Snowmobiling 101: Riding Positions

Don't just sit back and relax

Story by Staff, Created Jan 10, 2011
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Snowmobile.com has teamed up with SnowmobileCourse.com to give prospective snowmobile enthusiasts the tools they need to get started.

This is the third article in a five-part series that we hope will teach potential sledders the basics about their machine and how to ride safely on and off the trails.

Riding Positions

It may seem simple but knowing how to best position your body when riding can make your day on the trails a whole lot more enjoyable. Just because a snowmobile has a seat doesn’t mean you should always be using it. The terrain you’re tackling will often require you to alter your riding position for comfort and visibility.

Seated Position

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Most of you will spend quite a bit of time in this position on the snowmobile. It’s the most common riding position and generally the most comfortable. If you happen to be riding with a passenger the seated position likely makes the most sense for everybody.

To ride in this position, simply make sure your feet are placed inside the foot wells located at the front of the running boards. Then with your hands gripping the handlebars, sit with your knees bent, leaning forward slightly.

Kneeling Position

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One of the main issues with riding in a seated position is that it’s difficult to shift your body weight. The solution is the kneeling position. The kneeling position allows you to lean forward and shift weight with easily when traveling uphill or on steeper terrain.

To ride in this position place one of your knees underneath you, resting on the seat with your other foot planted firmly on the running board while leaning slightly forward.

In addition to steep terrain, the kneeling position is recommended for crossing roads or busy trails as it allows for better handling while allowing you to see further ahead.

Standing Position

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When it comes to getting the best view of the obstacles ahead, the standing position is ideal. Being afforded greater visibility is an asset when climbing smaller hills or when coming to a crossing.

To ride in this position, simply stand with your feet planted firmly on the running boards and your torso leaning slightly forward.


Posting Position

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Posting is a position that essentially uses the mechanics of your body as a shock absorber on bumpy or rough trails. Think of riding your bike over bumpy terrain – you wouldn’t sit because it would be uncomfortable. The same goes for snowmobiling.

Posting involves placing yourself on your snowmobile in a forward leaning semi-squatting position with your feet on the running boards and the posterior part of your body elevated off the seat somewhat.

About SnowmobileCourse.com

SnowmobileCourse.com offers online courses approved by many state agencies responsible for snowmobile safety education. SnowmobileCourse.com also offers a certification exam. Upon passing the certification exam, you will receive your state snowmobile safety certificate or snowmobile license.

Related Reading
Snowmobiling 101: Parts and Terminology
Snowmobiling 101: Snowmobile Maintenance
Snowmobiling 101: Riding Hills
Snowmobiling 101: Riding Safety and Trail Etiquette