How to Make Sleds Faster

How to Make Sleds Faster
Sledding is a fun activity for cold, winter, snowy days---the thrill of riding the back of a fast sled down a steep hill exhilarates most everyone. Even when the snow seems fast, it's hard not to yearn for a faster sled. A few modifications to any sled make it faster. If you don't have time to modify your sled, spending time preparing your sledding hill guarantees to make your sled faster.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Ski paste glide wax
  • Old pair of skis
  • Non-stick cooking oil
  • Water
Step 1
Wax the bottom of the sled with ski wax. Rub-on glide waxes work best. Simply rub on the wax, wait for it to dry and then go sledding. Rub-on glide wax is designed to make skis glide faster, and it does the same for your sled.
Step 2
Bolt an old pair of alpine skis onto the bottom of the sled. Make sure to back up the inside with a piece of wood and big washers. The skis make the sled faster and enable it to ride over fresh snow while keeping its momentum.
Step 3
Carry non-stick, spray-on cooking oil with you to the sled hill. When you sled starts to show signs of slowing down, treat the bottom with a layer of oil. The oil makes the sled faster.
Step 4
Ride the sled down the hill in a straight line multiple times to pack the snow. Once the snow is packed, riding the same line down the hill is faster.
Step 5
Spray water on your snow. Do this several times allowing, the water to freeze between treatments. When frozen, the packed icy snow becomes like a high-speed bobsled run.

Tips & Warnings

If your sled is scratched on the bottom, sand the bottom smooth and paint it with a glossy paint. A scratched and gouged sled bottom produces more frictional resistance than a smooth one.
Substitute cooking grease, shortening, or baby oil for non-stick cooking spray. These make the sled faster, too.
With higher speeds come higher chances of injury. Wear a helmet when sledding to help prevent head injuries.


Article Written By Bryan Hansel

Bryan Hansel is a freelance photographer and kayaking guide who began writing in 1993. His outdoors articles appear on various websites. Hansel holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and religion from the University of Iowa.

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