Who can have fun with kicksleds?
Kicksledding is great fun for all ages and fitness levels. It’s a superb way to enjoy the outdoors and get some healthy exercise. What better way to enjoy the great outdoors than peacefully gliding through your surroundings, and watching nature go by? Kicksledding is also a great way for the whole family to enjoy being out in nature together. Everyone can find the correctly sized kicksled for them. Even the familys smallest children can enjoy kicksledding by sitting comfortably on the front seat of a family members sled. Kicksledding is easy to learn and does not require any special skills. After just a few minutes anybody can get the hang of kicking around!
The correct kicking technique
The greatest thing about kicksledding is just how easy it is to pick up, it does not require any special skills. You can get the hang of kicking by just “kicking around and trying what you feel is best”. It is a good idea, however, to focus on your technique when you want to get the most out of your work out or take part in competitions. The following list provides a few basic things to keep in mind:
- Kick economically, and try not to make unnecessary movements. When kicksledding is done correctly, the kick should be long and smooth, and it’s a great workout for your whole body.
- Do not squeeze the handlebar too tightly. Keep your weight lightly on the leading leg and do not lean on your hands.
- Change the supporting leg often. A suitable rhythm is about five kicks with the same leg. When changing legs, stand on the runners a while and keep looking forward.
- Let the sled slide. Use long kicks and enjoy the ride!
Kicksled in traffic
It is useful to know that when riding a kicksled, in most countries you are considered by law to be a pedestrian. If you are riding after dark it is good to have an extra reflector or separate light in addition to the kicksled reflectors.
Kicksledding is a great workout
Kicksledding is also effective as a form of exercise. It develops a wide range of different muscles of the body, especially the torso and leg muscles. It is very easy to start training with a kicksled, because you can easily adjust your tempo to your needs and you can even walk with the sled for a while if you need to. Our Kickspark is primarily intended for competitors and for athletes. A good kicker can reach a speed of 40km/h!
Kicksledding is also a sport
In Finland there have been both National Championship and World Championship events organised for many years. For example, the town of Multia has hosted the Kicksled World Championships twenty eight times. Some entrants come to take part in the competitions for fun or charity, others train all year to chase victory. Kicksledding races are gaining popularity because everyone can participate in them, regardless of their age or fitness level. Competitive kicksledding is among the few competitive sports out there where winning is not everything, instead the focus for most people is on having fun.
Kicksled races are also held in many other countries. For example, the Downhill Kicksled World Championship is organised each year in Hurdal, Norway, which last year was won by Markku Levänen of Finland in 2016 riding, guess what? An Esla kicksled.
Ice routes are a great place for kicksledding!
Kicksled riding can even be done during winter in town where the roads may be gritted, by staying on small roads, snow tracks or on lake or sea ice. Nowadays, densely populated areas are usually equipped with winter sport routes, which are perfect for kicksledding, skiing or skating.
Of course, you should always be sure about the thickness of ice before you go. There must be a thickness of at least 5 cm of glossy, black, sturdy ice everywhere that you might go.
Paying attention to your surroundings
While doing any exercise on ice, look out for any streaming water, rocks or shoals, near bridges and riverbeds-the ice can be significantly thinner there. Also, in spring time, the sunshine can make the ice go brittle rapidly. On this occasion there should be at least 20cm of ice to ensure your safety. It is always advisable to carry a pair of ice studs with you.
In case the ice should break
- Shout loudly for help.
- Break some weak ice in the direction you were coming from.
- Pull your upper body onto the ice with the help of your ice studs
- Roll yourself onto the ice and crawl on all fours in the direction you were coming from.
- Seek to get warm and dry as soon as possible.
Remember, never risk your life by going on any weak ice!