What are Ski-Doos? [10 Surprising Facts About Ski-Doos]

What does Ski-Doo mean? Are Sea-Doo and Ski-Doo from the same company? Where are Ski-Doo snowmobiles made?

Get all the answers in this post!

What are Ski-Doos?

Ski-Doo is a Canadian snowmobile brand, but these amazing sleds are available in many countries worldwide. Ski-Doo snowmobiles are so popular that the term “Ski-Doo” has become the generic term for snowmobiles in many areas, especially in Canada. Moreover, the verb “ski-dooing” or just simply skidooing is often used as a synonym for snowmobiling.

If you want to take a quick look at these amazing machines, don’t miss this short video about the new lineup. Honestly, it’s like a movie trailer!

Does Bombardier Make Ski-Doos?

Yes, Ski-Doo snowmobiles are made by Bombardier (incorporated as BRP/Bombardier Recreational Products Inc.). The original name of the company was Bombardier Inc., which was changed in 2003 to BRP. Aside from snowmobiles, the company offers a wide range of snowmobile accessories and suits under the Ski-Doo brand name.

Are Sea-Doo and Ski-Doo From the Same Company?

Yes! Sea-Doo and Ski-Doo are made by the same company as both of them are the registered brand names of BRP Inc. What’s more, the company has an amazing portfolio of various recreational vehicles. The list of BRP products is as follows:

  • Ski-Doo (snowmobiles)
  • Lynx (snowmobiles)
  • Sea-Doo (personal watercrafts)
  • Can-Am (ATVs, UTVs, trikes)
  • Manitou (pontoon boats)
  • AlumaCraft (boats)
  • Evinrude (outboard motors)
  • Rotax (engines)

Who Invented the Ski-Doo?

The Ski-Doo was invented by Joseph-Armand Bombardier, a French-Canadian businessman and inventor. Surprisingly, the prototype of this vehicle was built in his garage! The key part of his design was the track around the rear wheels, which was able to propel the machines in (almost) all snow conditions. Bombardier was not only the inventor of these amazing vehicles, but he also released the first serial production line of snowmobiles!

When was the First Ski-Doo Snowmobile Made?

The snowmobile was officially invented in 1937, as Bombardier was granted a patent for his first machine that year. The first snowmobiles made were pretty huge, enclosed vehicles, since they were designed to carry 7-12 passengers. Over the following decades Bombardier and his team kept improving their designs. Finally, they introduced the first Ski-Doo snowmobile in 1959.

These first Ski-Doos were powered with 4-stroke Rotax engines, and offered only 7 HP. Over the years their engines have undergone great development. Thus, many of the newest sleds can reach a 150-210 HP range!  

If you want to learn more about the Ski-Doo story, don’t miss this video!

Why did Bombardier Invent the Snowmobile?

Joseph-Armand Bombardier invented the snowmobile because he wanted a vehicle that could be operated in all snow conditions. Although today snowmobiling means pure fun for most owners, there was a completely different reason behind Bombardier’s motivation. Sadly, he lost his son one winter when snow conditions prevented the sick child from being taken to hospital. Thus, Bombardier built the first snowmobiles to be used for ambulances, freight transport, and taking children to school.

In 1948, the local government started clearing snow from secondary roads in Quebec. As a result, the demand for snowmobiles started to decrease.

Because of this. Ski-Doo started focusing on smaller machines that could accommodate one or two riders. This was the time when recreational use of snowmobiles came to the forefront.

Since then, recreational snowmobiles have become more and more popular, and finally this market segment is in its greatest demand.

Where are Ski-Doo Snowmobiles Made?

Ski-Doo snowmobiles are manufactured in Valcourt, Quebec, where Bombardier opened his first big factory in 1941. It also has to be mentioned that the Rotax engines for Ski-Doos are made in Austria, Europe. This factory produces engines not only for snowmobiles, but for many other recreational vehicles as well, like PWCs, go-karst, airplanes and so on.

Bombardier Recreational Products is headquartered in Valcourt, Quebec.

Are you interested in a virtual tour of a Ski-Doo factory? If so, don’t miss this video!

How does a Ski-Doo Work?

Ski-Doos work in the same way as any other modern snowmobile. As the power source, they feature 600-900cc, 2- or 4-stroke engines depending on the model. The clutches transmit power towards the other part of the drivetrain. Finally, the power rotates the large track under the Ski-Doo, which propels the vehicle forward.

You can read more about how a snowmobile works in this post.

How does a Ski-Doo work?

How did Ski-Doo Get its Name?

As his invention was a replacement for dogsleds, Joseph-Armand Bombardier named his invention Ski-Dog. But because of a typo in an earlier brochure, the name of Bombardier’s snowmobile was changed to Ski-Doo.

How do You Pronounce Ski-Doo?

The pronunciation of Ski-Doo slightly varies from one area to the next. It’s safe to say that the most common pronunciations are as follows:

  • Skee doo (most common)
  • Sk’Doo (eliminating the “ee” part)
  • Ske doo (“sk” like in sky)
  • Skih doo
  • Skuh doo
  • Sca doo
  • Scah doo

It’s safe to say that most people say “Skee doo” quickly, without emphasizing the “ski” part.

Which Snowmobile Brand Sells the Most?

Thanks to the company’s continuous innovation and customer-focused philosophy, the biggest selling snowmobile brand year-after-year is Ski-Doo. Beyond countless inventions, they put a great deal of money and effort into marketing as well. All of these efforts make Ski-Doo the largest snowmobile manufacturer!


As a takeaway, let’s check the most frequently asked questions about Ski-Doos!

What does Ski-Doo mean? It’s the brand name of a snowmobile.

Does Bombardier make Ski-Doos? Yes. (Exactly: Bombardier Recreational Products Inc.)

Are Ski-Doo and Sea-Doo from the same company? Yes.

Who invented the Ski-Doo? Joseph-Armand Bombardier.

When was the first Ski-Doo snowmobile made? 1959. (The prototype appeared in 1937.)

Where are Ski-Doo snowmobiles made? Valcourt, Quebec. (Rotax engines are made in Austria)

How did Ski-Doo get its name? As a result of a typo. (Originally: Ski-Dog)

How do you pronounce Ski-Doo? “Skee doo” but this may vary by area.

Which snowmobile brand sells the most? Ski-Doo!







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