Kelowna man's off-road mowers gaining him a following

Mower man finds following

A Kelowna man is transforming old lawn mowers into off-roading machines in his garage.

Two years ago, Ryley Kesslar and his friends were looking for a hobby. They all loved being in the mountains, so he put up an ad on Castanet’s Classifieds looking for old lawn mowers. After picking up several free mowers and transforming them, he and his friends started riding together and documenting their journeys.

Kesslar says they go out riding every weekend, and the objective is to always uncover new trails.

“The goal is to find a place that no one has been to before. The best obstacles are in the middle of the forest because there's rocks that haven't been touched, there's roots, there's big holes, mud and creeks that cross through so there's lots of different obstacles that we can find out there,” said Kesslar.

These older-model riding mowers are put to the test when they’re being ridden, but Kesslar says the mowers will go over just about any kind of terrain or obstacle.

“They handle our driving surprisingly well. These mowers honestly will go over just about anything you can touch, but we find the biggest obstacle is the steep stuff, and that's because they are two-wheel drive so our rear tires are digging,” said Kesslar, explaining they use a winch when things get too steep.

Since creating a Youtube and Instagram account, OKOFFROADMOWERS, Kesslar says he's gained plenty of support and positive feedback. He has just over 2,000 subscribers on Youtube and 30,400 followers on Instagram. He's even earned sponsorships.

“I reached out to a few different companies looking for some support. We picked up an L.E.D. sponsorship with Vivid Lumen Industries, and they did the headlights on these mowers as well as the underglow, and it's been a huge help,” says Kesslar.

“I don’t have a job right now, I work full time doing the mowers so money is hard to come by, so I’m very grateful to have someone help us out.” He expressed his appreciation to not only his sponsors, but also those who are following him through social media.

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