A High Performance Ski-Sled For The Big Kids

Sledding is a pastime often left to younger humans, though there is no good reason why this must be the case. [JoshXarles] is an adult with a strong enthusiasm for carving up the snow, and set out to build a high-performance sled this winter. 

It’s a ski-based design, and [Josh]’s goal from the outset was to build a rig with serious handling credentials. His favored run features several 180 degree switchbacks, so it’s important to be able to corner well without losing speed. This was achieved by using sidecut skis with a carefully designed steering system, allowing the sled to carve corners in the same way as a downhill skier. The frame of the sled is built out of aluminium box tubing, bolted together to form a strong structure. There’s also attractive wooden decking which completes the look.

The sled performed admirably in initial testing, with good steering feel and plenty of speed downhill. We’d love to try ourselves, weather permitting, of course. There are also electric options for those not blessed with geologically-suitable features to sled down. Video after the break.

9 thoughts on “A High Performance Ski-Sled For The Big Kids

  1. I would think bronze or Delrin would be a better material for what he calls the glide plates. They’re bearings after all, and I don’t think titanium makes a good bearing material.

  2. Wear a helmet when sledding people, adults included!

    Two of my concussions were from sledding as a kid..

    As for reasons NOT to sled as an adult? More brittle bones, and more mass to multiply by velocity -bad combo.

    Course I still do it, just with a pinch more caution.

  3. “there is no good reason why this must be the case”, eh? Kids are more flexible, so often they bounce and recover when an adult would sprain a joint or break a bone. And even when a kid does break a bone they heal faster (and have no real responsibilities so they can rest up to heal even faster).

    Just saying. I’m fairly sure if I were to endure now (as an adult) some of the crashes I had on my Flexible Flyer when I was a kid I’d be in a body cast… We had about a quarter mile sledding run in an old dry creek bed at an average grade of at least 10% which could be packed into a rough halfpipe luge track and misted so it’d freeze solid.

    If you could make the 90° turn at the bottom you could gradually slow down over the next 100ft. If not, you’d go over a lip and then 8ft at 50% grade and then the wall of the neighbors’ garage. Depending on your speed you’d either end up on the roof of the neighbors’ garage or if you were going too fast to stop but not fast enough for the lip to launch you, slamming against the wall.

    Looking back on it, it’s a miracle we didn’t break bones on a regular basis…

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