We’re always looking to improve as riders and share our learnings with you! In this case, it’s all about the basic descent! When you’re descending, you should retain as much control as possible – seems pretty obvious, right?!
Here we’ll explore basic descents in which both skis and the track are touching the ground. Our main objective is to retain enough control to be able to make turns to avoid obstacles which we think you’ll agree is pretty preferable!
Check out this example of how to descend correctly (2:45 onwards):
As with climbing, you need to ensure you have enough runout for the speed you are likely to build up. Snowmobiling requires good planning and quick thinking – you should know what your alternate plans are if you are unable to make turns.
Your first option to maintain control should be to use your “gears”. That is, use high RPMs to keep the secondary clutch engaged which will use engine compression to slow the track. You will need to learn the RPMs required to keep the clutch engaged. Your next option to maintain control is to pump the brake. If you just keep your brake locked, it will be like a toboggan and you will accelerate.
Once you have the feel for both of these individual techniques, then they can be alternated. Compression will only hold so much slope for so long, and brakes will only control for so long, but you can alternate between kicking into compression and pumping the brakes for maximum control you can have under basic technique for a given slope. For basic descents, keep a neutral forward position, or off camber position to descend across the fall line.
This particular technique will simply come with practise. It’s important to assess a slope befoe descent and ask yourself if you’re comfortable riding it. Naturally the more trees on the mountainside, the trickier it can be to navigate. By using the instructions above, you should be able to do this safely.
Did you find this useful? Do you have any tips for this technique? Let us know in the comment section below!