Ryan Nelson

Backcountry Riders -

Ryan Nelson

 “There is no doubt about it, Ryan knows how to ride deep powder. Obviously a skier in his early days, he rides with his toes and rarely makes mistakes. He makes even the most technical powder lines look easy. Watching Ryan ride is truly beautiful, his tremendous blend of rhythm and grace etch the snow like a painter’s strokes. He has graced the cover of Sledheads magazine several times and is known industry-wide for his style in the powder. No stranger to drops and jumps, Ryan shines regardless.”

I was born and raised on a Farm in Rockland, Idaho where I learned to love the outdoors at a young age. I’ve always been drawn to the mountains especially when covered with snow. My obsession with snow stared at a young age, perhaps before I was born. I entered this world January 26th 1980 during a raging blizzard. I believe it was because I was anxious to come play in the snow! There’s just something about snowstorms that energize my soul.

I started riding in Jr. high; one of my good friends would invite me to go to Island Park with his family on weekends. We would cruise all over on Yamaha Phazers I was hooked right away. I saved my money until I was a sophomore in high school when I bought my first snowmobile at an auction, a used 1995 Polaris XLT.

I graduated from American Falls High in 1998, served a 2 year LDS mission in Colorado from 99-2001 and then attended college at BYU-Idaho where I skied 4-5 days a week teaching ski lessons while attending school. Because of my love for the mountains and skiing I studied Commercial Recreation, because I wanted to be involved in the ski industry. I later met Geoff “Phatty” Dyer who invited me to go snowmobiling with him and opened my eyes to big mountain snowmobiling. I used my student loan to buy a 2003 Polaris RMK 144 and started sledding more and skiing less.

Due to my growing love for snowmobiling I decided to do an internship at Klim shadowing John Summers in marketing/sponsorships. Dan Gardiner was one of the sponsored riders we worked with and because of that we had the opportunity of riding with him on occasion. After Graduating from BYU-Idaho, Phatty and I moved to SLC and started riding with Dan on a regular basis and that year made my début appearance in Boondockers 3. I have been heavily involved with Boondockers movies ever since.  

I would say I’m a well rounded rider, however, my favorite is deep powder and the feeling of floating and carving down hill lines like a skier would, finding things to jump along the way down.


Current Sled: 2016 Polaris Axys 155 2.6 with Mtntk turbo. 

Accomplishments: Featured in 15+ Videos, 2 Video cover shots, 3 magazine Cover shots, numerous photos published in magazines/catalogs including full page and centerfolds.   

Sponsors: Klim, Pms Polaris, Mtntk Performance, C&A Pro Skis, ArcticFx, Zbroz Racing, 2Cool Air Vents, Wasatch Recreational Products (WRP), Sled Solutions, Ice Age Performance, R.i.Decks, Summit Motorsports, SnowBigDeal, Zollinger Racing Products