Meeting new people is one of my favorite aspects of attending events like Hay Days, races, dealer open houses, pig races and the like.
The conversations with like-minded people are always so easy and enjoyable, probably because we share similar interests and experiences.
Often times during these first conversations, the topic turns to the machines we ride and own. Invariably, Cat riders seem to own A LOT of machines… to the point that I’m frequently amazed and find myself wondering just how big their garages are.
Not coincidentally, so many Cat riders have decorated their shops and garages in all-things Arctic Cat!
Case in point: Darin Martens, a guy I met at Hay Days earlier this month.
Darin is a 48-year-old Arctic Cat nut who lives in St. Francois Xavier, a town just west of Winnipeg.
Darin’s been a Cat guy for 26 years. His wife Monique USED to be a Polaris rider until she fell into Darin’s orbit, and now she rides a 2013 F8000 Limited (modified with pink decals). Their summer wedding in 2007 involved snowmobiles. And she even has a “CATGIRL” vanity plate on her SUV.
The Martens have two (Brendan and Alyssa) who currently rip around on 1972 and 1997 Kitty Cats, as well as in the Cat Cutter.
Darin primarily rides a 2014 ZR9000 Turbo Limited. The list of sleds he’s either owned or currently owns since buying his first machine (a used 1980 El Tigre) in 1989 is truly impressive:
1991 Wildcat 700
1995 ZRT 800
1997 ZR 440
1999 ZR 600 EFI Limited
2002 ZR 800 EFI Cross-Country
2004 F6 EFI Sno Pro Fighter Pilot with a D&D 900 SS with nitrous
2005 F7 Sno Pro Limited (Joker Edition), which, “I still own and will NEVER sell!”
2005 F7 Retro
2010 F8 Sno Pro
2012 F800 Limited (Retro)
2014 ZR 9000 Limited
In addition to a few of the above, the Martens also currently have these:
1975 El Tigre Z440 (restored but not running yet)
1980 and 1981 El Tigre 6000s
Those aforementioned 1972 and ‘97 Kitty Cats
1970 Panther 295 (unrestored)
1970 Cat Cutter (restored)
1992 Cat Cutter
1996 Thundercat 900
What’s more, Darin also collects Arctic Cat posters, brochures and a few collectibles.
In his own words: “I just love Arctic Cat so much maybe because they have a mystique about them and they come from a small town. I can talk about sleds all day long.”
I appreciate Darin’s passion for the sport and brand, and for sharing his story with me. Thanks, Darin!
And thanks for reading.