SLEDsmart! USA Knowledge Base
Module 04 - Rider Skills
Yes, believe it or not, there’s a right and a wrong way to do this.
Riding with proper posture is the only way you can properly operate the controls and easily shift your body weight when you’re riding any type of machine.
RIDER POSITION OPTIONS:
There are 4 basic riding positions for snowmobilers and each should be used under different circumstances. These include:
Sitting (Most Stable):
- This is the safest most stable riding position, used most often on flat terrain with few bumps.
- When sitting, riders maintain a lower centre of gravity and have greater stability.
- To be in the sitting position, position yourself on your sled with your bum on the seat and with your feet flat on the running boards. Your toes should be in the foot well at the front of the running boards to help cushion the effects of bumps on the trail and to keep your feet safe from the moving track or any other objects.
- Use this position when carrying passengers and when operating at high speeds.
Standing (Best Visibility):
- This position is best when you're struggling with visibility in the seated position or when you’re traveling up steeper slopes - in which case you should lean your weight forward with your knees bent slightly.
- The standing position has become increasingly more popular for riders of mountain model snowmobiles. These sleds have higher handlebars and a higher seat design which makes them much easier to control from the standing position.
- Use this position when crossing roadways – it will offer the clearest view of oncoming traffic.
- Riders can easily shift their weight quickly in any direction when in standing position.
- Always operate at a lower speed when riding in the standing position and keep your knees bent to help cushion any impact from bumps.
- Don’t use the standing position for regular riding conditions as it doesn't allow for as much control as the sitting position.
- This position is used to provide better visibility or to allow your body to rest.
- Changing periodically from the sitting to kneeling position can help riders avoid fatigue when they’re traveling at lower speeds.
- This is the best position for leaning forward while traveling uphill as it allows for easy weight shifting.
- To ride in the kneeling position put your knees and legs underneath you on the seat and keep both hands firmly on the handlebar grips.
- Always use caution when riding in the kneeling position as it can be more difficult to keep your balance.
Posting (Best for Rugged Terrain):
- This is a semi-sitting position and is best used when traveling over rough or uneven terrain.
- It allows the rider to use their legs to absorb the shock from hitting bumps in the trail.
- This is a good position to use when there is decreased visibility, when climbing a steep hill with rugged terrain, and when bracing for continuous shock absorption.
- To ride in the posting position, keep your feet flat on the running boards, bend your knees, lean forward slightly and keep your hands on the handlebars.
- Use this position when there is decreased visibility and when descending a steep hill or slope as it allows the rider to lean back slightly.
- This is the most difficult position to maintain over longer periods of time and it should be used only for short periods, when required.