Tired of your old toboggan? Try something new this winter and rent a kicksled at Island Lake Conservation Area. The kicksled is a small sled with a chair mounted on a pair of flexible metal runners that is propelled by kicking. Kicksleds comes in different sizes and can be used by one or two people at time, so they’re fun for the whole family. You can try kicksledding on compacted snow or icy cross-country paths where you can really kick your speed up!
Kicksledding works the muscles in the lower back and thighs, making it a great way to get in a fun workout outdoors this winter. Kicksledding is also practical. The sled can be used to travel on frozen lakes. It’s a great way for people with mobility issues to enjoy some winter fun – just grab a partner, sit down, relax and enjoy the ride!
What we like most is that it’s environmentally friendly since it doesn’t create pollution or noise. We recommend avoiding steep slopes as the sled can quickly reach surprisingly high speeds. Do not let children use the sled without the control of an adult.
Kicksleds were first used over 100 years ago, first in Switzerland, then in Finland and Norway.
For those looking to try our new sleds, here are a few tips:
- Kick economically, save energy and let the sled do the work. When done correctly, you will only work the muscles necessary for kicking.
- Let the sled slide. Use long kicks and enjoy the ride.
- Don’t put all of your weight on the kick sled handles. Keep your weight on your supporting leg and don’t lean on your hands.
- Change the supporting leg often. A good rhythm is about five kicks with the same leg. When changing legs, stand on both runners for a while and keep looking forward.
- To turn, put your weight on one side, and turn the handle. The kicksled is very flexible and will not break when you turn the handle. The flexibity of the runners allows the driver to steer the kicksled by twisting the handlebars.
- For braking you can either drag one foot in the snow or you can dig your heels. When going downhill, control is maintained by using your heels to brake. Always be sure to keep your sled at a controllable speed.