My name is Kayli Dentman, I am a snowmobile athlete living in Golden, BC. I moved to Golden for the endless riding terrain and to pursue my passion for backcountry sledding, I am originally from Lacombe, Alberta. I grew up riding all over Alberta and British Colombia, my family got me into snowmobiling at age 3 and ever since then I have been addicted to the sport!
Over the years I have developed my skill set in sledding, I have learned ways to control my sled using many different methods, here are a few tips and tricks that help me greatly on a day to day basis.
-Tips for the ladies-
- The throttle is your friend. Throttle control is one of the biggest helps when it comes to sidehilling, carving etc, counter steering, using your throttle and weight transfer will help you get your sled up on edge no matter your weight/size. When I am in a sidehill and carving I use my throttle to allow me to manipulate my sled once it's on edge and to keep it there. I am consistently on and off the throttle because that is a really big key factor in balancing the sled.
- Wrong foot forward. Making tight turns, riding through trees, sidehilling etc you're going to want to do wrong foot forward, you basically put the wrong foot on the running board to get the sled steering in that direction. To sidehill or turn left you would put your right foot on the left running board and put your left leg out for leverage while countering steering to the right and leaning to the left while doing these steps you will want to look ahead to where you want to go. The left leg can also act as a crutch if you lean the sled over too far, pushing you back in the optimal sidehilling position.
Wrong foot forward for smaller people allows us to have much more leverage, because of the extra weight transfer off the side of the sled, you are able to control the sled much easier. This will allow you to initiate carves, hold sidehills and basically just put the sled where you want it to be. This move is not a natural feeling and will take practice getting used to the positioning, once you are comfortable with wrong foot forward this move will allow you to be comfortable riding in technical trees and riding across steeper sidehills confidently.
- Your stance is very important. It’s important to know most brands/years are a little different, so playing around with your positioning on the running boards will help you learn where to stand when carving and sidehilling, Keeping a good riding stance allows you to be solid on the sled which prepares you for any sudden unexpected changes in the terrain in the snow, being smaller the bumps in the snow can be very abrupt, if you are in an aggressive rider stance, you will be able to control the sled over most impacts. A good rider stance can look like but is not limited to, strong slightly bent arms with your elbows up slightly to get the most strength for aggressive riding. While keeping your knees slightly bent to use like extra shock absorbers. Allow your feet to move around the running boards for different moves and don't be afraid to try lots of different places on the running boards - They were designed to belong and to be used to get creative and find that "sweet spot" on the boards for going up hill, down hill, carving, and sidehilling. Another big key factor that ties into all of this is looking exactly where you want to go and your body will naturally follow.
- Practice makes progress. Most importantly, nobody is perfect it’s all about trial and error and having fun!
Golden has plenty of choices for snowmobilers to play with over 240km of groomed trails, 4 maintained areas and 13 distinct zones. Families or beginners can zip along established trail routes through forests while advanced sledders will enjoy the steep and remote alpine sledding areas.