Sledding may seem like a fun, relaxing pasttime of childhood, but it seems that over in Europe, they take it pretty damn seriously. The Alpine Racing Sled, which was designed in Germany, is the latest European sled to make that case. Glancing over its aircraft aluminum alloy frame, one gets the picture that this is a step up from the Flexible Flyer. Flip the shiny aluminum vehicle over and you'll find a 6 1/2" shock--similar to the kind used in full suspension mountain bikes--there to eat up every bump and drop.
While I can't recall bumps ever being a significant problem riding on soft, powdery snow, I suppose it's nice to know that added protection is there.
The sled's description goes on to recommend that you can even wax the rails with ski wax to optimize the sled's performance. I don't know where people sled that they need to optimize performance--or even utter the phrase "sled's performance", but that option is out there should the owner choose to take it.
I'd expect a sled with a shock absorber to include some form of steering mechanism, but the Alpine fails to deliver, relying instead upon good-old leaning. Braking is handled by an aluminum handbrake that digs into the snow and brings the rider to a stop.
The Alpine Racer is collapsible, making for convenient transport and storage.
At first I was shocked to see that the sled only costs $115, given all that tech,but that's just the additional shipping fees. Retail for the sled is a cool $900.
Really? This one should find itself under exactly no Christmas trees this season.
If you're way too into sledding, you can find the Alpine Racer at Hammacher Schlemmer.