As a lifelong Wisconsinite, I’ve participated in plenty of blisteringly cold winter activities. A lot of my wintertime fun growing up came from sledding. Aside from the dangers associated with the activity—my sister got some of her front teeth knocked out as a kid—one of the greater cons of sledding is lugging the sleigh back atop the hill after each run. Fortunately for current sled riders, and unfortunately for my 10-year-old self, a design team has started a crowdfunding campaign to develop a wearable sled, effectively ending the dreaded sled-hauling practice.
Aptly named “Sled Legs,” the invention looks like ice hockey goalie pads with molded grooves. The external portion of the equipment is a hard shell made of ABS plastic. Like many conventional plastic sleds—definitely not the cafeteria trays students used to ride on at my alma mater—each Sled Leg has four ridges that help the rider to better maneuver while cruising downhill. The internal portion of each Sled Leg is padded by a molded closed-cell foam pad. Each of the pads are attached to adjustable knee and ankle straps affixed to the Sled Legs’ external shell by nylon bolts.
As it stands right now, Sled Legs will be made in two different sizes: small, for those 4-foot-9 to 5-foot-5; and large, for people 5-foot-6 to 6-foot-3.
Great speed is certainty a desired attribute when purchasing a sled. The developers of Sled Legs feel they have the speed attribute figured out.
“Our original name for this was Shred Legs if that’s any indication [to the speed of the sleds]”, the developers said on the Sled Legs Indiogogo campaign page. “And unlike a traditional sled, you can take a running start into your slide, rather than paddling your hands trying to gain speed.”
The Sled Legs Team–which is ironically located in San Diego—researched, designed, tested, produced prototypes, and tested again the Sled Legs in 2015. Now, the group hopes to fund the first production run of Sled Legs with a $25,000 fixed campaign goal. So far, five people have pledged a total of $1,055 toward the goal, with 21 days remaining in the campaign. If the campaign is successful, the group estimates the first production run would take place in March, and a second production would follow in April. Those donating toward the first production run can have the Sled Legs for $84. Those opting to dodge a risky crowdfunding campaign venture in hopes of nabbing the sure thing in stores can expect to pay $140.
Filed Under: Rapid prototyping