Author Topic: Hand Signals, Seriously?  (Read 1949 times)

Offline 2qik

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Hand Signals, Seriously?
« on: November 19, 2009, 09:56:03 AM »
So this time of year when I'm reading snowmobile literature there is the annual hand signals article.  I just shake my head and wonder who comes up with this?  Does anyone ever signal right and left turns?  Do we really need a slow down wave, and could anyone see it through the snow dust on a cold day anyway?

Our signal system is first rider raises the arm for any on coming traffic or any other trail concern.  Sometimes we  signal how many riders behind.  If I'm tailgun I'll signal last sled in the group.  If I'm leading I don't care what the oncoming group signals in terms of number of sleds coming because they are unaware of any group who may have caught up behind them.

I contend the system is two signals.  Hand up to warn those behind you of oncoming sleds or hazards.  Fist up to inform the oncoming group you're the last sled in your group.

Now that my 12 year old will be taking snowmobile safety I don't want him taking a hand off the bars to sign all these useless signals, nor do I want half the uncoordinated people on the trail doing this either.

- 2qik
Just a typical snowmobiler...

Offline Kingpin

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Re: Hand Signals, Seriously?
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2009, 10:52:49 AM »
yeah, riding in big groups, I will signal first or last rider, that's about it and it depends on conditions, if its really tight or big bump conditions, I don't really take my hands off the bars.  My biggest pet peaves are:

1.  Not using brakes for signalling riders behind you.  I almost always tap the brakes going into turns, just to give riders behind a heads up that a turn is coming.  Also, to go along with that, if your slowing down, use your dang brakes so people can see you, especially if your last in a group, you don't always know who is behind you and the rate of speed they are closing in on you, especially if conditions are not optimal.  I almost plugged a guy who stopped on a bridge in the middle of the trail to see his friend playing grab ass off-trail, knuckle head stopped on a bridge and just coasted down in an area where people are usually running over 65 mph, I greased the sides down to get by, greekboy thought I hit him because I had to jerk the sled so violently to get around him and contend with the ever present moguls on the bridges.  :eek:

2.  Riders pulling onto main trails (interstate type trails) and just popping onto them from smaller trails where there is only like a 2 way stop, not a 4 way.  Had a guy do that with his family on 2 up sleds, on the grade just past south range.  That area is extremely high speed, luckily I was only going about 60 mph, it was kind of the classic, he sees us, he'll slow down.  Had I not seen them and been going more like 80 it would have been ugly.

Maybe its time to let someone else trail boss... :beer:
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Offline ZiRT

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Re: Hand Signals, Seriously?
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2009, 12:30:51 PM »
So this time of year when I'm reading snowmobile literature there is the annual hand signals article.  I just shake my head and wonder who comes up with this?  Does anyone ever signal right and left turns?  Do we really need a slow down wave, and could anyone see it through the snow dust on a cold day anyway?

Our signal system is first rider raises the arm for any on coming traffic or any other trail concern.  Sometimes we  signal how many riders behind.  If I'm tailgun I'll signal last sled in the group.  If I'm leading I don't care what the oncoming group signals in terms of number of sleds coming because they are unaware of any group who may have caught up behind them.

I contend the system is two signals.  Hand up to warn those behind you of oncoming sleds or hazards.  Fist up to inform the oncoming group you're the last sled in your group.

Now that my 12 year old will be taking snowmobile safety I don't want him taking a hand off the bars to sign all these useless signals, nor do I want half the uncoordinated people on the trail doing this either.

- 2qik
I'll agree with that.  Some of these signals are ridiculous at best, dangerous at worst.

Offline Powderhound

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Re: Hand Signals, Seriously?
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2009, 01:22:50 PM »
Agreed.  I'm fine with the fingers in the air method, and if I'm leading and come upon a huge washout, I'll throw up a hand and wave to the riders behind me (if they're far enough back) to slow down.  Or if I see a deer.  But some of these nit-wits you see are crazy.  Coming at you on an 8' wide trail with little control and a hand in the air.  How about steering your sled there Sparky.  Let your buddies signal for you.
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Offline greekboy

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Re: Hand Signals, Seriously?
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2009, 02:41:59 PM »
I flip off every Arctic Cat that goes by  :smoke: Just kidding, we typically do the # of fingers thingy and the back of the pack.

I agree with one of those earlier statements. You don't want people taking their hands off the bars, seems like I've had more close calls from other sleds dart out in front of me while they were trying to signal a number  :banghead:


Offline 6Mile

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Re: Hand Signals, Seriously?
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2009, 02:43:56 PM »
At night time what is the point?  can't see the hands anyways.
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Offline tony b

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Re: Hand Signals, Seriously?
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2009, 03:11:21 PM »
i don't use them for oncoming riders, only to alert those behind me that i'm off the gas or something...  you know, warn them of obstacles or something, maybe the snow dust is hanging and you can't see the brake light down low...  things like that...
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Offline 2qik

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Re: Hand Signals, Seriously?
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2009, 04:18:39 PM »
I'm with Kinpin on using the brake light as the primary slow down signal to those behind, but I'll always throw a hand up to signal oncoming traffic during the day or if I want the rider behind me to use caution.

I'm with 6mile for night time riding, the oncoming sled's headlight is the signal or the brake light in front of you.

Training riders to use arm signals for left & right turns is stupid.  Common sense is what you need at trail intersections.  Training riders to waive an arm to slow is even more stupid and could compromise control.

My rant is with whatever snowmobile governing body is promoting this as proper trail etiquette.  Anyone know where this comes from?
« Last Edit: November 19, 2009, 04:20:41 PM by 2qik »
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Offline thnksno

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Re: Hand Signals, Seriously?
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2009, 07:25:50 PM »
Remember this sport wasn't ORIGINALLY created to go apeshit fast down trails like we do today.

I tend to believe articles like this are put together by old timers who run the trails around 30MPH. They're also the fellas that go apeshit if you take a turn fast, in control and just leave them without looking behind... It's kind of fun being mid to last in a fast group, you get to see all the timid folks reeling from the guys that went by before you!

I appreciate the effort and will return the favor depending on mood... When I slow down, the first thing I look for is the guy behind me, holding a hand up while braking is definitely useful.

Offline greekboy

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Re: Hand Signals, Seriously?
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2009, 08:28:51 PM »
Typically I just yell out to other riders, but don't get much feedback  :c-n:

Offline S pump

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Re: Hand Signals, Seriously?
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2009, 03:47:07 PM »
We generally reserve hand gestures for out of the ordinary, dangerous situations.....I can't count the times I've had to slip by someone going the other way as they are looking back over their shoulder cussing the guy they almost just hit. Face it we have all been caught going too fast or surprised rounding a corner with someone coming at you on your side....I say, keep your hands on the bars and ride like someone is around every corner. You can still clip along as long as you are compensating for that philosophy. I always try to leave an out at all times whether off through the small trees or even worse..... :thumbsupsmileyanim:
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