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As connoisseurs of history, we sometimes find styles, trends and turns of phrase from the past that we wouldn’t mind bringing back to the present, Doc Brown-style. This time around, we’re dusting off the wooden sled.

With any luck, you’ll be facing a few snowy hills in the near future—possibly with a few smaller relatives in tow. And when you pick out your sled, you might notice that all of the modern options are made of thermal-stamped plastic. It’s a shame. And it’s time to dust off something a little more dignified.

We hereby submit the wood-and-metal runner sled as the finest item you could pick up—and it just happens there are quite a few options out there.

As you might have guessed, there’s more than a little nostalgia in play here—but it’s not just that. Most sleds spread your weight out flat on the ground, building resistance and putting a serious damper on your speed. Shifting all the weight to two thin runners is just good physics. It makes the item a little heavier, sure, but that will help your speed too. The same goes for the crossbar steering. If that means your nephew gets a taste of an era when things were made by hand, it’s icing on the cake.

Also: if you want to whisper the sled’s name as a symbol of your lost youth, we won’t stop you.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom