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ArcticInsider is Officially Back!


(10/13/2019)

Beginning now, ArcticInsider is officially back! Yep, after six months of having gone fishin’, this hangout will once again serve up news, insight and inside views on the world of Arctic Cat, albeit with a twist: Kale Wainer will be the person capturing, sharing and posting the cool content.

Longtime readers of this site will immediately recognize Kale for his role as Marketing Manager at Arctic Cat from 2004-2019, and from dozens of appearances in stories posted here. Kale stepped away from an official job at Arctic Cat last February, but he’s still deeply passionate about the product and people within Arctic Cat’s walls. 

It seemed the best way to announce Kale restarting the engine of ArcticInsider in place of me, is by asking him some key questions about his plans for this site.

 Kale at St. Cloud Office

AI: First of all, Kale, give us the elevator speech about how long you’ve been in powersports, what roles you’ve had, and your connection to Arctic Cat.

Kw: John, I just wanted to start by saying thank you for allowing me to carry the Arcticinsider torch. You’ve done an amazing job with this site and judging from all the comments posted here and on AI’s social pages in the past two weeks, your legions of fans would agree with me. 

I’ve worked at every facet of the powersports industry for the last twenty years including my time at one of the largest aftermarket distributors, sold advertising and carried out editorial duties at a national snowmobile and off-road magazine, and even started my own freestyle and backcountry snowmobile magazine focused on a younger generation of riders. The magazine only lasted three issues and as I think back, the OEM’s laughed and said, “There’s no market in freestyle and backcountry riding.” Snowmobile freestyle may have lost some momentum since those days, but I’d say backcountry riding is alive, prospering and the focus of most OEMs. Sometimes it’s risky being a pioneer. 

AI: Why did you leave Arctic Cat last year? And what’s your perspective of where the company is at right now?

Kw: I worked in all Arctic Cat office locations starting in Thief River Falls (TRF) to Plymouth to Minneapolis and then St. Cloud. In February of 2019, the St. Cloud office was closed (engine manufacturing is still there) and jobs were relocated to either Augusta, Ga or TRF. I was given the option to relocate, but made the difficult choice to step away and keep my family rooted in the Minneapolis area.

Since I departed, Arctic Cat has undergone many big changes, rapidly. Some of the changes are hard for brand enthusiasts to digest or understand. I can relate to all of this, and trust me, I’ve had my fair share of questions. 

That said, I also believe change is a good thing. If you do things the same old way, you get the same old results. And I think that is where Arctic Cat’s business mind is at. I’m told Arctic Cat is returning to profitability, and from what I see the company is being run on a smaller, more focused scale. (This is something I’ll discuss here in the near future.) 

If we put all that smart “business change” talk aside, I want people to realize, and not forget, Arctic Cat still exists. And it exists because of the loyal customers and dealers, and the dedicated, passionate individuals who remain within its walls working on the innovative products we’ve all come to know and love. That’s still a great thing!

John and Kale ZR200 Ride in West Yellowstone

AI: Agreed. Speaking of loyalty, you and I have been friends and colleagues with Arctic Cat stuff for 15 years. Tell me some of your favorite memories of things we did posted here at ArcticInsider.

Kw: Road trips! Road trips were always my favorite. I encourage anyone reading this to revisit those stories still archived here. We consumed roughly 1,358 boxes of Mike and Ike candies, downed enough Hot Stuff pizza to elevate their market share to number one in Northern Minnesota and took some of the world’s most random photos along the way. 

Harmless pranks were also one of my favorites! Like the time you transported all the garbage from the Kentucky Fried Chicken in Detroit Lakes to TRF, then threw all of it into the back of my truck bed. Every crow in Pennington county was digging through those chicken bone bags! Funny stuff.

Kale and Hot Stuff Pizza

AI: (Laughs). For sure the road trips to TRF were the best, not just because of the pranks, but also because the people and the cool things happening in TRF is the beating heart of Arctic Cat. About a month ago you approached me with the idea of posting stories on AI. Why do you want to pick up the torch here and start posting?

Kw: Arctic Cat enthusiasts are truly some of the most passionate owners I’ve ever met. And without a site like this, they have been left wanting. Wanting inside answers about the company, the people and the product.  I want to deliver some of those answers, but continue to share the rich history and heritage of an iconic brand.

AI: What should readers expect from you, in terms of the kind of content and frequency?

Kw: I’m going to try and continue the same type of written spirit and stories all fans of this site are used to. Starting off, I’ll give everyone a reason to visit this site at least once a week, and will elevate the frequency of posts on Arcticinsider’s social media pages (FB and IG) with content different than what is posted here. I truly enjoy custom builds, vintage Arctic Cats, collections, racing, interviews and destination stories. So, it’s safe to say you’ll see a mix of those stories.

AI: Awesome! Are you going to have true inside access to Arctic Cat? Will we see stories like TRF road trips, interviews with people from the company, and such?

Kw: Having worked at Arctic Cat for 15yrs, I still have a connection to many friends there, and I left the company on great terms. I feel stories like road trips and interviews are essential and needed, so those will definitely continue. Like you, I also have a passion for new product and the people who are instrumental in developing them. I hope to have the same opportunity like the rest of the media to ride/drive new units and pass-on my opinions

AI: What aren’t you going to do here, that people were used to with the stories I wrote? In other words, what’s going to be different?

Kw: I want this site to remain a place where any snowmobile or off-road enthusiast (despite brand ownership) can come visit and leave entertained and informed. I encourage people to comment and share their opinions on stories and topics but I have a very low tolerance for trolls, arguing and degrading others or the brand. Please don’t do it here. Powersports isn’t rocket appliance, it’s fun, let’s keep it that way.

Roger's Ranch

AI: This sounds awesome, I’m glad you’re doing this and I can’t wait to read your stuff! So for now, let’s sign off with you telling us a favorite story about Roger Skime.

Kw: Roger is truly one of my favorite people, and my hero. I’m grateful to call him my friend who has made me laugh so many times. My first week working at Arctic Cat in TRF, way back in 2004, I was standing outside one of the conference rooms with Roger, who barely knew me at the time. Kevin Thompson (Drivetrain Engineer) walked up to us and Roger introduced me but didn’t know how to pronounce my last name. Trying three different ways he says, “Kevin this is Kale Wein…Whine…Wag…THIS IS KALE! He’s new in marketing. I gotta go!” And off he went down the hallway. (Laughs)

There isn’t a better ambassador for snowmobiling than Roger Skime. His passion for powersports is infectious and I hope to model that for the tone of this site. 

AI: I love that story about your name. Thanks for restarting the engine here and having the gumption to make it great again. I can’t wait to read more. By the way, how should Roger have pronounced your last name?

Kw: It sounds like way-ner. People can call me Kale. Just don’t call me late to dinner.

 



Comments (62):

CATMAN says:
10/14/2019 8:05:00 AM

Great news. Welcome back JOHN
Thndrcat says:
10/14/2019 8:16:00 AM

I HOPE YOU CAN KEEP THE PAGE POSITIVE AND WEED OUT THE TROLLS AS TIME GOES ON.
Shane Gerwing says:
10/14/2019 8:20:00 AM

Will we hear from Bobby Flame? Will he have a role with the new AI?
Donn says:
10/14/2019 8:21:00 AM

Thanks for picking up the torch Kale...You have big shoes to fill here...John certainly is a gifted writer !. It will be great to have some inside news again, as these are certainly uncertain times for Arctic...
Kyle M Milligan says:
10/14/2019 8:25:00 AM

Awesome news!!!!! I cant wait to ride my New 2020 zr rr 8000.
Alex says:
10/14/2019 8:32:00 AM

Welcome back Kale ! looking forward to more great stories and random "eat more Kale" pictures.
Dawn says:
10/14/2019 8:34:00 AM

Great news! I've missed this so much. Congratulations Kale!
Mike Miller says:
10/14/2019 8:34:00 AM

Great news Kale,
Glad to see the torch getting passed on to someone
with the same passion to the industry as John has
I know you will do a great job, now, run with it!!
KnappAttack says:
10/14/2019 8:37:00 AM

John,
I was sad to see you go fishin. I always kept up reading Arctic Insider even though I moved on and away from Cat, you did a fantastic job and really created something meaningful here. I hope things go well in your future endeavors. I thank you for letting Kale take the reigns moving forward.

Kale, I'm sure you will do a great job keeping Arctic Insider GREAT! Mike
Ken says:
10/14/2019 8:49:00 AM

This is awesome! So glad that ArcticInsider is back. I've missed it.

First of all thanks again John for the many, many, many years of stories, and insight, of Arctic Cat. I hope things are going well for you and your family.

Second I want to welcome Kale to the site. I look forward, every day, to what you will bring to this site. Yes I check it every day.

When you really think about it, it is kind of crazy how passionate we Arctic Cat people are. I live and breath it 365 days a year and ArcticInsider.com is one of my go to places every day.
Scott Schuster says:
10/14/2019 8:55:00 AM

Kale, excited to hear that you will be taking over the reins of Arctic Insider. I know that you will not only make Arctic Insider great again it will also help make Arctic Cat great again. Good luck on your new venture.
Daniel says:
10/14/2019 9:08:00 AM

Excellent, timing is great with the cold temps setting in, sledding season right around the corner. Just a couple of introductory questions Mr. Wainer, what was your first sled and what is your favorite Cat? Thank you and looking forward to sneaking out of work computer time.
BigSwede says:
10/14/2019 9:20:00 AM

Will you go ridign for any "HOT Bologna" sammiches???
John Sandberg says:
10/14/2019 9:23:00 AM

I'm SO pumped that Kale is doing this, and that y'all can once again be informed and entertained with cool stuff on this site.

Thanks Kale! And thanks to everyone who comes here!

And let me be the first to ask, can you please send me some AI stickers? I'm nearly out of my own supply and there are LOTS more outhouses, gas station pumps, trucks, garbage cans and other things that need tagging.
Premium says:
10/14/2019 9:29:00 AM

Great news! Can't wait for the new content.
TP says:
10/14/2019 10:06:00 AM

Looking forward to interesting conversations.
Tarilyn says:
10/14/2019 11:59:00 AM

Kale - you big lug!! Mary day and I are welling up with tears here. I miss you and John Sandberg tremendously!! I may need a supply of stickers too and for sure need an orange cone to put on Jon's car for illegally parking. HA!! I am so incredibly happy for you Kale! This is definitely your passion and they will NOT be disappointed. I am just disappointed I couldn't end up working with you and Jon again! Broccoli Wiener - I can't wait - how can I subscribe to Arctic Insider?
Snowowl says:
10/14/2019 12:02:00 PM

Welcome Kale! Can't wait for new info.
Erik says:
10/14/2019 12:27:00 PM

Excellent news John & Kale! Great to have you both back! EN
Tom Rowland says:
10/14/2019 12:32:00 PM

Thank You John Sandberg for the vision to launch this cool site originally and for the passion to make it such a great resource for all of us that live and breathe all things Arctic Cat. And Thank You Kale for carrying the torch forward that is handed to you, ArcticInsider is in great hands!
Collisionvision says:
10/14/2019 2:09:00 PM

Kale, what’s your take on all the dealers dropping? Even D&P losing their loyalty.
the original David says:
10/14/2019 3:21:00 PM

Kale,

Best of luck as you embark on AI version 2.0

First reader question. What sled will you be riding this Winter?
Kale says:
10/14/2019 3:44:00 PM

Collisionvision - Great question! One I'd like to learn about further. I know at Haydays Craig Kennedy made the comment regarding dealers to the media, "We’re trying to get all the right partners on board. The dealer network we’re standing with now is super strong, ready to move forward. We just needed to make some changes.” As far as D&P loyalty? I know Dean and his family quite well and they're successful business people. They want to make money. Adding another product line made sense for them. If you peel back Dean's tough exterior, you'll find green blood, a healthy dose of Bud Light and a pack of Virginia Slims. LOL.
Kale says:
10/14/2019 3:57:00 PM

Daniel and The Original David - My first exposure to snowmobiling was getting rides on my dad's 1967 Alouette he purchased when he got out of Vietnam. I was hooked though the first time I saw my Uncles 69 Panther...that sinister black hood and leopard print seat really captured my imagination! There are so many great Arctic Cat's its hard to pinpoint my favorite, but I'd have to say I have a soft spot for the 78/79 Tigre 6000s. I have a 78 and its pretty bad@ss. My sled this year? Im searching for a RIOT. I'm a Crossover fan, and that snowmobile puts a serious smile on my face with every crack of the throttle.
CHRIS Heppding says:
10/14/2019 4:51:00 PM

More stickers please... running low on HP. I feel I get a least 10 hp out of my sled with the sticker kit added. I have found that stickers added in the correct location I've picked up close to 15 hp.

Thanks Kale :)
Paul Hein says:
10/14/2019 5:14:00 PM

Very cool ! So glad to see A.I. back in action. Best wishes Kale and Hey John , don't be a stranger.
JB says:
10/14/2019 6:08:00 PM

I am so happy “Kyle” is taking over! I assume every article will have some reference to burritos and your love for food.

Congrats Kale! Let’s get lunch soon.

jb
Paul Nadeau says:
10/14/2019 6:24:00 PM

Congratulations Kale! Can't wait to hear what Arctic Cat has in store for us. Best of luck to you! Hoping that Textron realizes what loyal and staunch we Arctic Cat people are and that they are as open to providing info to you as they were with John.
Hey Chris, I got the same speed increase with the stickers John sent me! Now all the writing has come off due to the excessive speed increase! Kale, please send some new stickers to northern Maine!
John, please send words our way whenever you can. Two great and talented writers (Kale & John) makes us some very lucky people! Think snow!!
Mike Mattson says:
10/14/2019 7:36:00 PM

I am really happy that you guys started this up again. I love the articles and look forward to them. Thank you very much.
Wolf says:
10/14/2019 7:38:00 PM

Meeeow!
Rodney Dragan says:
10/14/2019 9:15:00 PM

Welcome aboard Kale! I am looking forward to all things Arctic Insider. Don't send me any stickers. I have a gross of the version that say something about flatulence. They're handy for taping pee pads together for my toy poodle.
Jill Rogge says:
10/14/2019 10:06:00 PM

Congrats Kale!
Rob D. says:
10/14/2019 10:18:00 PM

Congrats on taking over kale! Can’t wait to see what passion and excitement you bring over to Artic insider. Hopefully Bobby Flame will get to write interesting posts here too. Can’t wait to to see more incredible stuff from you
Warren Miller says:
10/14/2019 10:43:00 PM

Glad to see you back at work, maybe now we can get a ride in this winter!
Lee Mattfield says:
10/15/2019 7:53:00 AM

Congrats Kale, glad to see your adventure continues. Seeing your name on Facebook brought back fond memories of a friend of ours, Mr. Rox's. If your ever passing thru Grand Rapids, give me a call. Good Luck!!!
Glad2BGone says:
10/15/2019 9:45:00 AM

Congratulation, Kale.

I can only hope that dealers telling the truth about unethical practices, and how they have been treated is not considered "trolling".
Erik the swede says:
10/15/2019 10:22:00 AM

Cool. Nice . Good.

Let's hope we can spread the word through the wide world of Arctic Cat.
The products are good just lack of buyers. A jacket needs to be in the right size to fit and quality is key.

My pen pal John knows me if you need me.
Kenny says:
10/15/2019 12:10:00 PM

I am so glad this site is still alive! I am excited to see what's next. I have read some amazig stories about passionate Arctic Cat people here.
Michael says:
10/15/2019 1:06:00 PM

Great to have Arcticinsider back. It’s been a scary summer without much news. Any news will be welcome to the faithful. Arctic Cat’s following is legendary just like their sleds!
The Cat Kid says:
10/15/2019 3:01:00 PM

Will Bobby Flame have a Blog as well??
Super Dave O says:
10/15/2019 4:05:00 PM

Welcome back Kale! I see the timing for this is perfect with the lawn mowing season winding down. Looking forward to reading your well informed articles with the humor thrown in! Along with John, Tarilyn and others, I too need som AI stickers to plaster around the globe.
Auggie says:
10/15/2019 4:14:00 PM

Good luck Kale and I am looking forward to reading your articles:)
Dave the toolman Good says:
10/15/2019 7:24:00 PM

Bring us some juicy CAT info ,Kale!!
Dave Guenther says:
10/15/2019 8:44:00 PM

hey Guys so good to see, heard that Ai was coming back great news!
Todd Ulschmid says:
10/16/2019 6:49:00 AM

Welcome Back Arctic Insider! John, great to hear from you here on A.I. and I hope all is going well! Kale, best wishes to you and I hope to meet you in person some day. I met John through this website and we even went riding together a few times. Change is inevitable. It's what you do with the "change" that matters. As positive as John is, and as you seem to be, too... The future for A.I. is bright! Thank you both for your dedication to this sport and this fantastic website. Wish you both all the best! Take care!
Bill Nemanis says:
10/16/2019 12:08:00 PM

Congradulations Kale on your new adventure and many thanks for the years of great journalisim from John. I think it's fair to say that everyone who claims to be an Arctic Cat loyalist looks forward to your future articles.
Mike F says:
10/16/2019 12:16:00 PM

Great news!
yves duchesne says:
10/16/2019 1:16:00 PM

i am a quebec artic cat fan since 1976,happy arctic insider is back
Puss600 says:
10/16/2019 5:24:00 PM

Good to see A.I. back. Got any spy photos of the 2021 cats?
Don Thompson says:
10/16/2019 8:52:00 PM

Great news to hear John passing the torch to Kale. Even though I'm a Yamicat guy it's awesome to read that John's site will be carrying on. This sport has a loyal bunch of enthusiasts that love to keep tabs on the latest news. I'm glad to see that CJ Ramstad's influence on the sport is continuing. I first met John through a friend who was working at Ehlert Publishing back in the early '90's and met Kale at Blown Concept Graphics while picking up my custom SnoScoot. Kudo's to you both in keeping the faith in this awesome sport that we love.
FASTF5 says:
10/17/2019 10:41:00 AM

GLAD YOUR BACK!
krom says:
10/17/2019 5:37:00 PM

Big announcement from the factory Friday 10/18 at noon cst..
Is the story written yet??
Can Dan says:
10/17/2019 8:47:00 PM

That sexy couple looks like the newest Shake and Bake Combo. Did I hear NEW A.I. stickers, looks like a good year after all......
Can Dan says:
10/17/2019 8:47:00 PM

That sexy couple looks like the newest Shake and Bake Combo. Did I hear NEW A.I. stickers, looks like a good year after all......
Robb Kaiser says:
10/19/2019 3:54:00 PM

This warms my heart!! Super pumped, congrats my little buttercup!!
Marco says:
10/23/2019 7:24:00 PM

The Cat is Back! (Taken from 1982 advertising).. Er, wait a min, The Arcticinsider.com is back! There, that is better! Haha.
Isiah says:
10/27/2019 11:06:00 AM

I have been browsing online more than 4 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.

It is pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if
all site owners and bloggers made good content as you did,
the web will be much more useful than ever before. It is the
best time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy.
I’ve read this post and if I could I desire to suggest you few interesting things
or advice. Maybe you can write next articles referring to this article.
I want to read more things about it! Hi would you mind sharing which
blog platform you're working with? I'm looking to start my own blog
in the near future but I'm having a difficult time making a decision between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I'm looking for something completely unique.
P.S Apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask!
http://hats.com
Shawn Hopkins - 563 Motorsports says:
10/29/2019 2:21:00 PM

Hey Kale Great to have you bring back AI to life. John. WE ALL MISS YOU..... It has been a few years now since I stepped away from the Snocross scene with Megan's retirement from racing, but still follow and miss all the great people at Arctic Cat and the races. I look forward to reading on and hopefully running into you again..

Thanks again Kale and John
Scott Eilertson says:
10/29/2019 3:49:00 PM

Congratulations Kale and YES you will be the Perfect person to carry on this Great tradition of ArcticInsider that John has mastered so well for so many years. I know he will be there to support you as a new chapter of the Arctic Cat Legends History book is about to be written. With all of the exciting news and rumors swirling about in TRF these days and with the launch of some really cool new models on the way for 2021 it looks like Arctic Cat is reinventing the snowmobile business which will be Great for their Dealers and the consumers. Hope to see ya at the Country Cat Open House this Weekend!!
Scott says:
11/1/2019 11:09:00 PM

I glad to see the page is back with new content. If Cat comes out with the factory snow bike I saw in the patent drawings I will put a deposit down one one. It looks awesome.
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