They say variety is the spice of life and we couldn’t agree more. But when riding is already so much fun, how do you spice it up even more? With some side-by-side games that get everybody involved. Check out these 8 games that add a little seasoning to your off-road lifestyle.
Tug of war is the classic contest of power and performance. It simplifies the competition to machine versus machine. And it’s a lot of fun.
If you think you have the most powerful side-by-side in your group, challenge your friends. Grab a high-strength trailer tie down, run it between both frames, and hit the gas. The vehicle with the most traction and power wins!
It’s simple, rowdy, and whole lot of fun. Just the way we like it.
Treasure hunts are a whole lot of fun even if they take a little prep work. Grab some things that stick out like an old trophy, a rubber duck, or anything else, and hide them near the most interesting parts of the trail. Make sure you give everybody clues about what they’re looking for and have them take pictures by them. The first UTV with pictures of everything wins!
What makes treasure hunts so fun is that everybody can participate and you don’t win by having the best machine (although going fast can win it if it’s close). Kids and grandparents can have just as much fun in their Kawasaki MULE 1000 from the ’80s as you can in your 2021 Maverick X3.
A lot of fundraiser and charity rides have a poker run. This is another low-impact side-by-side game that gives participants a chance to win some free stuff.
Poker runs have five stops along a ride. At each stop, you draw a card. At the end, the person with the best hand wins. It’s fun waiting to see what your next card will be and hoping you’ll get that jack to finish your three-of-a-kind.
Wheelies are a ton of fun and an awesome way to show off. You can make it a competition by seeing who can hold it for the longest.
You might need to make some upgrades to get a good wheelie going, though. It takes a lot of torque. You can get a ton of torque and pop a wheelie on almost any UTV with a GDP Portal Gear Lift installed. They give you the perfect combination of torque and ground clearance to get you on two wheels when you floor it.
This is a good one to invite your ATV friends to. They’ll give you a run for your wheelie money whether or not they’re souped up with a GDP Portal Gear Lift.
Now we’re getting into the high performance side-by-side games. These are activities that require skill, a high performance machine, and a little aftermarket oomph to take you over the top.
Doing a long jump competition isn’t usually something you and your buddies can just throw together at a park. Finding or building a big jump with a safe landing is tough. Better to leave it to folks like the people that run UTV Takeover.
Their Huckfest event finds the best dunes with the smoothest, safest landings and invites riders of all stripes to fly. Some side-by-sides scratch the stratosphere. Bring oxygen—the air gets thin up there.
Al McBeth | 215’ sand to sand record jump
Some killer footage of Al McBeth hittin’ the 215’ sand to sand record jump in #Oklahoma at UTV Takeover!! 🎥 @ravenvisual @nickbrownokc @baker4a #JohnFoster 🎥 📸 @holeshotsbycara 📸Posted by Side By Side Stuff on Wednesday, October 14, 2020
If you’ve got a big, expensive stereo hooked up to your UTV, why not flaunt it? Challenge your friends to pump out the loudest tunes possible.
You’ll probably want a crowd to help you judge this one, so check out the Crank It Up Contest at SuperATV Mudd Mayhem to get the most out of this little side-by-side game. Just be ready with the best sound system you can get—the competition is fierce.
Blind Bandit is one of the best UTV Takeover games, and we can’t get enough of it.
In Blind Bandit, the driver is blindfolded and the passenger has to help them navigate through an obstacle course to collect flags. After one run, the driver and passenger switch places and run it again. The best combined time wins.
This one is easy to setup anywhere. You can swap flags for spots you have to reach in your vehicle. Just make sure you have some logs or rocks to work around.
It’s a great team building exercise for couples too… is what we would say if we hadn’t seen so many hilarious miscommunications in person.
Give it a try—this one is challenging, exciting, and a ton of fun to watch. Just make sure you wear a helmet and seatbelts. The driver is blindfolded after all.
Barrel racing is a ton of fun, and it’s easy to set up anywhere you have space. It’s the same concept as a barrel race at a rodeo—just replace the horse with a UTV and you get the idea.
All it takes are three barrels or any other marker that won’t ding up your UTV if you hit them (you will hit them). Set them up in a triangle and drive around each of them so you make a rough clover shape.
Do it as fast as possible and you’ll be sliding around, spraying dirt everywhere, and holding your wheel tighter than ever before. It’s basically a race to do donuts faster and tighter than anybody else and it’s unbelievably fun.
What are your favorite side-by-side games to play? Share them in the comments and tell us what makes them so much fun.
At the end of the day, you have a side-by-side because you want to have fun. And these are all ways to make you and your family smile the next time you’re off-road. Never stop playing—there are too many memories and friends to make out on the trail.