Snowmobile on Water
Guide and Tips

Snowmobile on Water: All You Need to Know

Believe it or not, You don’t need to have any unique gears to sled on water. You just need to be going fast enough not to sink. There is a method to drive a snowmobile on water. This is called watercross, and it’s a stunning sight to see.

Snowmobilers are continuously pushing their limits and innovating new things for others riders. You will love everything about this sport if you pay closer attention to the latest developments and news surrounding the world of snowmobiles.

What is Snowmobile on Water Called?

There are a lot of names for “snowmobile on water” and there isn’t much difference between them. You can call it skipping, snowmobile skipping, water skimming, snowmobile watercross, and snowmobile skimming.

It’s not an official name but it is what most people call it.

The name of this summer sport depends on where you are in the world, you will hear watercross called different things. There are multiple names for snowmobiles as well, like (sleds, snow machines, etc.), and there are numerous names for this version of the sport.

Is it Safe to Take a Snowmobile on a Lake?

Without the proper skills and experience, you shouldn’t take your snowmobile out onto a lake if you don’t know how to ride on the water. You can destroy your machine and get yourself in trouble. If you don’t know how to swim, I would never recommend you to take your snowmobile on a lake at all. Even if you can swim, I would still recommend you wear a life vest as a safety precaution.

It’s not the most dangerous activity in the world, but there are definitely risks involved. Riders have died while trying to watercross, so it’s always important to keep safety in mind when you want to take your snowmobile on a lake.

Does Snowmobile Waterproof?

Some parts of your snowmobile are waterproof, and some aren’t. But the engine of your sled is not waterproof. Always look after your engine. You’ll never be able to start your sled until it gets dry or it may be worst for you that the engine will never start again until you go to the mechanic for maintenance.

Can We Snowmobile on Water?

snowmobiling on water

It might sound crazy, but you can snowmobile on water. Yes, you heard it right. But before you drive your sled directly into a lake or river. You need to learn more about how this is possible and what type of restrictions are involved in this by using your snowmobile on water.

Many parts of a snowmobile are waterproof, but the most important ones that keep the engine running are not entirely waterproof at all.   

You’ll need to go fast enough and keep the nose of your snowmobile up. So you don’t sink your sled into the water. You can’t drive a snowmobile on water endlessly, and also you can’t maneuver as easily as you can on the snow.

How Does Snowmobile Work on Water?

snowmobile on water

There is not any rocket science to riding a snowmobile on water. You don’t need a special snowmobile to work on water. It works on the water the same as they are on snow. The big difference between how a snowmobile operates on water and on snow is that you need sufficient speed to stay afloat. If you slow down or stop then your machine will sink.

Once you hit the water you’ll need to keep the throttle to maintain your speed. Now you need to sit back and keep your snowmobile nose up to prevent sinking. 

When we ride in Powder Snow we have to keep the snowmobile nose up. Snowmobile on the water is very much similar to that if you have a healthy experience in deep snow then riding on the water will not be an issue for you.

Speed to Maintain for a Snowmobile on Water

The basic equation for riding a snowmobile on the water is 5 miles per hour for every 150 pounds of weight. This can also be listed as 12 kilometers per hour for every 100 kilograms of weight. This weight is related to the machine and the rider in total.

The general rule is that you need to go at least 30 to 40 mph to ride across the water. Faster will always be more suitable because this guarantees you have enough momentum to ride.

How Far Can a Snowmobile Travel on Water?

Distance on snowmobile

The distance you can travel on the water really depends on your skills as a watercross rider, what your machine is capable of and it also depends on the body of water you are riding on. Races that occur nowadays can be anywhere from a few hundred meters to a few dozen miles.

In the starting phase of watercross, snowmobiles could only travel a few hundred meters on water. But now the record attempts are over 100 miles. Snowmobile riders are pushing the limit, so I think this distance will continue to rise in the coming years.

Easiest Way to Take Out a Snowmobile from Water

Sinked snowmobile

The easiest way is to use a winch on a boat. You’ll need to dive down underwater to attach a cable to the sled, which means you also might need diving gear if it’s really deep. When the rope gets attached to the sled, the winch can drag it onto the boat’s deck. Or it can also drag it behind the boat until it is closer to shore and can be dug out by hand there.

Now the engine of your snowmobile is completely wet. So you need to make sure all of the water is out of it before running again. You’ll need to dry out the carbs, spark plugs, and exhaust system. You will also need to change all the fuel as well.


Snowmobiling is a fun activity on snow but it can be useful on the water as well. Now you don’t have to worry much about this because the summer season will bring more colors and joy with watercroos. Before starting your snowmobile journey on the water you have to understand everything about snowmobiles on water.


World Record :

The current world record for the distance traveled on a snowmobile on the water is 155.8 miles or 250.8 kilometers.

Behind the scene :

This was done by Aki Pesonen in Finland back in 2017. It’s an impressive record, to say the least, and I can’t even imagine water skipping that far!

Snowmobile Brand :

This record was set using a 2016 Ski-Doo Summit 800 E-Tec machine. It took Pesonen just over four hours, and he had extra fuel attached to the tunnel of his sled to make sure he had enough gas to complete to record.

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