What can be more of an indicator of a good snowy winter than a hill full of sledding children and adults? While not all parts of the world are lucky enough to receive snow, almost everyone has heard of snow sledding and more often than not, most people have probably given snow sledding a try.
Those sledders who sled on a regular basis know that there are a few tips and tricks to making your sledding experience go from ordinary to extreme. Read on to find out some of those tips.
Choose the right sled. Choosing the sled that’s right for you will make your snow sledding experience exactly what you want. Read our article on different types of snow sleds to help you find the right one for you.
Wipe and wax. Olympic skiers, champion surfers and world class snow boarders all wipe and wax. Take good care of the bottom of your sled and your sled will reward you with the ride of your life. If your sled has runners make sure you wipe the runners off after your finished sledding for the day. If your sled is flat bottom, wipe down the whole bottom surface after a hard day’s sledding. This removes water, dirt and debris that can damage your sled’s smooth snow gliding surface.
Before you go sledding, wax the areas of your sled that come in contact with snow. Most ski shops sell ski wax that works great on sleds, but plain old beeswax will work just as well. Waxing will make your sled ultra smooth so that you and your sled will fly over the snow.
Find a good hill. A good sledding hill is very important to a good sledding experience. Make sure the hill has a good slope that is relatively free from obstruction. The hill should have a pretty even covering of snow. Do not use a hill that ends at a road or a body of water.
Pack a run. While some snow sports prefer what’s known as powder (light, fluffy show), snow sledding is actually better off with packed snow. Packing a sled run is very easy to do. It just involves making sure that you go down the same path every time. As the snow packs beneath the sled, a “run” will form. This slick, near ice path will ensure a fast and furious ride.
Safety first. While going downhill at a breakneck speed is lots of fun, it is important that you do it safely, especially if you have children with you. For a few safety tips on snow sledding, visit the National Safety Council’s Fact Sheet for Sled Safety. Most of the tips are common sense, but sometimes common sense is not so common.
So now you are ready to go snow sledding. Dress warm and bring a thermos of hot chocolate, because once you start you may not want to stop.