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Video: Riding Positions

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Video Transcript

On screen: RIDING POSITIONS

Rob

All right. Before we get out there, we want to make sure you know the four basic riding positions. There are four basic riding positions: sitting, kneeling, standing, and posting. See if you know which position to use for the following scenarios.

Scenario one: looking over obstacles and at road crossings

Haley

Standing gives the most visibility for looking over obstacles and at road crossings.

Scenario two: when you want stability or are carrying a passenger

Rob

With your feet on the running board and in the foot wells, sitting gives you the lowest center of gravity for the most stability. Plus, it’s a good position if you’re carrying a passenger. And that’s only if your machine is designed for two.

Scenario three: riding uphill and driving past obstacles at low speed

Haley

Right on. The kneeling position lets you lean forward going uphill and shift body positions easily.

Rob

It also helps you see when crossing roads or maneuvering past obstacles at low speed.

Scenario four: maneuvering steep hills, rough terrain, and other obstacles

Rob

You’re right. By posting, we can use our feet and legs to absorb the shocks of rough terrain. It’s really useful when going up steep hills, too, crossing creeks, or maneuvering over other challenges. The downside is that it’s the most tiring, so we limit it to when we really need it.

Haley

And now that we’ve got those down, there is one more thing before we take off, and that is speed.

On screen: SPEED

Haley

Snowmobiles have no safety features in a crash, and speed is the major cause of snowmobile incidents. So here are the main ways to keep yourself safe.

On screen: USE CONTROLLED BRAKING

Haley

Controlled braking is where you depress the brake until you feel the brakes engage. Then you gradually increase the brake pressure until the sled stops.

On screen: AVOID PANIC BRAKING

Haley

Suddenly locking up the brakes and track in a panic can cause you to lose control and possibly roll your machine. Panic braking isn’t a solution.

On screen: UNDERSTAND YOUR STOPPING DISTANCE

Haley

And most importantly, understand the distance it takes you to stop. Once you see an object, it takes a certain amount of time to identify that object as a hazard and decide how to react. That time is called reaction time, and for most people, it’s about three seconds. The distance you travel in that time is called reaction time distance. If you’re traveling 30 miles per hour, you just traveled 132 feet. If you were going 45 miles per hour, your reaction time distance would be almost 200 feet. And this is before you even factor in how far your sled would travel after you apply the brakes. Your reaction distance plus your braking distance gives you your total stopping distance. The faster you go, the longer it takes you to stop. As your speed doubles, your stopping distance quadruples. And on top of that, you have to consider drag.

On screen: DRAG

Rob

The deeper the snow, the more drag, or stopping ability, your machine has. Glare ice has the least drag—deep snow the most. Plus, if you lean your body to the rear of the seat, it puts more pressure on the track and increases your drag. And be sure to keep a safe stopping distance between you and the person in front of you. Got it?

Haley

Now that you know the basics of starting your machine and stopping it, we’re going to head out here and give you a chance to show your stuff with some riding skills.

Using the Sitting Position

Learn to position your body properly as you maneuver through various types of terrain. Mastering the basic riding positions is the key to safe snowmobiling.

Sitting is the safest and most stable position.

  • Sitting is the most common position. It provides the lowest center of gravity for maximum stability and safety.
  • This is the only position recommended for carrying passengers if the snowmobile is designed for that purpose.
  • Keep your feet firmly on the running boards and in the foot wells.
Sitting position