Sleds

If you have finally got some snow, and a decent slope for sledding on, the next thing you’ll be needing is a sled. I recommend the Wham-O Boggan Sled. (You can find it at Amazon here.)


This sled is a favorite of ours, and has many fine features.

There is the fact it is a roomy sled, easily managing 2, and sometimes squishing in three.

There is the fact that it has an up-turned nose, which makes it excellent in a variety of snows, and especially good at breaking new trails. This also means it doesn’t hold as steady as a course as some sleds, but it is still much more controllable than saucer sleds. The turned-up nose design has always been a favorite design of ours, regardless of brand.

Then there is the fact that it is very rugged. We thought we’d lost the sled when a bunch of hay bales were inadvertently stacked on it a whole summer long. It did develop a crack in the back, but as long as you sit in front of the crack, the sled is still the fastest we own. The hill gets cleared every year, but sometimes the brush-stubble pokes up through the snow. This sled has shown itself to be very resilient to scratches and cracks from that cause. It is also a non “brittle” sled. It consistently carries adults briefly airborne without shattering on impact. (It’s a bumpy hill, but there is also the occasional snow bump/jump. Generally the sled makes it through with less damage than the rider, as the heavier your are the harder you land. Sore bums and stiff backs are not the fault of the sled.)

I do not recommend the H2o boggan sled. It’s too light. Young children in particular cannot keep this sled from going wherever it pleases, and even an experienced sledder will find it never goes as fast as any other sled. If you’ll note, even it’s pathetic runner grooves do not run the whole length of the sled–they’re uninterrupted with those curved “seat” lines. It is a miserable sled for breaking new trails with. It is a bend-y sort of sled, so it isn’t prone to cracks. They don’t wear out or break, but everyone avoids it, because the ride is so inferior. The best way to use sleds of this design is to load them down with a lot of weight–as many people as you can fit. Once you get enough momentum, nothing can stop you, even poor sled design.

However, H2o! makes more than one design. Another H2o! design that I can’t find on the ‘net to link to is quite good–a close competitor with the Wham-o Boggan as favorite sled. This H2o model (there is no more information the sled, and I can’t find it elsewhere), is made out of a significantly harder, thicker plastic. It’s molded runners span the entire length of the bottom. Although they do not contribute to the wonderfulness of the sled, you can recognize this sled by hand holes (this is also a two-person sled) and the molded places for the feet of the man in back. This sled is neck and neck with the Wham-o Boggan for speed, but it stays the course and is more steerable than the Wham-o Boggan. However, it’s not as good at breaking the trail for the first time, because it’s nose does not tip up. Once the trail is broken, though, it’s deeper runners hold it to smoother course.

This is also a very, very sturdy sled, also surviving airborne adults. It’s also survived several connections with 4″ diameter saplings. The kids had a trail going through the woods at one point, which was terrifying for it’s speed, hair-pin turns, and solid obstacles. Though I always managed to slow myself considerably, there were several times I wasn’t able to bring myself to a complete stop before the saplings. The rim of the nose is a little bent, but it has no cracks.

If you can get your hands on either this higher-class H2o! sled, or the Wham-o Boggan sled, they well serve you very well for years.

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