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Facts about sledding

Sledding is a fun and hugely popular activity in times of snowfall. Also known as “sleighs” and “sledges,” sleds are defined as being motives of transport that have smooth undersides (or sometimes runners, like ice skates but without the blades) that enable riders to get around in snowy or icy conditions.

Sledding after a snowfall is an age old tradition of fun!
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

There are several kinds of sleds. “One horse open sleds” refer to fancy sleighs that resemble carriages (although with flat “runner” bottoms instead of wheels) and are powered along by a horse. The most famous sled of all—Santa’s sleigh—is depicted as just such a fancy carriage-like object, but powered by reindeer instead of horses.

Sleds can also be simple plastic boards (or circle shapes) that are best used to simply slide down an icy hill. Fancier (and more traditional) children’s snow sleds (circa 1940s-1950s) are made up on a flat board-like surface (usually made of wood) and two steel runners beneath it to cut through the snow.

Although most sleds are used purely for fun (in most cases sliding down snowy hilltops), they have occasionally helped to save lives. For instance, in many areas that get heavy snowfall sleds have been used to transport necessities like medicine. Historically, dog sleds were used to move such supplies and, at present, there are many sports events that involve dog sled racing.

Sleds also appear in the Winter Olympic Games. The “Bobsled” events are wildly popular among viewers. These events (that consists of both “four man sleds” and “two man sleds”) involve a team of people racing down an icy track (that strongly resembles a frozen-over waterslide) in sleds that are sleek and designed to zoom about at high speed. The winning team is the one that gets down the slide the fastest.

Sledding is fun and exciting as long as it is conducted in a safe area (preferably far away from tree groves and roadways). Due to the affordability of most sleds, pretty much anyone can buy one and make the most of the next snowy day!

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