AmSnow Note: Here is an update from, snowmobile freestyle competitor, Paul Thacker on his life after he broke the world record for the longest snowmobile jump.
Hey all, its PT here.
Just got back to Alaska
after what seems like the longest road trip ever! Been traveling for about 5
weeks and I am super stoked to be home finally and sleep in my own bed! Ahh, the
simple things in life!
What a ride it has been this spring! I have been all
over the country! Actually I have been coast to coast!
After the world record snowmobile jump, I hit the road to Monster Energy Seattle
SX! Monster. I thought it would be cool to display the 300 foot sled at the
remaining SX races. It was a huge hit! The Seattle fans where super stoked when I ripped
out of the tunnel and down the start line. Yep, that's right, I actually rode
my Polaris IQ sled on the Seattle Supercross track!! The entire place was
stoked! I was very honored to get a chance to represent our sport on such a
huge stage. Cant wait for next year!!
Next up after Seattle,
I headed to Whistler for some spring filming. I met up with Cody
Borchers, Bret Turcotte, Cory Davis and Chris Brown. We had nearly 10 days of
unreal weather and a ton of snow! The Telus ski and snowboard festival was
going on at the same time so there was no shortage of night life! We were able
to keep the late nights in check and actually got some good riding in. Seems I
am so busy these days I don't get to ride like I used to so it was a nice change
just to rip with the bro's.
Vegas SX was the next stop. I loaded up the truck and trailer
and headed South. Unfortunately I didn't get to far. The motor blew in my truck
in Yakima, Washington. Luckily the boys from Whiplash
Sports are located there. The truck was down for the count
so I hopped a plane to Vegas for the SX finally. What an unreal event and even
better race! Reed and Stewart definitely did not disappoint. And then of course
Monster Energy did not disappoint with the after SX party where we took over
the Hard Rock Hotel pool. With Naughty by Nature and Two Live Crew performing
the good times where a plenty!
Sunday morning, after Vegas SX, is when the real adventure
started. The weeks prior my TM at Monster Energy, Terri Sacks, called and asked
if I would be interested in running a leg of the Gumball 3000 Rally. The
Gumball is a rally from Los Angeles to Miami to raise money for
There were sheiks, movie Stars, athletes and billionaires all
showcasing their exotic, race and unique cars across America. Of course I jumped at the
chance and was excited and honored to even be considered! So Sunday morning I
met the Monster film crew and my driving partners, Rick Thorne and Terri on the
roof of the Hard Rock to get the adventure started! We hopped in the stretch
Escalade and we were off! What an
amazing week. We drove daily and would stop in a different city each night.
Day one went from Las Vegas to Sedona, Ariz.
We stopped at the Hoover Dam and a stop in Williams, Ariz. to totally stoke out
some kids at their skate park and sign a few posters and give some swag out. My first day, also, saw our first victims as far as speeding tickets and
even worse. Two Porches and a Bugatti all got impounded with drivers in handcuffs
for going over 170 in a 70.... Oops!
Wouldn't want to be paying their new insurance rates.. haha
From Sedona we drove to Sante Fem N.M. Sante
Fe was a pretty mellow evening, aside from one wrecked penthouse suite....Haha. The
next day we were off to Dallas,
Texas. Sante Fe's police were kind
enough to give us an escort out of town, and then also kind enough to set up a
sweet speed trap several miles down the road to catch the early Gumballers!
We arrived in Dallas
late in the evening after a full days drive. Dallas
is an amazing city. We were lucky to have rooms at the W hotel downtown and it
is an amazing spot for sure. Gumball had the Ghost bar reserved for us and it
was a party for the ages. DJ Mugs from Cypress Hill was spinning and the joint
was popping! We had an amazing time and 7am came dang early the next morning.
From Dallas we headed to New Orleans. I had never
been so I wasn't sure what to expect. New
Orleans is an experience in itself. The entire Gumball
crew was Police escorted into New Orleans. We drove right down Bourbon St. No one drives
on Bourbon st!! Super cool. After we checked into the hotel we grabbed a bite and headed out to check out the surroundings. We
were welcomed like family everywhere we went. It was great to be out and chat
with all the different people and personalities. What a crazy night...what an
The next morning we were off to Orlando. After a minor delay....(4 hours or
so..we bent both passenger side 26'' inch wheels in New Orleabs on a VW size
pot hole and had to buy a new set of 26"s to get on the road...yikes!) we headed
to Orlando, Fla. After a bit of fun on the road to Orlando, we rallied with a Porche, a Lamborghini, and a
Unfortunately the Bentley got pulled over, but we got to Orlando. After a couple crazy nights I was
ready to shut it down early, but that just wasn't meant to be. Apparently Mike
Busey, Gary Busey's son, was having a Gumball party a few minutes from Ritz
where we were staying. I wasn't stoked to go, but man am I glad I ended up
going! What and amazing night! It was one heck of a good time. It was great to meet Mike and his crew
and they showed us great hospitality and a great time. You can check some of it
out on Mike's YouTube clips! Good times!
Friday morning was meant to be our last. We were headed to Miami for the finish and
some sunshine. Rick and I slept through the alarms and the wake up calls and we
got a bit of a late start but we managed to take a few shortcuts and caught up
with the crew before Miami.
Gumball had set up with the City to have us escorted into South Beach.
They corralled us all just outside of the city and with the South Beach locals
leading the way we were escorted right down to the main drag in South Beach.
They had streets closed and traffic held as we rolled in. I felt like we were
royalty (actually there was some on the rally) They had the finish line flags
out and there was champagne and congrats everywhere. I think we were just stoked
not to have gotten any speeding tickets. Everyone was a bit bummed that the rally was coming to an
end for sure.
We all were put up at the Gansevoort Hotel right on South Beach,
what an unreal hotel. Roof top pool area was one of the coolest features ever!
That evening was the end of Gumball party. The party was right at the hotel in
their night club. There were no shortcuts for this shindig. Complete with red
carpet and paparazzi! So crazy!! We all had an amazing time. Awards were given
and it was cool to see Danny and the Dingo win the Spirit of the Gumball award.
Haha.. They rallied in their Grenade RV! Funny stuff. It was yet another
It was definitely a bit bittersweet that the rally was over.
But I have to say that it was an amazing experience. Hanging out with the people
like Tony Hawk, Dave Mirra, Dennis Rodman, Gretchen Wilson, The Sheiks, The
Famous Stars and Stripes crew, and of course my little buddy Rick Thorne. There
is so much that I had to leave out! Guess you will have to wait for the book!
I have to give a big thanks to Terri and Monster Energy for
the opportunity and to Max and Julie from the Gumball. You guys rock! And to
all the Gumball staff... thanks so much. You all were amazing. Can't wait for
Well here I am back in Alaska, hopefully for a bit so I can
enjoy a little fishing and Jet Ski time! Then it's back to work.. well.. you
know what I mean...;)
Until next time... keep it rubber side down