The exhilaration of slicing through fresh powder, the thrill of conquering untouched terrain, the heart-pounding anticipation as you crest a hill – these are the elements that make snowmobiling an irresistible winter pursuit. In recent years, this extreme sport has catapulted from a humble recreational activity to a luxury experience that has transformed the winter sports scene.
Within this scene, there is a distinct niche carved by an adventurous young spirit who has turned the adrenaline rush dream of revving up one’s snowmobile with the guidance of his team of top-tier athletes into reality
His name is Clay Hockel, and he has brought not just the thrill of the ride but also the comfort, safety, and exclusivity of premium service with his venture Thunderstruck Adventures, located in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, a city that produces more winter Olympians than any other city in North America.
Hailing from Windom, Minnesota, Clay has had a lifelong passion for snowmobiling. His professional journey began with his involvement with Thunderstruck Films, where he set an unofficial world record for the largest drop on a four-stroke snowmobile. His experiences riding for this venture, coupled with these extraordinary feats, deepened his understanding and love for the sport and its potential.
When the Thunderstruck Film’s original owner was ready to pass the torch, Clay Hockel saw it as an opportunity to share his excitement with a wider number of people. He bought the company and turned it into Thunderstruck Adventures – a luxury venture boasting a star-studded team of professionals offering their clients unique, unforgettable experiences.
“We strive to maintain a team with impressive expertise, which reassures our clients that they’re in good hands. This year, we welcomed a former team US Ski athlete, Jaxin Hoerter who has been sponsored by Monster Energy and we’re psyched to have him on board,” Clay reveals.
The company’s roster features a good number of extreme snowmobilers who have participated in multiple X games, having ridden snow on all seven continents. Their collective expertise has turned Thunderstruck Adventures into a one-of-a-kind fusion of skill, knowledge, and extravagance.
Under the guidance of veterans of the sport, clients are not merely riders but explorers of the untouched wilderness of Steamboat Springs, enjoying the exhilarating and pristine world of backcountry snowmobiling.
Another crucial advantage of Thunderstruck Adventures is its commitment to quality. The company invests in brand-new sleds every year, unlike many other companies that run theirs for five to ten years, without considering the practicality or the safety of their vehicles.
In fact, Clay reveals that their main offering, the ‘pro-ride package’, features the newest, state-of-the-art snowmobiles. But this isn’t a simple ride or a mere sightseeing tour. “We take our riders into diverse, steep backcountry terrain. We’re talking about deep powder, cornices, and even cliff drops – the sort of terrain most other outfitters would deem too risky,” Clay says.
Yet this high-adrenaline ride does not compromise on safety. Professional guides ensure clients have a wonderful and, most importantly, danger-free experience.
In addition to the ‘pro-ride package,’ another unique offer at Thunderstruck Adventures is their private mountain tour. The terrain is incredibly diverse, accommodating everyone from novices who want to ride the trails to some of the best riders in the industry who wish to test their skills.
“Our private mountain tour is in a league of its own. We’ve filmed videos of professional riders shredding gnarly backcountry terrain there,” Clay shares. “You honestly won’t find another private property with the kind of terrain we offer.”
With a team comprising retired Olympians and X Games participants, Thunderstruck Adventures has moved beyond the traditional boundaries of its industry. These seasoned professionals who have honed their skills over years of rigorous training and competition ensure every ride is more than just memorable – it’s also incredibly safe.
But most impressively, choosing Steamboat Springs and Thunderstruck means rubbing shoulders with sports legends, an adventure few others can provide.
As Clay says, “We don’t just offer rides. We create encounters with the extraordinary – where you can learn from and ride with the best in the business.”
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