Late Friday night (April 3) I received a call with news you never want to hear, or believe to be true. The information of Rob Kincaid’s passing earlier in the day due to an avalanche really stung, as I’m still in disbelief. The world has lost a pretty amazing individual who enjoyed life to the fullest. My heart, prayers and condolences go out to all his friends and family.
Here’s why we loved Rob Kincaid…
People Gravitated Towards Rob
In 2011, I was on a test trip in Island Park, Idaho with members of Arctic Cat’s engineering team. While there, they took me to my first RMSHA hillclimb race at nearby Afton.
At this point, I had met Rob in passing, but never spent any time with him. Standing in a group outside his race trailer he points me out and says loudly, “Hey Big Fella! You the marketing guy from Cat? I’ll tell ya right now, You ain’t gonna stand down here to watch this race. I’m takin you to the top to get a real view of this Chit Show.”
I’m truly glad Rob brought me up top. The perspective and view were incredible. From the bottom, you didn’t realize how steep this “hill” was, not to mention the size of the tree stumps and rocks the competitors had to navigate to reach the top.
I stood up there all day, and a clear vision has stuck with me about Rob Kincaid ever since – people gravitated towards him. On that day, whenever I heard laughter and saw a small group of people, there in the center, was Rob. I witnessed this scenario play out countless times in various settings since that day – and that’s one reason Rob was such a great ambassador for Arctic Cat and snowmobiling in general.
I love Rob because of David McClure. Rob and Dave were like inseparable brothers. Their competitive natures pushed each other to do better in all aspects of their lives. The duo was comedic in nature and humor often derived from the uneven relationships between the two.
The two were relatable because of same genders, professions, love of the outdoors, life experiences and love for family and friends despite their age difference. McClure was quiet, more reasonable and semi-serious while Rob was portrayed as funny, maybe less intelligent (redneck), silly and unorthodox.
Together, they were a brilliant comedic duo people demanded more of if they spent any time around the two. In more times than I can remember, Dave would often tee-up stories and feed them to Rob with a softball-like pitch to knock out of the park. The end result was nothing less than a belly laughing homerun every time.
Rocky Mountain Rob’s Mystique
Rob liked to play-up his redneckedness (that’s a word), but he was far from unintelligent. Rob ran Teton Custom Homes based out of Victor, Idaho. He ran it in a manor allowing him ample time to truly enjoy all life had to offer. Rob’s passions? Most reading here probably knew him as a professional snowmobiler, but like the powder Rob lived to ride in, he was a little deeper than that.
World class hunter, trapper, mountain bike racer, dirtbike rider, horseman, cattle rancher, gardener and amazing cook, were a few of his pastimes he tackled with the same fervor and success rate as his snowmobile riding.
The World Will Miss Robisms
Rob had a serious talent for butchering the English language, and those that knew him best will miss what came to be known as Robisms. My favorites in no particular order:
This is where Rob took you riding. Typically littered with trees and gnarly sidehilling that left Rob stuck in tree wells and yelling at Dave as he watched Rob struggle.
This is usually what Rob’s Chit Holin’ turned into.
“Don’t worry Dave! You stand up there and watch me get unstuck! I’m a Doer!”
Just Over That Ridge
Hey Rob, where we goin?…”Just over that ridge.”
This is what powered all Rob’s Arctic Cat’s – The Mortar. And was also the partial name of his clothing sponsor, MortarFist.
“Your Mortar will Detnate if you run out of oil Chit Holin’.”
“Speedwerx put their supercharger on my 800 mortar. It’s a Boost Rooster!”
“That new 850 mortar ain’t dick.”
Do you even know anything about Elk?
If you liked hunting, you had better have your facts and stories straight around Rob. The man literally spent 90 days a year living in the backcountry tracking and harvesting trophy animals. If he sensed any bullchit, you can guarantee he’d tell you, “Do you even know anything about Elk?”
Family was Important to Rob
Rob has a great family, and was truly proud of his daughter Shelby and son Riley. If you wanted to talk kids, Rob always had “Proud Dad” moments he’d share. His wife Kim, was his true love, and held her in the highest regards any time he’d talk about her. Some of my favorite stories are ones Rob shared about them dating. He’d typically end by saying, “Yeah. Any woman who can put up with Ol’ RMR as long as her, is a keeper!”
Rob not only cared about his family, but he genuinely cared about everyone elses families. This was something I truly appreciate about Rob (and Dave). A week ago, Rob called me out of the blue and said, “Hey buddy! Just calling all my friends to see how they’re surviving this corona virus.”
Then he asked about my wife and kids, and even asked about my parents well-being. As I think about that thirty minute conversation, the tears are streaming down my face – we never once talked about Arctic Cat, Snowmobiling or the like, just about our families. Ill cherish that conversation. He thanked me for taking his call and said, “Keep in touch. I always enjoy talking to you.”
I look forward to the day I get back in touch with Rob Kincaid. I can envision him now…standing next to the Lord in “God’s Country” saying, “From up here, you can see 365 degrees in every direction!”