If you want to have some good winter fun, renting a snowmobile and powering down the trail is hard to beat. Riding a snowmobile is not terribly difficult, especially if you have driven something like an ATV or even a riding lawn mower before. But there are some intricacies to riding which you'll want to pay close attention to for your first ride out.
Don't stop while going up hill.
Snow mobiles are made to traverse snow-covered hills, but you have to approach the hill properly. Once you start up the hill, you cannot stop until you make it to the top -- or you may not be able to get going again. The deeper the snow, the more you'll have to throttle back to make it up the hill. Don't be afraid to give it too much gas.
Sit back when going downhill.
When you go down a hill, your speed is naturally going to increase, and you may feel like you're losing control. The best way to prevent this from happening is to make sure you sit as far back as possible when going downhill. Pump the brake every couple of seconds to keep your speed in check. You may want to stay extra slow and cautious the first few times you go down a hill until you get more comfortable with steering at higher speeds.
Lean into turns.
Imagine you are using your bodyweight to turn the snowmobile, and really lean into your turns. This will help you approach each turn with more accuracy, rather than having the sled slide out to the side. Pay attention to how much weight you are putting on each leg. When turning, more of your weight should be on the inside leg than on the outside leg. You'll also want to be slightly forward in the seat to give yourself momentum around the turn.
Follow trail manners.
To keep the trails safe for everyone, make sure you are following these basic etiquette rules while you're out riding.
- If you have to pull over, pull over on the right hand side.
- Never stop your sled over the top of a hill or on a curve. Others might not see you.
- Come to a complete stop and look both ways before crossing a road; the cars have the right of way.
- If you see another rider in distress, always stop and offer assistance.