Skip to content Skip to navigation Skip to footer
Snowmobiles History

Polaris History

Since 1954, Polaris has proudly defined, re-defined and then raised the bar again for the powersports industry. It is reflected in the innovation we bring to the products we design and experiences we create for all those who play, work and THINK OUTSIDE.


The Polaris spirit can be traced back to co-founders Edgar Hetteen, his younger brother Allan and his close friend David Johnson. The hard-working trio started the forerunner of Polaris—Hetteen Hoist & Derrick—in 1945 in tiny Roseau, Minnesota. With World War II raging and metal scarce, their skill at repairing farm machinery quickly earned them loyal customers.


But it was their pioneering approach to finding a better way to get to remote hunting shacks in deep snow that earned them a place in history: Our co-founders developed an early snowmobile in 1955. To prove the vehicles weren't just frivolous toys, Edgar and three friends embarked on a 1,200-mile journey across the Alaskan wilderness to demonstrate the vehicle's durability. They lugged 900 pounds of provisions on toboggans and endured minus-40 degree temperatures to complete the journey in 21 days.


Their determination paid off. The machines became so popular that Polaris began manufacturing snowmobiles exclusively.

Polaris Snowmobiles History

Polaris employees created the first Polaris snowmobile in late 1955


The “Sno-Traveler” provided reliable winter transportation for people and cargo


Lighter, shorter, narrower sleds introduced: The Mustang and Colt

Polaris Snowmobiles History

The TX Series is introduced - synonymous for “high-performance”


Polaris Thrill Team performed stunts and feats at races and winter carnivals


The evolution of Polaris Snow takes a leap with the first Indy sled

Polaris Snowmobiles History

"Most Significant Snowmobile of the 1980s" - The Indy 500 is born


Models SKS – Snow King Specials – and famous RMKs – Rocky Mountain Kings


Game Changer: The 2010 Polaris PRO-RIDE RUSH is introduced and throughout the next few years is expanded into 20 different models

Polaris Snowmobiles History

Levi LaVallee successfully landed a world record 412.5-foot jump


INDY® family grows with new engine choices; an 800 Cleanfire® and a 550 fan engine


The next generation of Trail & Crossover sleds arrives with the introduction of AXYS. The next year AXYS will expand into the World's Best Mountain Sled and the SKS returns

Polaris Snowmobiles History

Introducing the SnowCheck exclusive 850 Patriot engine - the most powerful snowmobile engine ever built by Polaris


RMK expands to include the RMK® KHAOS® and the sled for the newest mountain riders the RMK® EVO


The new 650 Patriot engine is launched delivering class-leading durability, efficiency and acceleration

The MATRYX Platform is introduced, giving riders effortless control in any conditions.

Polaris Snowmobiles History

The revolutionary Patriot Boost launches, giving riders more power from sea level to mountain peaks. The turbocharged heart of the factory mod engine family.


Based on the proven Polaris ProStar architecture, the new 4-stroke ProStar S4 is launched, delivering reliability, easy ownership, and spirited Polaris performance.


The Factory Mod engine family expands with the big bore Patriot 9R. Delivering race-mod response and lightweight power as the most powerful naturally aspirated engine Polaris has ever built.

Into the Future

Polaris snowmobile developers are passionate riders. And like the original Polaris employees when they watched sled No. 1 make its maiden run, they're always seeking innovative ways to make the Polaris ride even better


Be a Part of This Story