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February 2011 4xForward

Posted in Features on February 1, 2011
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There's nothing quite as good as getting off-road and going wheeling, which is why this magazine exists, why you read it, and why I man the helm. It's the passionate desire to leave the mundane behind and venture forth on a trail, even if it's a road you've travelled many times before. You know that the possibility is ripe for a different experience; you may find a new line, get stuck like never before, or even break or dent something you never expect to. And that is exciting, which is what this sport is all about-you wouldn't enjoy it if it was dull and predictable.

But at the same time, we go back to our favorite haunts because they are familiar and we know what to expect. It's comfortable, like putting on your favorite old sandals. Either way, we get excited because we are passionate about what we do, just like gearheads in any other faction. Hot rod guys enjoy going fast or quick, sports car guys enjoy whipping around curvy roads, and some guys enjoy running around town with coffee cans on their tailpipes. It's all good.

One other thing that wheelers, in particular, have is the passion for innovation and building, crafting new and unique stuff out of their own mind's eye. This innovation drives the industry as well as us as fabricators. Sure, there are plenty of wallet-job 4x4s around and plenty of "celebrity drivers" as well, but for the most part we passionately enjoy working on our own rides and coming up with something that will kick the next trail's tail-or at least our buddy's rig if given a chance. Those are the people who stick around in this sport and drive the industry, not just a flash-in-the-pan who's here one day and gone the next.

How do we bring new people into this sport and keep them here? I think it's through innovation, doing things a bit differently. It's like that new trail or new widget on your ride. Let's try something new instead of the same old same old, just like stirring the pot in politics. Let's get active in our sport on all fronts, figuring new ways to keep trails open, new ways to build rigs, and new ways to go wheeling. It's not that there is anything wrong with the old ways, but just like a cool new tool, why not add it to your toolbox if it works? It's a new era of wheeling activism. Take it to heart and get moving!

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