We’ve seen the Street Sledge at a couple of events, we’ve seen the Facebook posts and a few videos, now the Sledge is on the shelves and ready for its customers. But what’s it all about?
The Street Sledge is, simply, a sledge for all seasons. We were inspired to create a ‘street luge’ type product, for kids, made of plastic – a bit like the Penny skateboard. We have been developing this product over the last 2 years and, finally, it has made it onto the shelves this week. Weighing only 3.5kg and around 80cm long, it’s ideal for kids to use and comes in Green Rocket, Blue Lighting, Black Jack and Purple Haze.The basic idea came when we noticed, whilst teaching children to ride skateboards, that many of them really just enjoy sitting on the board and rolling around! Up until now, no one has looked into designing and producing a board specifically for this. For some, standing on and pushing a skateboard doesn’t come easily and nowadays children do like to learn things right away – this is why scooters have done so well – so we decided to make a skateboard-based product that could be learned and enjoyed in a matter of minutes.
Tom Campbell, Nigel Scarr and I have been putting together the pieces of this project over the last 24 months. Our first prototype was made in my garden in an 18-hour frantic mess. It was made with foam and fibreglass and still resides on my wall as a piece of history!
The manufacturing is done in China in a factory that has worked very closely with us throughout the whole project. They helped us develop some of the engineering, advising on production methods and materials. It has gone through many compound changes for many reasons, such as high temperatures making one of our early prototypes flexible which we then had to overcome. We see the final board as the culmination of the years of tinkering we spent on this project.
We have put a lot of work into the geometry of the trucks and where the centre of gravity is to make this as stable as possible while also being compact. We have ‘tested’ these upwards of 50mph – I raced Tregaron on one in the luge race and still made the semi-finals! However, at the same time, it can turn on the spot and be ridden by almost any age.
It isn’t really designed as a learners way into luge though. The Street Sledge is aimed at young people who have never seen or heard of luge but just like rolling around on a skateboard or have a need for speed. It’s got a much larger demographic than downhill or luge and is aimed at a younger user than any product remotely similar.
The Street Sledge is aimed at young people in the 5-14 age range. These are the early adopters of sports and the ones who can make a difference in the future. They are also the future of gravity sports in the years to come. We plan to run many events just for Street Sledges to be used in. Obviously, we have started small to get kids involved but, in the future, it would be nice to do some bigger hills and maybe even races. So far, the hundreds of children that have tried our boards have all come back with beaming smiles.