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Skiing Behind a Snowmobile

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
This week I spent one day behind a snowmobile on snow skis and found that my past water skiing technique came in very handy. Let me pass on some tips. If you are or were a water skier you will relate easily to these tips, if you've never water skied - read closely it may help you out.

TIPS (on flat terrain)

Have ropes of different lengths whether you have 2, 3 or 4 skiers.

Use regular water ski handles.

Put your poles laterally parrallel to the handle AND grip handle and poles at same time.

Be careful which way you point the tips of your poles. If possible don't point them toward another skier but away from him or her. On narrow roads etc. you may be pretty close and you don't want to skewer him/her.
Also if close you can rotate your handle vertically to prevent this from happening.

A lot of trails, roads etc. used by snowmobiles have a lot of undulations caused by the weight of the snowmobile etc., Absorb these rolls just as you would traversing a mogul field. On the back of a snowmobile some of this action may throw slack in your rope. If this happens use the water skiers cure 1) lift up the rope high to take out the slack 2) don't do anything just be patient and slide in the direction the snowmobile is going 3) a combination of lifting handle and being patient will get you smoothly through probably 98% of slack rope problems.

Have a long ride coming up. Legs tired "quads". Do what a water skier would do under the same circumstances. Straight back, stand up almost sgtraight, stay loose. This will relax your quads but will put a little strain on your calfs. If you bend over and muscle you will suffer big time on a long pull, especially if up hill. RELAX enjoy the ride.

Don't get stiff and worry about where your skis are going. Relax, avoid real obvious problems in the snow like death cookies and just enjoy the ride your skis will take care of themselves. Look up front not at your ski's so you will be ready to Absorb, Avoid stuff etc. - sound familiar?

Be aware of where your partner/rider is and where he will be on the next turn etc. Example. If you are being pulled with one other skier and you are on the left and going into a left hand turn. You need to move if necessary and give your partner room to make the turn too.

If you are stopping or if you falll - throw the handle away from the persons with you to prevent rope tangle or the worst - a handle getting caught in a ski or binding.

Steeper Terrain Tip. All the above apply and:

On hairpin turns on skid roads, sgl roads, logging roads etc., the rope slack will increase but use the tips above and you'll be fine. A lot of this will depend on the snowmobile driver and as long as he/she is familiar with the "slack rope" problem you'll be ok.

The slack rope problem will also increase on undulations and bumps etc. Stay loose and above all patient and try to keep your ski's point at the snowmobile, you don't want to be going sideways when the slack disappears from the rope.

GENERAL TIPS.

Stopping. Be aware don't ski into the back of the Snowmobile. Easy to skie by the snowmobile. Alert fellow riders which side you going to use if theres 3 of ya or just stop with no sliding. Be aware you don't want to ski into the back of the snowmobile.

Going downhill. If you have to go a long ways; ski down don't be towed. There is no reason to do this and is potentially a really dumb thing to do as the likelihood of an accident will really increase. You will constantly overtake the snowmobile and each other. Ski down.

Just some tips, if you've water skied a lot you will have no problem. If you've never water skied just remember these tips. HAVE A GOOD TOW and here's wishing you good SNOW.
post #2 of 15
Thread Starter 

Water Skiing behind a Snowmobile

Forgot one thing. Give the snowmobile owner some gas $$$$.
post #3 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete No. Idaho View Post
Forgot one thing. Give the snowmobile owner some gas $$$$.
And/or lots of Good Beer. Thanks for the pointers Pete. In not the to distant future I maybe doing the Snowmobile BC thing when I move to La Grande. Trying to get something going with the Wallowa Tram in Joesph.
post #4 of 15
Where is Pierre when we need him?

Didn't he have a pic of him behind a 68 Olds Toranado getting pulled down the main street of town with a bottle of Boones Farm wine in one hand.

Or his description was so vivid the pic in the mind was painted as you read.
post #5 of 15
The boys have a gap jump built in the field out here. They use the snowmobiles to pull them up to speed. It's much like waterskiing. The only problem is it creates a traffic hazzard for those who drive by and observe what's going on. Oh ya, and the landing is real flat if you miss the ramp.
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete No. Idaho View Post
A lot of trails, roads etc. used by snowmobiles have a lot of undulations caused by the weight of the snowmobile etc., Absorb these rolls just as you would traversing a mogul field. On the back of a snowmobile some of this action may throw slack in your rope. If this happens use the water skiers cure 1) lift up the rope high to take out the slack 2) don't do anything just be patient and slide in the direction the snowmobile is going 3) a combination of lifting handle and being patient will get you smoothly through probably 98% of slack rope problems.
When I was a kid we used to do a lot of "extreme" wateskiing which involved narro streams and marshes. We would put a length of shock cord into the rope to solve the slack problem.
post #7 of 15
Yeah got it wrong Yuki. I was being towed behind a snowmobile trying to empty the vapors from a bottle of Boone's Farm and hit the parked car.

I have many quality powder days behind a snowmobile. Just remember, when you ski out to the side for speed in a turn, do not go on the wrong side of a cherry tree. Also, hang on tight and brace when crossing a paved road. Wear goggles, it can be a snowstorm back there. It is not wise to try to ski across open water.

So, what does this have to to with technique and instruction? Tipping the bottle of Boone's Farm way back causes you to tip you head to the side so that you can still sorta see where you are going. This in turn causes upper body rotation and the resulting pressure on the inside edge of the outside ski. This in turn causes a turn into said parked car. Every last drop does not always count.
post #8 of 15
Strawberry Hill or Tickle Pink?
post #9 of 15
Memo to file:

Don't send fish for the altar wine.

post #10 of 15
I used to get towed back to the base lodge after patrol sweep, along with 2-4 other patrollers. Last guy down had to be first on the rope, and suffer the blast of powder coming off the snowmobile.
post #11 of 15

I am now an expert at skiing (uphill) behind a snowmobile...

...which is what we course workers had to do when winds shut down the lifts at the FIS race at Eldora a month back. In addition to all the fine information given above, I have the following tips:

- Don't let go.

- Don't fall.

- Wear at least two pairs of goggles...three is better.

- Don't wear anything you really care about...Carhartt's are the uni of choice, and they don't absorb grease much, either.

- Also highly recommended is an LL Bean Rabbit Fur Troopers hat...with the flaps down, of course.

- Don't breathe if you're the first guy in the train...unless you're wearing a respirator.

- And above all, if you happen on a St. Bernard with a flask of brandy around its neck, give the friendly little feller half a dead cow, or whatever is required...believe me, you're gonna want a drink before the sun's over the yeardarm...
post #12 of 15
I think this is called skijoring, although most skijoring occurs behind dogs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skijoring
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by FOG View Post
I think this is called skijoring, although most skijoring occurs behind dogs.
Oooooh No FOG. It ain't tah same, Believe me.

Dem stinkin ars dawgs are vorse dan na buddy hell bent of teasing you on a snowmobile. Just get your buddy vit trea dawgs and you vit trea dawgs, have beer eh!, race no!. You try knockin him off dah skis and he try knockin you off dah skis eh!. Dem stinkin dawgs don't stop no! day drag yur ars eh!.
post #14 of 15
My mountain offers another form of "red neck skiing". The uniform is the same, one piece carhartt, elmer fudd hat and barn boots. It is called the tubing park. Believe it or not, there are actually injuries by people falling off the tube they are sitting in.

RW
post #15 of 15
All my skiing friends and myself used to have a "Camo" day every Spring. We'd all dress up in hunting cloths or carharts and hats to ski in all day. It also included a cookout of "roadkill" usually the past hunting seasons left overs like venison or bear or elk, whatever. Don't know why we don't do it anymore, I guess because one of the guys died of cancer. Haven't done it since. Maybe I'll revive again this year.

The tubing hill is usually a carnage zone. More injuries there than on the slopes.
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