The winter months, for those of us lucky enough to live in snowy areas, can be some of the best times of the year. Winter offers an environment unlike any other year-round. Snow-covered land enables fun-seekers to partake in numerous activities that are not available any other time of year.
Sports such a skiing and snowboarding are great but can be expensive. Those looking for a fun and free time must look no further than their nearest hill. Sledding is such an enjoyable endeavor for folks of all ages, shapes, sizes, and skill levels. It is the all-encompassing snow activity.
Those who have never gone sledding before must first find or purchase a snow sled tube. Snow tubes for sale are offered at most standard sporting goods stores. Many useful items can be fashioned into or used as a sled as well if paying for a brand new snow sled tube isn't the goal.
Once a sled is acquired or you find snow tubes for sale, the next factor is determining where to sled. And this is a trickier piece than most people realize. The common sentiment is likely that sledders must simply find a tall hill and let the snow take them to their destination. That is hardly the case. For safety reasons, ideal scenarios, and to maximize fun, choosing the right spot for sledding is paramount.
The first thing to consider is safety. As with any outdoor activity, there are more factors than just who is sledding and what they are sledding on. Not all hills and locations are created equal. The ideal sledding hill has a few key characteristics. It is wide open and (mostly) barren. If there are buildings, boulders, or too many trees littering the hill, it isn't a good spot. This seems obvious, but it is often hard to control a blow up snow sled! The slope and snow will take you where it wants you to go; not the other way around. Just because you want to avoid a tree doesn't mean you are guaranteed to do so! You are better off not having a tree to avoid in the first place.
Besides few obstacles, a sledding hill must also have the perfect finish line. There can be no streets or paths at the bottom that sledders will careen into. There can't be a home or building at the bottom either. A sledding hill must regress gracefully into open space so sledders, regardless of traveling speed, can safely cruise to a stop. Nothing is more dangerous in sledding than the participant not being able to stop before encountering a road filled with cars speeding by.
Along those same lines, the type of hill matters as well, especially in terms of slope. Not everyone will like the same hill, but steepness matters to all. No one wants to sled down a mountain because it is too unsafe. Going too fast on a sled that has no breaking mechanism, leaves your fate up to chance. Small hills can be just as dangerous if they are too steep. Picking up speed can cause a sled to flip or spin. The danger isn't all about hitting something. Not being able to control the sled is bad in all scenarios.
After safety is ironed out, the perfect sledding hill is all about preference. Some revelers will enjoy going faster than others. Some like a slow, long ride. Others will prefer a short burst, followed by a shorter walk back up to the top! The walk back up is a key factor that can be overlooked. Sledding down once is perfectly fine, but getting an entire afternoon out of the activity requires trekking back up the hill each time you come down.
Once the hill is found, have fun! Expert riders can race each other, or even pull off small tricks. Little ones and those learning can enjoy the slope just the same. With the wind whipping past as you slide down, and a soft landing at the bottom, sledding is such a great winter activity for friends and family of all ages.