February 8th, 2009

Track Length

A long track definitely has some advantages (151
+).  On an epic deep day floatation is key for slow speed tree
boondocking, and prolonged climbs.  Obviously with more track beneath you,
there is less of a chance of bogging down.  Kinda like stepping off your
sled in deep powder in a running shoe, or stepping down with a large
snowshoe…  Unfortunately along with a longer track comes increased weigh
and a much greater rolling mass, not to mention the decrease in turnability
(kinda made that word up).  Due to the long length, the maneuverability
and agility diminishes, requiring a lot more rider input to get the machine to
do what you want.  Definitely some pros and cons. On the flip side, a
short track a much faster reaction time, with both maneuverability and agility.
 For some this can be the difference between ripping through the trees or
getting stuck.  For others this twitchiness means nothing other then
sled/tree contact.  A short track gives a much higher track speed, which
is great for climbing in average snow conditions, but does nothing but trench
on those epic deep days.  Again pros and cons. Put the two side by side
and which is better?  Well I guess it’s the age-old questions!  And
the answer… I’d have to say it simply depends on the rider.  Myself I
prefer the short track for its maneuverability and snap.  Many of my
friends prefer the longer track.  They seem to get stuck a lot less then I
do, but I can usually get myself out…
I’m sorry there is no concrete answer,
but if your new to the sport, and want to through down on a new/used mountain
sled, you truthfully should choose something in between.  The standard
highest selling sleds in the mountain world are the 151 – 155 inch track
lengths.  They are the happy medium of the mountain world and worth a try.
 As a sled owner you’ll soon learn that you don’t keep a unit for very
long so don’t build too strong of a relationship with it.  
A comment I
hear more and more these days is you didn’t lose your sled; you just lost your
turn! haha,
Till next time!