Fastest Sled on a Hill




Fast. Strong. Beautiful. Unique.
Did I say Fast? Extremely Fast!

How do you steer? By weight shifting. 
How do you brake? You don't.
Brakes were invented by cowards.

This Extreme project is Extremely suited for the Extreme contest because your whole life would go Extremely fast before your eyes even if you close them bombing down that Extremely steep hill.

You can't buy anything like this but it's Extremely cheap and easy to build yourself.

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Step 1: Parts & Materials

This particular sled is comfortable for two adults or one adult with two kids but building technology is easily adaptable for smaller or bigger designs. For the smaller and lighter one person sled two support arches is sufficient. Start designing with the skies. Shorter downhill skies are harder to find but cutting the long ones would probably compromise it's structural strength and shape.

You will need:

Pair of used downhill skies you can buy cheap at second hand store. Take off all bindings.

Piece of plywood for the seat. I used cushioned seat from the old automotive creeper. Be creative.

1-1/4" Gray PVC 90deg Elbow, Schedule 80 - 3 pc (Look for electrical conduit) 

1-1/4" PVC plug - 6 pc (look in plumbing, not all hardware stores have them)

1-1/2 x 1-1/2 x 1/16 thick Aluminum Angle - 6" long - 6 pc

Various nuts and bolts.

Step 2: Support Structure

Drill holes in PVC plugs.

Cut and drill Aluminum angles.

Attach 45deg fittings to the PVC pipe and align them on a flat surface.

Drill Fittings and pipe in place. Bolt through.

Align and clamp aluminum angles to the PVC pipe and drill in place. Bolt together.

Align supports on a seat, drill and bolt together.

Step 3: Skies Assembly

Insert plugs into fittings.

Set assembled structure on a skies.

Seat down on top of it to flatten the flex in the skies.

Align at desired place. Mark skies around plugs.

Take the structure from the skies, take out the plugs.

Mount plugs at the marked spots with wood screws.

Attach structure to the skies, plugs into fittings.

Jump on the seat couple times so plugs would go all the way in.

Drill through Fittings and plugs from the side. Bolt through.

You sled is ready to ride but you can add some convenience to it.

Step 4: Final Touches

Get two insulated clamps from electrical department.

Drill skies at the tip and bolt through.

Cut and tie the rope through the clamps.

Now you can pull it up the hill.

You can glue some rubber patches for feet, home depot has them in automotive section.

I've also added headlights using couple of flashlights and plastic wire ties.

Done. You have the Fastest Sled on a Hill.

Think ahead before your ride.

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    34 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    I made a modified version of this plan, and it works great! I have not experienced any short term issues with brittle PVC, and it's been quite cold in NY (Constant 0F or lower during Jan. and Feb. 2015) I used pipe straps rather than the angle brackets, in order to avoid putting holes in the arch of the pipe. The height of the seat has been great, since we've had some deep snow.

    Thanks B.E. for posting this design!

    3 replies

    Thanks for the simplification of the design! Drilling the pipe for angle brackets, probably is the hardest step in the whole assembly. Could you share how did you manage to keep your pipe straps from sliding on the arches? May be with the picture or two?

    My version is a little different, which I should have mentioned in my original comment; I've used three lengths of scrap oak flooring for the seat, attaching them followed the arch of the conduit elbow using the metal conduit straps. I've attached some pictures. The straps really grab the conduit, and I haven't noticed any movement. Using the conduit straps for a flat seat would probably require shims.

    My build is still a bit rough, but it runs great! We hold onto the forward elbow, and put toes against the front binding (which I broke two Phillips-head screwdrivers trying to remove; Thus, I gave up).


    Thanks for the pictures, I think it looks even more brutally efficient then my :) I was thinking about such a seat, but was not sure if rider would tend to slide to the side. This should feel more like a saddle ergonomics. I'm glad it works out well. As someone mentioned in the comments, next challenge is to make them steerable by way of tilting skies. We would have to make them pivot at the ski joints, and add some levers for control. This might be a good example:


    4 years ago

    Nvm screw brakes


    7 years ago on Introduction

    If I may suggest a small modification, you could drill a small hole in the back of one of the skis or the seat and run some rope through it which you could tie to your foot or waist so you won't lose it in the forest if you have to bail.


    7 years ago on Step 2

    I built something similar this last winter. (Had to sneak the unused Rossignol's into the workshop, lest wifey find out I was making a sled out of $300 skis).

    Once my bravest son shot down a slope, every parent was scrounging!

    Nice instructable and one of those ideas we should have thought of a long time ago!


    7 years ago on Introduction


    Very nice instructable.

    Brakes invented by cowards? For cowards?
    Cushions for sissies?

    I used to sled on traditional "Davos"-sleds down a very steep mountain. (40 mph +)
    The average death toll was around one per year. (No joke!)
    The plural in sleds is intentional, because i needed more than one in my youth.

    When i first skied in the U.S., i was amazed, how they ignored basic security measures.
    Around here, we have restraining bars and foot rests since i can remeber. (On chair lifts)
    On one lift ride, we took two ski school kids (maybe 5-6 y.o.) in the middle of our chair, i was really concerned about their security not to fall off the lift.

    The ticket was so big for all the legal blabla, that you more or less had to sign, by buying it.
    They also skied in the powder of forests with hidden tree stumps... In this resort, the death toll was also around one p.a.

    <And this in a country, where you can get sued, for putting too much salt on your breakfast egg... or the restaurant for providing the salt.
    irony off>>

    But then, life is deadly, that's a fact.

    i love the design, but for the best high-speed sled, you cannot beat lying facefirst on a skimboard with a long, straight slope. because they have a relatively large, flat surface, you just skim across the top of the snow and have very little friction.
    i use a $12 skimboard i found at my local petrol station (although if you are not by the seaside it may be harder to find one) and i use ski wax all over the bottom. i strapped a gps speedo on my helmet, and my fastest recorded speed so far on it is 52.31 mph. the problem is when the front digs in at 50mph and you skid on your face for about 30 meters.


    7 years ago on Introduction


    PVC becomes brittle over time at normal temperatures. Even more so in the cold. When it shatters it creates sharp and/or pointy shards. It has very poor notch strength (translation: it will break at deep scratches). Instead, with very few design changes, you can use galvanized steel pipe (in the plumbing section of your local big box home improvement store) BUT NOT CABLE CONDUIT (not strong enough). Personally I would not build this with less than (standard thickness) 3/4 inch. I _would_ build this if I lived in hillier country, or in snow country. Spend the extra for the galvanized rather than cheaping out and using the black pipe. The galvanized will resist rust much better.

    Be Safe.