In recent years, I’ve been increasingly baffled by the number of people sliding down snowy hill sides in what look like flattened out cheap plastic children’s potties. These nasty brightly coloured glorified trays perform as badly as they look. There’s no steering, no comfort and no chance of surviving any major impact trauma. What on earth is the point of using them to sledge with? It is supposed to be an exhilarating experience, leaving you breathless and ready for more. You’re not supposed to stand at the bottom of the slope scratching your sore arse and clutching the splinters of your vehicle. Why have we, as a society, turned our backs on centuries of learning about the best forms of transport in wintery conditions and taken up sliding in shit instead?
The plastic sledge personifies rip-off Britain. You only have yourself to blame if you have bought one of these fake sledges. You could have made do with the inner tube from a lorry tyre or a sheet of formica. They work just as well. Arguably better. Every time you take your crappy sheet of moulded plastic out to play with, you tell someone else that you were justified in lowering your standards. Thus, all our standards are lowered.
Clearly, the best sledges are wooden ones. The best design is pictured on the left. It has a high seat with good ground clearance for those awkward last minute obstacles like small trees emerging from the snow. It can be sat on upright, which will please all the pussies who like to travel feet first. Most importantly, it gives the rider the perfect height to bale out from if travelling head first. (If you haven’t ridden one of these head first, then you’ll not realise that this is the best method of sledging, because it allows you to steer with your feet. You just drag the foot on the side you want to turn to.) It is robust; with care it will last for your whole life. Finally, its runners are perfectly shaped and finished off with a metal rim. Sitting on one of these, you will really go places. They’re not cheap but they’re not the most expensive snow vehicles either.
Recognition of the design above being the best is given by the number of branded sledges which ape its essential features. As if racing cars were insufficiently impressive, Porsche has got into the act. Here’s their effort:
What’s the point of a metal sledge? Doesn’t that just run the risk of exposed flesh getting frozen to it. This isn’t a vehicle, it’s an ornament for a grandiose garage, much like an arty flower pot on a coffee table. It doesn’t add anything to the whole sliding down a hill side covered in snow experience. It just adds up to further proof that its owner is a tosser.
This is an interesting design, which I confess I am somewhat neutral about. It looks like you can steer it, possibly by leaning. It also looks comfortable but remember that the further your head gets away from the ground, the slower the ride will seem to be. Thus, the attraction of the Luge.
Ah, the Luge. Some clever sod has now invented a version which doesn’t require freezing weather. It all goes to prove that you can’t get close enough to the ground. Bit of a classic video this next one. Don’t you just love it, when the man with the roller blade wheels all over his body overtakes a motorcyclist?! Danny Strasser here, with his maddest moments: