Creation of a Safe Ripper
By Jamie Osmond
My son Harlie started snowmobiling at three years old. And now, at six years old, I’m amazed at the skill and heart this kid has already. l’ve always treated snowmobiling the same way a parent would treat any other sport. You don’t put your kid out there without the proper safety equipment. Gear always on- no matter how short the ride. We try to stay in familiar areas, places he’s been riding for years. When we do hit a new trail or conditions have changed, we walk the trail together as I point out stumps, rocks, trees, etc…so there is no unexpected bumps. However there is always a few tumbles, and that’s just part of the learning process. He picks himself up, and gets back on- now that’s love of the sport!
This year he wants to master the side hill and start hitting jumps- small ones to start, practice makes perfect. Though busting big snowdrifts is still his favourite.
Our daily skills practice includes breaking, leaning into turns, and the ole’ one knee on the seat when navigating through the woods. He has spent many hours chasing my tracks, following the hand signals we have talked about from the start. Arm up means stop, a finger point means look out for an obstacle, and a wave means come up beside me so we can ride together. As we ride the trails, I stop quite often, to make sure he slows down- and to sip on a hot chocolate now and then.
Harlie and his buddies Cohen, Seth, and Caleb, love to rip up the trails together, the next X games snowmobiling crew is in the making!
Jamie and Harlie live in the town of Port aux Basque (NL), on the South West portion of the Island of Newfoundland (NL). The Port aux Basque are offers some incredible snowmobiling, it’s your first stop once you depart the Marine Atlantic Ferry. You’ll definitely need to connect with a local like Jamie Osmond to find the good spots.