Riding Tip: Downhill Sh1thook with Chris Brown
Chris Brown | On 15, Feb 2014
We’ve all been in situations where we are going downhill and need to turn and sidehill out, or turn back uphill to avoid hazards below. Mastering the ability to get out of trouble by quickly getting the sled on its side and powering out of a jam can turn a sticky situation into nothing more than a forgotten few moments in your day. Fail to pull off this move and you’ll likely end up in an embarrassing, group un-stuck turn-around mission with helmets off and shovels out.
For this demonstration, say that you’re going down a hill toward tight trees with your exit to the left, or back uphill.
To practice this move, start on a hill that isn’t steep enough for you to slide all the way down while you’re learning.
Get on the left side of the sled with your right foot on the running board and your left foot out. I usually have my right foot at the front of the board for these moves.
Counter-steer to the right. Turn the skis all the way to the right and pull the sled onto its left side, while applying brake.
Once the sled is on its side, keep you right foot on the left running board and your left leg will be in the snow used for balance or an anchor. If the hill isn’t too steep you should be able to stop your sled on its side.
If the hill is really steep, you will keep sliding sideways down the hill. This is a way better way to hit a tree. I’ve hit many trees with my track using this technique, which is preferable to hitting your a-arms on the tree.
Use your throttle to help bring the track down, and the brake combined with turning the skis to the right to bring the nose down.
The sled will follow the skis so if the bars are turned all the way to the right, the nose will turn back down the hill. If they are turned left, the sled will start turning back uphill.
Remember to always be looking where you want to go. If you want to turn back uphill, you will need to have the sled on its side against the hill. Look ahead to where you are going, and give ‘er hell (if it’s steep and deep). Look uphill at your line and use your skis to help balance and steer the sled.
This move will get you out of trouble every time, so practice up!