February 14, 2019
Sled athlete Tony Jenkins shows how to nail your snowmobile re-entry with ease.
In this Backcountry Sled Tricks 101 blog, BCA sled athlete Tony Jenkins gives some advice on how to learn some new mountain riding skills that you can take to the backcountry! And remember to keep up backcountry safety skills by taking avalanche courses.
How many people have seen someone nail their snowmobile RE-Entry? Looks easy right?
The hardest part to get past is commitment to technique and to look the direction you want the sled to go.
The first step is finding nice soft snow with a good steep face, such as a wind drift or steep rolling hill. You want to make sure you’re not going to slam into a rock face or find debris under the snow. Also make sure you have a clear and clean run out if you decide to let go of your snowmobile. That way you don’t stand there scratching your head as your snowmobile is ghost riding into a tree.
Once you find this perfect natural vert ramp you want to start small to the point of what we call a blunt stall. This is where the sled goes straight up on tail and then you look back down at the track and make a 180. Once you get the motion down and learning to lock your head to your preferred direction then you can step it up and do a Re-Entry. To do a blunt stall drive straight into the lip ( or take off) and before you get to the lip let off the throttle or tap the break to preload the suspension and then hammer the throttle down. As you do this the sled will collapse and then you grab a handful of throttle, the sled will naturally lift straight up into the air. Once the sled is in the air turn left or right and look back at your landing. Sled should come all the way around!
Now for the RE-Entry same technique, but use bigger take off and more speed. You also want to hit the take off at a 45 degree angle. Speed is key to getting the correct lift off so find a nice smooth path and right before you hit the take off let off throttle slightly but keeping good momentum. If you look to where you’re going to land most likely you’ll land where you’re looking.
So for myself. I like to aim left and look left which always works out pretty well. The sled naturally will want to go vert but if you commit to technique and hang on you will whip around looking down at your landing and land on both skis on your side. Practice, practice, and if things don’t go as planned, give it another go!
Matt Losey with Team Thunderstruck working on nailing his RE-Entry!