If you are new to snowmobiling, you might have a lot of questions. You will have to find out where to ride, when you can ride, what sled you ought to buy, what sort ofsnowmobile shocks are right for you, and a whole lot more. What follows is a guide to some of the basics to get you started on your snowmobile adventures. From here you can keep going and be an expert by the end of the season.

Q: What types of snowmobiles are there?

Not all snowmobiles are created equal. There are models designed for various types of terrain, with modifications to snowmobile shocks or differences in horsepower. Do a little research and find out which one best fits your needs.

Entry-Level Snowmobile—Also known as trail models, these are smaller, easier to handle sleds. Horsepower generally ranges from 60 to 70. Compared to other types they are inexpensive. They can be equipped with electric start motors and reverse gear to make life a little easier for the rider. Trail models are a great way to start out.

Performance Models—Like performance automobiles, these feature higher horsepower and, well, performance. They are heavier than entry-level models because of the larger engines and advanced suspension. Performance snowmobiles are responsive and a bit harder to master. These are often used for racing.

Touring Sled—These are set up for longer, more comfortable rides for two people. The seat is large enough for two and often includes a back rest. They usually have side-mounted mirrors and larger windshields, and are larger than other machines. They also have a greater track length, which cushions the ride and adds stability and comfort to the ride.

Mountain Snowmobiles—Longer and narrower to provide for side hilling and cutting through heavy powder. The tracks are longer and heavier to push through the powder that can get other machines stuck. They require higher horsepower to operate at the higher elevations. In order to ride well in the mountain terrain, they have to sacrifice some of their flat trail handling abilities.

Utility Machines—As the name suggests, they are used for more utilitarian purposes than recreational. The are longer and wider, and the heaviest of all. They are often used to tow work sleds, toboggans, and the like, and function extremely well in heavy snow and under a lot of weight.

So there you have it. Now you're armed with the basics, and as you continue learning you'll be an expert sledder in no time. Spread your wings and go confront that wickedwinter weather. Be safe, and most of all have fun!