Simply put, nobody goes bigger on a snowmobile. On Thursday, March 26th, 2009, Monster Energy’s Paul Thacker became the first human being to jump a snowmobile the length of a football field – 301 feet and some change at 87 mph. Piloting a 430-pound Bikeman Performance-powered Polaris IQ 600 snowmobile with custom Fox Shox suspension through the overcast but calm skies of above the famed Brainerd (Minn.)NHRA drag racing facility, Thacker’s pursuit of the once mythical 300-foot snowmobile jump mark didn’t even look like it was going to get off the ground. Foul weather early in the week, coupled with high winds (which can spell disaster in distance jumping), put Thacker’s efforts on hold time after time. At 3 p.m. Thacker and the Monster Energy Team had quit jumping, torn into the sled one last time.
Thacker slid out onto BIR’s quarter mile drag strip about an hour later and clicked off some final fly-byes. The radar read 87…88…89 mph – precisely what he needed. Now it was go time. “I stopped by the trailer one last time and my mechanic, Alex, gave the sled a once-over and sent me on my way,” said Thacker. “I hit it at 87 (mph) and flew just over 301 feet.” It wasn’t until later, celebrating at a local tavern, when one of the guys the crew, Slednecks’ JB Gasperone, guys came up to Thacker and said: “You know how many jumps you made?” Thacker: “No, how many?” “13.” Thacker just laughed. “300 feet has been such a huge goal, such a huge sense of accomplishment. And I’m honored to be the first person to do so.”