Fastest Sled on the hill!

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Project by johnzo posted 01-28-2014 07:22 PM 2727 views 9 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A neighbor asked me if I wanted a pair of old downhill skis for my grandkids. At first I refused, but then I remembered seeing a picture of a high tech sled somewhere and gratefully accepted the offer. The sled I saw used what looked to me like shortened snow skis under a lightweight aluminum and vinyl deck.
I didn’t have the metal forming skills to make that design, but I couldn’t see why I couldn’t approximate the sled using mainly scrap plywood. The pictures show the results. The steering proved to be the most difficult aspect of the project. The skis pivot at the back of the sled and are turned by pushing the ‘handles’ of a triangular yoke.
I tested the sled yesterday at a local hill. The parents and kids at the hill probably thought This old (73) guy must be crazy, but I mounted the sled in a sitting position and pushed off. I was amazed how fast it slid down the hill – way past where the kids ended up in their plastic shell sleds. After I pulled the sled up to the top, two of the kids wanted to try it out. They sat on it one behind the other. I pushed them off and they sailed down the hill even further than I did.
I called my 2 grandkids after I got back and told them I have a surprise for them.

-- 70 is the new 50!

9 comments so far

View BillJ_Portland's profile


8 posts in 2652 days

#1 posted 01-28-2014 07:35 PM

Your grand kids will love it!
Looks a lot like the one my good friend I I built years ago using old skis bolted to folding bleacher seats.
Steering was done by threading rope through the ski tips; pull and lean to desired direction

View A.Scott's profile


230 posts in 3038 days

#2 posted 01-28-2014 08:14 PM

That looks like a great build and a great idea.
Now how do they pivot at the back of the sled? I think I understand the triangular yoke you have in the front. I ask because this would be a great gift for my son in a couple of years.

View 49er's profile


182 posts in 2666 days

#3 posted 01-28-2014 08:31 PM

Nice project. I have grandkids and old skis too. I may do this. But I can’t see how the steering works?

View Radu's profile


334 posts in 4105 days

#4 posted 01-28-2014 09:02 PM

This is awesome. I wish I had one like this when I was a kid.

View rachet62's profile


2 posts in 2641 days

#5 posted 01-28-2014 09:26 PM

Love this project. I’ve been wanting to do this myself as I have a pair of old skis. My question though, how do you bolt down the project to the ski? Do you countersink through the ski for the bolt head; use round head, square, etc. Can you describe how to make the steering mechanism work ?

Thanks much—beautiful present for the kids.

View johnzo's profile


86 posts in 3857 days

#6 posted 01-28-2014 09:38 PM

To pivot the skis at the back I simply drilled a countersunk hole for a screw thru both skis and into a hardwood cleat that runs the length of both sides of the sled at the bottom. What doesn’t show very well is that there is a 45 degree slot in the steering yoke on both sides. This slot acts on a bolt that is mounted in the center of a 1 1/4” length of hardwood dowel screwed into each ski. Pushing on the yoke handles steers the skis.

-- 70 is the new 50!

View OhValleyWoodandWool's profile


970 posts in 4182 days

#7 posted 01-28-2014 11:28 PM

Way cool. Great solution on the steering, I never could get that quite right

-- "All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then Success is sure." Mark Twain

View rachet62's profile


2 posts in 2641 days

#8 posted 01-30-2014 03:37 AM

Thanks johnzo—will be giving this a try ifn it ever gets a bit warmer out!
Wonder how this project would work in over 2 feet of snow…

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 3237 days

#9 posted 02-03-2014 02:35 PM

Cool and fun project. I’m sure the kids were thrilled to play with it. Great design and great job!

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