Advances in Sledding

When my brother and I were kids we had two options for snow day sledding. One option was the classic Flexible Flyer sled. Constructed of wood and steel, it was hard, cold, and not very comfortable. But it was sturdy. The other option was a garbage can cover. That’s it. Those were the limited choices for us children of the 70s. Now there’s not much to say about garbage can covers. They are what they are. But the Flexible Flyer was the bomb.

The one Chris and I had was put through hell, mainly due to Chris beating the crap out of it. He would sled full speed into trees, telephone poles, you name it. Chris was the older brother so he would sit at the front “steering” while I sat behind him, hanging on for dear life, as he took his little sister on a terrifying death ride. It was pretty nuts and dangerous in retrospect. And I don’t recall either of my parents ever watching or supervising us. Child safety wasn’t a big priority back in those days. We used to play on monkeybars with nothing but exposed concrete below us. We rode bikes with no helmets. We busted our butts on seesaws when we slammed into the ground. We were badass! Bruised, battered, and traumatized yes. But still badass 😆

So now that I’ve taken everyone on a nostalgic trip through old school sledding, I ask you to take a look at this picture I took today at the park near my house:

Woo hoo! Those look like boogie boards to me. Very snazzy. Old school is officially dead, my friends. Kids today have stuff that is sleek, shiny, colorful, and ergonomic. I spent an hour photographing the “sledding hill” at the park and it was really fun. Part of me wanted to join in, but there was not one Flexi Flyer in sight. I wanted to kick it old school!

Check out this inflatable transport. You could cross the English Channel in that thing!

But really, it doesn’t make any difference which style of sled a child uses for snow day. The fun is all that matters. I can tell you that the kids in Queens were having a LOT of fun this afternoon, and I was having just as much fun photographing them 🙂 See all my pictures on my Flickr page.

4 thoughts on “Advances in Sledding

  1. Ron says:

    I have a couple of Flex Flyers at home in my garage. You can borrow one.

  2. Mark says:

    I remember the Flyer too. When I was in college some people would steal trays from the cafeteria and use those for sleds. They probably steered only slightly better than trash can lids, but who has a trash can lid in a dorm (or a sled for that matter)? They were a bit small for adult sized people, but figuring out how to best use it was half the fun.

    • artmodel says:

      Mark,

      I’m impressed with your classmates using the cafeteria trays! What you said is true, that figuring out how to make unlikely objects work is half the fun. I actually liked the trash can covers too because you could spin around.

      Thanks for your comments!

      Claudia

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