As snowmobilers, we all know how easy it is to get ourselves into a sticky situation. We’ve all been there, everything is going so smooth and we’re riding really well, then before we know it, our snowmobile is upside down in a tree or driving itself down a hill with us chasing behind.
I’m going to list a few tips here to help you have better sled control for the next time you hit the snow.
- Look ahead. Look where you want to go, not where you don’t want to go. This one is very simple and can help a ton. It can be hard to remember during quick reacting moments, so try and remind yourself to look ahead constantly throughout the day, even when the riding isn’t very challenging.
- Throttle/Brake Control. Especially when sidehilling, throttle/brake control is very important. We use throttle to help build momentum and stay on edge, while we use brake to help with the speed and control of the sled. Don’t be afraid to use a little brake and throttle at the same time.
- Foot Placement. Foot placement is very important for controlling the direction of the snowmobile. Placing the foot too far forward might cause the sled to go downhill, whereas placing the foot too far back may make the snowmobile want to climb up the hill.
- Body Position. By body position, I mean being in an attack stance. This stance allows you to use your arms and legs as suspension and also gives you the capability to jump from one side of the sled to the other in a split second.
- Wearing the right gear. Always wear the proper gear to take you in and out of the backcountry. You want gloves that keep your hands warm while allowing for good grip. You want clothing that stays dry and warm to keep you going all day and the little distractions to a minimum. You always want to be comfortable while riding.
One last thing I want to mention is safety. Make sure your avalanche gear is in good condition and that all of your batteries are fully charged. Always check avalanche conditions before you leave the trail head and know how to use your avalanche equipment. Remember guys, ride to live another day.