KICKSLED

Lauantai 15.12.2012 klo 15:30 - Merja

 

dsc04718.jpgSHOOSSH! Out of the way!

We have just bought three kicksleds to Haihatus for anyone of us to use. Just for fun and excercise, to slide fast on snow, visit the shops or cafes in village or go shopping.

The kicksled consists of a chair mounted on a pair of flexible metal runners which extend backward to about twice the chair's length. The sled is propelled by kicking  the ground by foot. There is a handlebar attached to the top of the chair back. Kicksled is POTKUKELKKA in Finnish. 

The kicksled is driven forward by the driver standing on one runner, kicking backwards on the ground with the other foot, hence the name. The flexibity of the runners allows the driver to steer the kicksled by twisting the handlebars. One can have a passenger or luggage on the chair seat.

A kicksled can best be used on hard, slippery surfaces like hardpacked snow or ice.  On level ground, one can easily reach a speed of 15 km/h (9 mph) to 20 km/h (12 mph), and much faster on downhill section or with a strong tail wind.

Besides Finland the kicksled is in common use in Norway and Sweden, especially where roads are not sanded or salted.

Some models also include a wheel kit allowing to transform the sled to a kind of walking aid for summer use. This type is especially popular amongst the elderly. 

Kiksled is an old invention since late 1800´s. Former it was very common in  Finland and still nowardays I guess there are at least one kicksled almost in every house in countryside.

Our old sleds have been so worn to pieces within years, that finally last week we did put a purchase notice on the announcement boards in Joutsa markets. And now we already have three of them! They are used ones, but still strong and well sleding. And of course much cheaper than the ones they sell in markets.

We are still waiting if there might be more of them for us to buy, so we could some winter day "make a train" of them (as we used to do as child) and go sledding downhill together with our friends;)

Kicksledding is one of the simple but great winter joys in Finland!

Kommentoi kirjoitusta.