When Jessica Vance of Creston, B.C., went to school for fashion design, never in a million years did she think that she’d become one of the most sought after powersports upholsterers in the Kootenays.
Vance was approached about a year ago by the owner of NuFloors Boat Tops and Upholstery, who offered her a job in this unexpected profession. She jumped in with both feet and hands and began a career creating, modifying, re-covering and designing boat tops as well as seats for many powersports applications.
Owners of ATVs, side-by-sides, dirt bikes, snowmobiles and boats are some of their usual clientele.
“I enjoy working with my hands, especially with these heavy-duty fabrics,” said Vance. “It’s incredible to see excitement in the face of someone we’ve done a custom job for.”
Sometimes, it can be a cost-effective way to bring a seat back to life, especially if it's difficult to get replacement parts for the unit. Finding an OEM seat for a 1973 Honda XL70 could be nearly impossible to find, but with thousands of fabric and colour options, and a keen eye for detail, Vance can create a stock-looking seat with brand-new materials when the vintage OEM seat is unavailable.
Customization is another perk when working with a company such as NuFloors Boat Tops and Upholstery. Dirt bike seats are hard, but this is a minor concern because most riders stand up during fair weather.
The sky's the limit when it comes to custom colours and fabric choices for powersports upholstery. — Trish Drinkle photo
Snow biking, however, uses the same bike with a snow bike conversion kit, and thus includes the same rock hard seat. A dirt bike seat combined with cold makes for very uncomfortable riders who sit rather than stand for most of their ride. Vance refoams the seat, adding an extra layer, which brings smiles and less grimaces to the face of many snow bikers.
Is your bike too tall? A simple seat shave could be all that it takes for you to be able to touch the ground. Tired of the stinky, mouldy smell you acquire after riding your snowmobile with the ripped rotting seat? Re-foam and re-cover your way to less stink with a reupholstering. How about matching your seat upholstery to the epic wrap you have on your RZR? Yup, you’ve guessed it! Upholstery wizards like Vance can absolutely get some seat bling happening.
When you want your ride to stand out and be more comfortable while still looking epic and awesome, a professional upholsterer with experience in the powersports industry is definitely the way to go.