Welcome to the world of snowmobiling! Starting from scratch can be overwhelming, as there isn't a clear-cut guide for those new to the sport. I do highly recommend connecting with your local community for some hands-on teaching as there is no better way to learn than being out there riding. In the meantime, this short guide aims to provide you with fundamental knowledge and some tips so you don't feel lost and can enjoy yourself as you learn. Let's dive in!
The Right Gear is a Priority
When choosing the right gear, there are several factors that you'll want to consider before shelling out some serious cash. First, I recommend buying from known manufacturers that are known for producing snowmobile clothing and gear. While they may be more expensive, these brands are proven and have to live up to their reputation. Secondly, don't be cheap! This is a huge mistake when picking the right gear. There is nothing worth than hours of misery riding in cold, wet discomfort. Finally, try it on and move around in it. You don't plan to be stationary for hours, so give it a proper try on and move around to ensure it conforms to your body with movement.
Plan Your Adventure Out
Before setting out on your travels, it's of the utmost importance to ensure you do some basic planning. Here is a basic checklist as a reference guide to follow:
4. Notify a friend or family member of your travel plans who will not be joining you. Let them know your destination, travel dates, and planned return. Also, be sure to let them know when your trip is complete or if you have changes to your plans.
5. Always plan to ride in a pair or a group, and don't be the one person who always shows up late for rides.
Push it to the Limit
Fear is a beginner's number one enemy. Don't be afraid to give your sled some throttle, you are not going to hurt it. Most newbies tend to ease up on their throttle and, in turn, get stuck more often. Here is a recent video I found on YouTube with some great throttle tips:
Don't be Afraid to Get Stuck
Key advice - you are 100% absolutely, without any shadow of a doubt going to get stuck. This is a right of passage for any sledder out there and the reason why you ride in groups. Also, be sure to follow proper sledding etiquette and help other stuck riders out. This is a great way to meet new friends, build some karma, and simply not be an a-hole.
This is Not a Competition
Starting out you are not going to be winning any competitions so don't set those lofty goals for yourself on day one. Instead, be proud of small successes and learn from your failures. Enjoying the learning process is crucial and will eventually lead to creating highlight-reel worthy rides without effort.
Be a Part of the Community
The sledding community is one of the most accepting and fun-loving group you'll find out there so don't be afraid to jump in and be a part of it. All sledders started exactly where you are today and most are happy to share their experience and knowledge with you. You can find these communities online through social media groups and forums or even inquire with your local snowmobile dealer.
We hope these simple tips help give some confidence in your sledding adventures. If you're still looking for a sled, be sure to check out our guide to buying a used snowmobile. With the proper gear, some planning and a bit of practice, you'll be a natural in no time!