 2024 Summit Adrenaline is an excellent deep snow machine for any rider. This is your value package fitted with aluminum-body high pressure gas shocks, minus the damping adjustability thus the lower purchase price. This sled has the standard tunnel and snow flap. The gauge package is a simple LCD display, also in line with the value theme. Offered in 850 and 600R E-TEC engine packages with 146” or 154” track lengths, both at 2.5” lug height. For many riders this is a perfect deep snow machine to get them into the backcountry and keep up with their riding buddies with few compromises.
2024 Summit Adrenaline with EDGE Package
This high-end in-season package is loaded with proven technical features. You get the short tunnel with no snow flap and Flex Edge track wrapped around the tMotion X rear suspension. It also comes in 850 or 600R engine packages. New for 2024 is the 146” track length, 34” ski stance and the 600R option. There are three track styles, three lengths and two lug heights available, ranging from 146” x 2.5” to 165” x 3.0”.
2024 Summit X – Least Effort
The Spring-only Summit X is the sled of choice for longer climbs, tighter tree lines and deeper powder. It stays similar to the 2023 Summit X that we know and love with a couple changes. It gets a lower handlebar riser (120 mm, the same riser as the Expert). It now comes equipped with the adjustable limiter strap on the tunnel and it gets the shorter adjustable brake lever that debuted on the Expert in 2023. These are all welcome changes, placing the Summit X, in our opinion, as the best all-around mountain sled in the Ski-Doo lineup. It is the easiest of all the Summit models to ride as it has tMotion rear suspension and a Flex Edge 16-inch wide track paired with a 34-inch wide ski stance. This combination is proven to deliver swift agility, easy tip-up and makes it easy to tackle the terrain with confidence. The track has ample floatation for even the deepest of days, and it takes the least amount of energy to initiate a maneuver. Most riders are going to love this sled as it allows you to carve and play in all snow conditions without wearing you out.
2024 Summit X with Expert Package – Most Precise
The Spring-only Summit X with Expert Package is the ultimate deep-snow sled with features sharpened for the most technical terrain riding. It is also very similar to 2023 with the addition of an aluminum brake master cylinder. This sled takes more effort to ride than the Summit X since the track does not have the (shorter rod) Flex Edge and tMotion (pivoting rear arm) which has been eliminated and replaced with the tMmotion XT fixed rear arm. But on the other hand, if you really want to get into steep, tight terrain, this sled is a real weapon. The 16-inch wide track provides ample floatation so you can carry as much or as little momentum as required. It also allows you to be super precise on your lines without washing out as the edge of the track is firmly planted in the snow, not flexing. This comes at a cost as it does require more energy to roll it into a sidehill and keep it there. The deeper the snow, the less you notice the additional effort required. If you ride tight, technical terrain and want the most precise sled possible with plenty of floatation and don’t mind the extra effort required, this is the sled for you. The ski stance is 34 inches.
2024 Freeride – Most Predictable
The 2024 Freeride is built for bigger; climbs, drops and air. Built for riders who demand the very best from their sled the 2024 Freeride is a fairly major departure from Freeride models of the past. Touting 40mm shock bodies with 16mm shock shafts and 50% stiffer damping, this sled is set up to charge the bumps and jumps more aggressively than any other Summit model and more aggressively than any Freeride model before it. It also gets a new spindle geometry that is more predictable in its handling. This spindle does increase the steering effort somewhat, but we feel it is a welcome tradeoff, especially for this model considering the riders and terrain it is targeting. The ski stance remains slightly wider than the Summit X and Expert models at 36 inches wide which adds to its stability and ride quality in the rough stuff at speed, especially compared to the other Summit models.
Another key feature exclusive to the Freeride is an all-new 15-inch wide track. Yes, Ski-Doo finally is offering a deep snow model to us again with a 15-inch wide track. Mind you, this track reduces the deep snow floatation making you have to be more committed to your line choices in deep, bottomless snow. It is not as forgiving in slow speed maneuvering in the deep stuff, but boy is it fun if you keep some momentum.
The Freeride is offered in 165, 154 and 146 lengths with naturally aspirated 850 and Turbo R engines. Yes, you heard me right, the Freeride 146 can be had with the Turbo R engine and that model is rowdy! If you are looking for a fun play sled that you can charge the bumps hard, huck off of the largest of jumps, do bow-ties and re-entries at will or stand on its tail as you wind your way through tight, technical terrain, this is the sled for you. It is very predictable and a hoot to ride, but takes effort, commitment and energy to do so.
A couple of thoughts you should consider prior to ordering your new Summit or Freeride are related to what track length you should order. We are now seeing a trend where riders are tending to gravitate back to shorter tracks. As such Ski-Doo is again offering more 146” models for 2024. We agree somewhat with this logic as a shorter track is more playful and agile, but a shorter track can and will leave you stuck more often. Rider weight, snow conditions and riding style should all be considered prior to making your decision. The light, deep powder snows with little moisture content typically found throughout the intermountain west typically require longer track lengths and more floatation than the coastal snows with their higher moisture content. It all comes down to the conditions you most often find yourself riding in and your personal preferences. Many riders have had their time on the longer lengths and discovered while the flotation was awesome, it takes away from that responsiveness, agility and playfulness. If they’re not riding fresh deep dry snow all that often they can ride a slightly shorter track and have even more fun. The trend is undeniable, and Ski-Doo is responding with machines that better fit these specific desires and conditions.
We though the new Gen5 Summit models were about as good as it could possibly get, but these new Summit models for 2024 are better yet again. They are the best mountain sleds Ski-Doo has ever offered. Choose the correct sled for you and make sure the track length you are choosing provides the necessary floatation for your snow, rider weight and riding style.
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