Snowmobiling is a fun experience and with correct techniques you can make the riding experience a memorable one. Here we are looking into some of the best tips and techniques which can lead to better riding experience. Be it trail riding or back country or mountain riding, with correct techniques you can ride like a pro and conquer the terrain.
Table of Contents
When Riding Snowmobiles In Trails
Riding a snowmobile on a trail is almost similar like any other off-road vehicles. For the majority of the time, the sled’s skis and track will be on the snow. The rider will be seated on the sled most of the time. You will be balancing the sled with weight shifting from one side to the other.
With modern snowmobiles capable of moving with roaring speeds, staying in control is the most important thing. You should also have good knowledge of using the brake with your left hand. There can be situations where you need to act quickly with your brakes and mistakes are not to be made.
Be careful at the turns. Slow down at the turns and lean inside of the turn. As a result, you will be able to apply more throttle thereby allowing you to accelerate when coming out of the turn. Ice scratchers can keep your sled off overheating.
When Riding Backcountry
When riding on flat terrain you can use almost all of the same techniques as used in the trail riding. Keep in mind that it may not be that easy steering or stopping a sled that is sliding downhill.
Neutral body position also seeks many techniques to be known. Learning to carve from side-to-side while standing in a neutral body position is tricky. To achieve the best results, you can lean your weight to one side while applying throttle and ensuring that you are in control. This technique can indeed make you float in the snow making you feel the ride in the best possible way.
You should be always vigilant to avoid getting lost in the snow. Riding in the approved areas is also important. Be sure of the boundary lines as they may not be designated always.
When Mountain Riding
Mountain riding requires you to look out for skills such as travelling across hillslides and riding in those challenging three dimensional terrains. Requiring constant back and forth movements across the seat, this type of riding may require you to be always on the standing position on the sled.
You may also need to master the skill of putting the sled on the edge. This comes out as combination of several other techniques, involving putting all your weight on the uphill side, applying a short throttle and also applying a precise brake to hold the sled on the edge. When you have the perfect balance, your one foot will be on the running board and the other will be on the snow in the standing position. Now you can move the sled across the downhill with the help of some throttle and brake adjustments. Always remember that slow and steady wins the race. You can think about adding speed later on when you have mastered the skill.
Now we have seen some techniques that may help us out in trail, backcountry and mountain riding. The next consideration is the about adapting to the changing snow conditions. You should always watch out for the changing snow conditions and adjust your way of riding accordingly. Riding techniques used in deep powder may not help you tackle the hard packed snow
Riding In Deep Powder
Snowmobiling in deep powder is something that most riders look forward to. Most of the mountain sleds are actually designed to shine in such conditions. Be aware about the snow conditions as it is an important skill for any rider to have. Also look for avalanche conditions, especially in deep powder days.
Now let’s consider the case where you are trying to climb a hill or taking down a slope. Both these require maintaining the proper momentum. Start by flat riding and gradually pick up the speed you are in control of. Also, stay on the throttle maintaining that momentum.
Now, when heading downhill on the deep powder days, apply the throttle to keep the sled in motion. Now it’s time to add the skill of carving. With this you will be amused to see snow pouring over the hood of the snowmobile making you feel like a pro. You would be flying and floating at the same time.
Riding In Hard-Packed Snow
Now comes the real challenge which is riding in the hard packed snow. With the ease of gaining speed and momentum, comes the disadvantage of difficulty in stopping. There is also chance of falling off the sled when you are sliding downhill. So you need to be careful. Having good control and maintaining the same is the key to success. Also you whatever distance you cover up you need to cover the same distance downwards too. Keep that in mind and enjoy the ride
What To Do When Snowmobile Gets Stuck?
When riding mountain terrain, you may get stuck multiple times a day. This is somewhat unavoidable. Now if the situation is such that the track has gone deep into the snow, while the sled is relatively flat the turn off the sled first and then you can stomp the snow below the sled. This gives it a platform to be able to drive out. Now you can also stomp the snow below the track and pack it. You may also pick up the back of the sled so as to put it on the snow already being packed.
You can take the help of your partners to pull on the skis. However, be sure that they are out of the way when the sled starts moving. The rider on the sled may need to apply the throttle and shift the weight back and forth on the running boards.
Now, in case the sled is stuck on its side on the hillside, then roll it back to a position that you can safely start and ride the sled. Depending on the steepness of the hill this may take some time and effort.