Sledding sits right at the bottom of the winter sports hierarchy. Although they're great for kids, or adults who want to slide down the driveway after a few eggnogs, true adrenaline junkies are likely to step straight past the sled and into a set of skis or a board. Aroc wants to change that with the performance carving Sports Sled.
Central to the appeal of the Sports Sled is its tilting body and waisted runners, designed to open the door for proper carved turns. Riders straddle the wooden frame of the sledge, and place their feet in the middle of the skis. There are two handles protruding from the middle of the seat, so the rider leans forward and steers from between their legs.
According to the designers, this seating position is "ergonomic," and the steering position evokes an "inimitable feeling while riding." Beside the "inimitable feeling" you get while straddling a tilting wooden sled, though, the design has other perks. The central hinge acts like a natural suspension system, and the feet-spread seating position should allow inexperienced riders to control their speed with their feet.
With some practice, the company says riders should be able to slow down by slinging the sled sideways – equivalent to a hockey stop. In spite of the fact there are two skis on the bottom, and the fact you're on the snow, riding the sled is reportedly more like slicing through the bends on a motorbike. We'll have to put one to the test and find out if that's actually true, of course.
There will be three different models: the Classic, Sport and Deluxe. The Classic is aimed at rental companies, with aluminum edges and softer tuning on the central spring for a more forgiving ride. Jumping to the Sport gives you steel edges and a stiffer spring, while the Deluxe has a unique finish to the wood, and a pocket for storing your valuables.
Aroc is seeking funding on Kickstarter, where it has raised just under CHF9,000 ($9,300) of its CHF55,000 ($56,800) goal with 30 days remaining. Pledging CHF35 ($36) reserves you a test ride of the sled in Switzerland, while CHF55 ($57) gets you a branded beanie. Reserving a Classic sled will cost CHF360 ($372) – a significant saving on the CHF820 ($850) it's expected to cost in stores. You'll need to pledge CHF480 ($495) for a Sport and CHF650 ($670) for a Deluxe.
That seems expensive, especially when you consider a decent set of skis doesn't cost much more. But it is significantly cheaper than the full carbon Snolo sled we covered a few years ago, and some people will undoubtedly love being the only person on the mountain with a wooden Swiss sled between their legs.
You can check it out in the video below.
Source: Aroc Snowsports