Hörnerschlitten und Sportrodel

Different types of sleds and how to take care of them

Classic wooden sled, bob, or luge? There is an ideal type for every surface and sporting type. On this page, we explain the different types and give you advice on how to care for your sled.

Sled, bob or luge?

The traditional horn sled is big, heavy, and has a large seating/loading area. In the alpine region, it was formerly used to transport wood from the mountains and hay from the alpine pastures down to the valley. Today, this tradition is being revived in traditional horn sled races.

Modern models such as the Davos wooden sled consist of a rigid construction with its runners parallel to each other and perpendicular to the track. The seat is either made of wooden slats or woven straps. Similarly constructed sleds are also available in plastic today.

Touring or sport sleds, on the other hand, have a more flexible basic structure and a fixed steering belt. The runners are inclined at an angle to the track, and the seating position is lower to prevent tipping.

Traditional horn sleds
Traditional horn sleds
Fotografie: Rainer Sturm, pixelio.de
There are numerous other variations on how to descend a snow-covered mountain. From a plastic sled to a “Zipflbob“ (a very small plastic toboggan) or a tire, anything is possible. However, these devices are only suitable for toboggan slopes or snow tubing runs, not for natural toboggan runs.

What you should pay attention to when buying a sled

If you buy a wooden sled, it is best to choose one made of ash wood. In addition, the slats of high-quality sleds are stable and splinter-free and all corners are rounded. The runners should be longer than the sled itself and the steering or pulling bracket should be stable. With a short test-run, it can be determined whether the runners are straight. 

Taking care of your sled

A real wooden sled needs a little care so that you can enjoy it for a long time.

  • Maintenance: Sleds should be exposed to the blazing sun as little as possible. It is also recommended to dry the runners immediately after use to prevent rust.

  • Storage: You should store your sled with waxed rails and loosened screws in a dry, cool place. It should be standing freely, not weighted down or leaning on one side.

  • Before the winter season: At the beginning of the tobogganing season, the rails should be sanded (preferably with a sanding belt, grain 50–80), cleaned with wax remover, and rewaxed. For sports and racing toboggans, the edges should also be sharpened.

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