Quicksilver Blog

How to Get Kids Started Riding Snowmobiles

How to Get Kids Started Riding Snowmobiles

Getting youth involved with snowmobiling is the gateway to enjoying the winter outdoors as a family. Here are some ways to get your kids outside and enjoying snowmobiling.

Prepping to be Warm

Sometimes the chilling thoughts of a winter day outside are enough to keep any adult inside, let alone getting the kids out the door. Your first step is to invest in their warmth. Outfit them with the warmest snowmobile riding gear (helmet, jacket, bibs, gloves and boots) you can afford.

While department store winter wear can work, here’s a pro tip: youth snowmobile outerwear is generally the same price, but better designed to withstand the rigors of an active youth who loves to play outside. Tough outer shell materials are water-resistant and feature rugged zippers with padding at all the right wear points such as the elbows and knees. Quality insulation keeps kids warm and comfortable for longer periods of time, either on the school playground or while snowmobiling.

Take a Kid Snowmobiling

If you are a parent already immersed in snowmobiling, getting your kids involved will be an easier task. Let your kids sit on the snowmobile in the garage. This is a great opportunity to teach them the beginning basics of operating the unit. Place them in the proper riding position while both hands are on the handlebars, point out the throttle and brake levers and explain their importance. Let them practice turning the handlebars and leaning to mimic twists and turns on the trail.

There are a multitude of family-oriented snowmobile events happening every weekend throughout the winter. Your kids will enjoy snowmobile club events, which could include trailside hot dog roasts, or take them to a professional snowmobile race to witness the fast-paced action and high probability of coming home with an autographed poster for their bedroom wall. 

Take a Safety Class

Most states require youth riders to complete an approved snowmobile safety course to operate a snowmobile legally on a public trail system. There are a variety of online and hands-on snowmobile safety classes, and most are free or low cost. These classes teach youth and adults important safety tips, proper riding techniques, trail riding etiquette and basic snowmobile maintenance. Search the internet for classes, visit a local dealer to inquire, or contact a local snowmobile club.

First Ride

The major snowmobile manufacturers offer several entry-level and transitional models which are ideal for younger riders to learn on. All minimum operator age limits should be adhered to and operated under adult supervision. These units are simple to manage for parents, yet fun and easy to operate for youth. Historically, these youth models retain their value from initial purchase.

Most kids are fearful of hitting objects when attempting their first ride, so reduce their chances of encountering obstacles. Take them to a wide open space and don’t expect to stay out all day. If a handful of successful laps are made around the field, take that as a victory. Start small, don’t burn them out, and leave them wanting to come back for more.

The key to getting your kids involved with snowmobiling is to make it fun. When the ride is over, warm up and share some stories about the new snowmobiling experience over a cup of hot chocolate. Don’t forget the extra marshmallows and whipped cream.