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.
 

Instructions

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.

Resources

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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