Common Mistakes Beginners Make While Quad Riding
ATV or quad riding is a common hobby in the Manitoba area, but there are some basics you should know before you hit the trail. Learn from these common mistakes made by new riders and get the most out of your adventures.
You might think jumping on a quad and going for a spin will be as easy as taking your car around the block.
After all, they both have four wheels and a way to steer–how hard could it be?
There’s no question that riding an ATV is a great way to feel the thrill of blazing down a trail, and in many ways, it’s simpler than driving your regular car.
But it’s easy to underestimate the power of a quad, especially if you’re new to the game. Just like it took time to learn how to drive before you got your license, you have to take the same careful steps before feeling confident behind the wheel of an ATV.
Newbie riders tend to make a lot of the same mistakes—and those mistake result in crashes, rollovers, and even serious injuries.
Here are some common quad riding slip-ups that beginners make–and how to avoid them.
Common Mistakes Beginners Make When Quad Riding
More advanced riders might make ATV driving seem like a breeze, but don’t be fooled. A lot of time, practice, and practical knowledge went into that drive.
If you take advantage of these common mistakes, you can avoid the crashes that will send other first time ATV riders tumbling.
1. Rolling Over
Out of all the ways an ATV can crash, rolling over is the most common.
Rolling over can be pretty dangerous and result in severe injury–you don’t want to end up crushed under the weight of your quad. The most common way that riders roll over is by looping out.
Looping out is when you hit the gas without understanding the power or throttle of the ATV. If you’re not careful enough with your acceleration, the front can jump up and throw you onto your back.
The other way that riders roll over is when driving through thick mud or up a steep slope. These are a little less avoidable–but be cautious when tackling more perilous conditions.
2. Not Watching the Feet
A lot of newbie ATV riders will let their feet hang to either side of the quad. This can be a huge mistake. If one or both of your feet get caught on the ground or on the back tire, you can seriously hurt yourself.
The pegs on your quad won’t give you much traction, so most ATV owners install nerf bars and heel guards to give their feet a place to rest.
These are basically giant foot pegs that allow you to stabilize your feet and get more control over the quad.
3. Going Too Fast
Most beginner riders want to skip the easy part and head straight into high-speed racing.
The first mistake most ATV riders make is pushing too hard on the throttle and losing control of the quad. Speed comes with time. First, you have to learn control.
If you go too fast before you’re ready–or you don’t accelerate slowly into higher speeds–you could loop out and end up rolling over. Or worse, you could send yourself right into a tree or a boulder.
Take your time and go slow first. Get used to the speed and power that your quad can deliver before you really go for a fast ride.
4. Ignoring Safety Precautions
This is where things get really serious. A lot of new riders get caught up in the excitement of quad riding and ignore the safety precautions they have to take in order to avoid serious injury.
Before you even consider starting a ride, you have to have all the appropriate gear. This includes:
- A full-faced helmet that follows the regulations in your state
- Goggles to protect your eyes from dust and other debris
- Gloves to keep your grip on the handlebar
- Sturdy, off-road boots
- Protective, long sleeve clothing
And most importantly of all, never ride an ATV while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. The combination of mind-altering substances and quad riding could be fatal.
Riding an ATV is a lot of fun–but it’s no walk in the park. If you’re serious about riding, you have to make the proper preparations and safety precautions first.
5. Bad Posture
If you’re going down a trail at a slow pace, feel free to take a seat. But whenever you’re tackling a tough trail or going at high speeds, you need to stand up.
Crouch just above the seat with your elbows out and your knees bent. This is called the “attack position,” which can reduce fatigue and allow the ATV to move more freely beneath you.
Also be sure to keep your body loose and flexible. Don’t tense up or lock your elbows–this could make hitting a bump or obstacle much more painful.
6. Going for Tricks
Every beginner rider wants to dive straight into the advanced tricks, like wheelies or jumps.
Forget about the fancy, advanced techniques and focus on basic handling and control of your quad. Testing your limits too soon could land you on the ground or even underneath your quad.
Are You Making These ATV Mistakes?
ATV riding is an exhilarating hobby–and once you have confident control over your quad, there’s no limit to what you can do.
But quad riding isn’t something to take lightly. Careless behavior or pushing forward before you’re ready could put yourself and others in danger. Learning how to handle your ATV will take a lot of time and practice. Start slow, and increase speed and complexity once you’ve built up your comfort level.
With these tips and some diligent practice, you’ll be hitting the trail in no time.
Are you ready to start ATV trail riding? Contact us for more information about our ATV products and other services.