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Arctic Cat Snowmobile Safety Tips

Arctic Cat Snowmobile Safety Tips

When it comes to snowmobiling, the speed and snowy landscape combine to create one of the most thrilling options for riding fun. An Arctic Cat snowmobile is one of the top choices for exploring snowy terrain thanks to its overall speed and power. While the machine itself is known to offer control and power, a lot of the riding enjoyment rests on the rider knowing proper safety elements. Let’s take a look at the top Arctic Cat snowmobile safety tips you need to know to fully enjoy your ride.

  1. Take a course: One of the most important Arctic Cat snowmobile safety tips is to take a riding course, especially if you are just starting out. A riding course will teach you many important things about proper riding stance, riding tips, and safety to ensure a pleasant experience from start to finish. It will also help you meet others in your area so you can find some snowmobile buddies for rides later. Even if you are pretty confident in your riding abilities, a course can still be a nice refresher and social activity every now and then.

  2. Know your snowmobile: Your snowmobile is the heart of a safe and fun ride. It is important to familiarize yourself with your snowmobile from top to bottom. This will ensure you know how to handle your ride and also how your vehicle handles. The more familiar you are with the snowmobile, the easier it will be to notice when something is off so you don’t end up far out and stranded. A good familiarity with your snowmobile also makes it easier to control and steer over time. Take your time with practice riding before heading out on the slopes for longer distances to really get to know your model.

  3. Learn the laws: Another of the more important Arctic Cat snowmobile safety tips is to know the laws of the area you are riding in to avoid any issues. In some states, you may need a special certification to drive a snowmobile. There also may be areas where snowmobiling is not allowed due to hazards. The more you know about the laws surrounding snowmobiling in the area, the safer you and everyone else will be as a result.

  4. Use hand signals: When riding your snowmobile, knowing a few common hand signals is key to a safe ride. Snowmobiles can be loud and being heard over the conditions can be tricky which is where hand signals come in to ensure safety for all involved. It is important to know what the signals mean when other riders communicate with you this way, but it is also important that you use these hand signals as well.

    • Stopping: Left arm straight up in the air over your head while keeping your palm flat.

    • Making a Left Turn: Left arm straight out in line with your shoulder so the arm points in the direction you intend to turn.

    • Making a Right Turn: Raise the left arm to shoulder height and bend the arm with the forearm in the air and the palm flat.

    • Slowing: To signal you are slowing down, put your left arm out and down while moving the hand in a downward flapping motion.

  5. Never ride alone: Riding alone is never a good idea for a few reasons. For starters, if you end up stranded because of mechanical issues with your ride, you will end up all alone instead of having the option of hopping on the back of someone else’s ride to bring the proper tow back to the dead machine. It is also safer to have a buddy system in the event someone is injured on a ride for obvious reasons. If you are injured, having a friend there with you can be all the difference in avoiding a life or death scenario.

  6. Take extra care with water: Water is tricky in all its forms when snowmobiling so extra safety measures should be taken when dealing with it. Many riders mistakenly believe that if the water isn’t frozen then it is somehow safer to cross than crossing frozen water. The truth is that water in any form is always dangerous to cross. Water always has the potential to be deeper or stronger in current than it looks from the outside which can quickly take your snowmobile under or send it down the river. With water that has frozen to ice, you still run the very risky scenario that if you cross it the ice could crack and take you (and your snowmobile) under the ice. In fact, crossing water is one of the leading causes of deaths and serious injuries for snowmobilers. If you can avoid crossing water by taking a different route, it is always best to do so. A shortcut is never worth risking your life.

    If you absolutely can’t avoid crossing the ice, there are a few things to look for as warnings. For instance, if a body of frozen water has signs of water flowing around the edge of the ice under the surface where it meets the ground, cracks visible in the surface, or uneven looking surfaces, this is a definite no go for crossing. It is important to note that even without any of these obvious signs of concern, crossing water is never 100% safe and sound.

  7. Wear the right gear: The right gear can help keep you safe in a few ways. When riding in colder temperatures, the threat of hypothermia is always a present threat which is why you need riding apparel made to keep you warm and safe. You will definitely need a good base layer and a riding suit or jacket to block out wind and moisture which helps to insulate heat so you stay warm enough on the ride. A helmet is another important element of gear you will need. Gloves keep your hands warm so you can easily maneuver and use your fingers. The right riding boots and thick socks keep feet comfortable so you stay in control on the ride. The right gear can make or break your riding experience while keeping you safe so make sure you have the right gear before going out for a ride.