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The 18th Annual Sand Sports Super Show

Parts, Racing, Fun, And UTVs: Lots And Lots Of UTVs

Matt EmeryPhotographer, Writer

With the fall off-roading season thankfully only days away, the 18th Annual Sand Sports Super Show rolled into Orange County Fairgrounds September 16-18, 2016 for 3 days of dirt based fun along with one of the biggest selections of the hottest off-road parts to be found.

Over 150 companies, many of whom were targeting the now fully engaged UTV and SxS market were on hand to entice the thousands of spectators that filled the Fairgrounds. Most of the major builders were there as Yamaha, Kawasaki, Arctic Cat and Polaris had their latest models on hand for everyone to check out. In just a few years, the UTV market has taken over the show, and companies both large and small are offering great parts to make your SxS faster, safer better in all respects.

The major OE’s have been busy building new rigs, and Arctic Cat debuted their new 4-seater Wildcat to much fanfare. There was a bunch of Yamaha’s YXZ 1000R SS’s, one of which was the Corry Weller racing edition, and Polaris had one of their new Rock Crawler Edition RZR XP1000’s on hand. One cool adaption of a RZR was the “Manx RZR” built by Rugged Radios. It featured a classic Manx body on a new Polaris RZR HP 1000 chassis, and just like their last years Baja Bug, the workmanship in building the Manx was first rate. Honestly, we’re not sure which one we like better, but we’d be happy to have either one!

4Wheel Parts and other huge outfits such as Chaparral, Coyne Motorsports, SxS Performance and Burt’s seemingly brought their entire stores out as UTV’s, riding gear and parts were abundant. They all brought out anything and everything to tempt the assembled with wheels, tires, lights and UTV’s; lot’s and lot’s of UTV’s.

Always a big highlight of the weekend is Robby Gordon and his Speed Energy Stadium Super Trucks Presented by Traxxis, who raced both Friday and Saturday nights. Robby himself won Friday night’s races, narrowly beating Matt Brabham and PJ Jones. Rising start Sara Price finished 4th. Arctic Cat held their own races each night, putting celebrities and Arctic Cat VIP’s in identical Wildcat 1000’s and turning them loose on the track.

This was fun for the whole family as bands played classic rock, kids played in the water and folks of all ages were tempted by huge corndogs, turkey legs and churros (our favorite). There was beer flowing and games of chance were happening. Companies really want you to win so they can give you free stuff. We love that and it seemed that the attendees did too. If you were looking for a toy hauler, then this was the place to be too, as there were literally hundreds on display, some of which are seemingly bigger that our house!

For 18 years, the off-road faithful have been making the trek to Costa Mesa for the SSS. Not that it’s much of a hardship. The cool ocean breezes make this one show that’s not to be missed.