People who don’t live in states covered by snow 3-4 months per year might have a hard time comprehending what they’re about to see in this video.

Believe it or not, a snowmobile (or snow machine as it’s sometimes called by our neighbors to the north), can sometimes travel quite well on water that is NOT frozen. I won’t get into the physics behind how this happens, but trust me, it’s possible. In fact, back in the late 1970s, I attended the annual World Championship Snowmobile Watercross (water skipping) in Grantsburg, Wisconsin, with my family when I was 13.

No, I didn’t compete, but I did stand on a frozen lake 10 yards from the open water (cut through thick ice) as drivers attempted to skip their snowmobiles across the water and onto the safety of the shoreline. I recall the distance of open water being about 100 yards. The open-water expanse grew each year as drivers become more proficient with their technique, and today, top-end competitors don’t just try to skip across a straight section of open water, they actually drive oval laps on a course. Amazing!

Image courtesy of Grantsburg Watercross.
Image courtesy of Grantsburg Watercross.

Of course, you should avoid open water at all costs while snowmobiling. However, if you ever face an unexpected emergency where you have to water-skip your sled, keep up your speed (think 40 mph), stand and stay centered over your sled to avoid bouncing or turning, and take a deep sigh of relief when you’re back on solid ice or land.

Be safe out there!

Image is a screenshot from the Facebook video

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  • LouieF

    I understand the guy’s frustation, but the expletive could have been blanked out.

    • Snug

      Louie is right .

  • Northerner

    lets see the rest of what happened?