The Handbook of Iowa Snowmobile Regulations Iowa Department of Natural Resources logo

Snowmobile Basics—Riding Your Snowmobile
Basic Riding Techniques

Riding Uphill

  • Use the kneeling position.
  • Lean uphill.
  • Increase the throttle to maintain your speed. The deeper the snow, the more speed you need.
  • Don’t stop until you get to the top. If you lose forward momentum, you may not be able to start climbing again.
Riding Uphill
Riding Downhill

Riding Downhill

  • Use the sitting position.
  • Sit as far back on the seat as possible.
  • Stay focused and be prepared to stop—losing control is the greatest hazard.
  • Do not release the clutch. Leaving the snowmobile in low gear helps keep its speed slow.
  • Pump the brake firmly every few seconds to maintain a slow speed or stop. Applying a hard brake abruptly can cause the snowmobile to slide.
  • If you are at the top of a hill and other snowmobiles are coming up, allow them to pass you before going down.

Traversing a Hill

  • Use the kneeling position.
  • Move to the uphill side of the seat, and lean your body uphill.
  • Be aware that your snowmobile may slide on hard-packed snow, which could prevent you from traversing the hill. You may want to look for more loosely packed snow.
Traversing a Hill

Turning

  • Lean into turns to gain more control while turning.
  • Placing more body weight forward and into the turn puts more load on the inside ski and keeps it down on the snow, giving it a better bite.

Stopping

  • Pull over to the extreme right.
  • Get off on the right side.
  • Don’t stop on a curve or hill.

Crossing a Road

  • Select a crossing point that offers good visibility in both directions.
  • Before crossing, come to a complete stop on the shoulder of the road.
  • Look both ways and yield to any traffic on the road.
  • Drive forward slowly because your snowmobile may be difficult to maneuver on pavement.
  • Drive straight across, not at an angle, to minimize the distance you need to travel.
  • It’s common to find large snow banks lining both sides of the road. To drive down a bank, post and lean into the top of the bank as you descend. Never attempt this if a vehicle is approaching. To climb up a bank, lean into the bank and only apply the throttle.
  • When traveling in a group, appoint a crossing guard who crosses the road first. The crossing guard gets off his snowmobile, watches for traffic traveling in both directions and signals while one snowmobile at a time crosses the road.
Iowa Department
of Natural Resources
It's the Law!
Snowmobile Basics
Other Information

Printable PDF version of The Handbook of Iowa Snowmobile Laws
Printable PDF Version
of Snowmobile Handbook

< Back to Previous Page Table of Contents Go to Next Page >
 
Online snowmobile vehicle safety handbook last modified: December 27, 2007
Send mail to with questions or comments about this web site.
Questions? Call Snowmobile Ed at 1-800-830-2268
Copyright ©2007-2011 Kalkomey, Inc. All rights reserved.
Review Snowmobile Ed's privacy policy.