Who kicksleds?

  • Grownups, kids, elders and youth of all fitness levels.
  • People who want to feel stable on snow and ice use it like a snow walker.
  • Sporty types who want to go fast and get a workout on snow and ice.
  • Ice fishers who want to tote their tackle and gear out to the hole and sit in comfort while waiting for a bite.
  • Aspiring mushers and skijor fans who want to hitch up a dog or two and ride the runners.
  • Outdoor enthusiasts who want a fun, cool, eco-friendly, quiet and zero-carbon winter transportation and recreation alternative.
  • Parents who want a sweet way to be active outdoors together with their little ones in winter.
  • People who want to get to the mailbox faster than walking, around the block with the dogs, to the neighbours' bonfire, and quietly admire the aurora borealis on the move.


Why walk when you can kicksled?

Where to kicksled?

A packed trail of snow and ice is best. Sidewalks, driveways, alleys, roads, green spaces and skidoo trails can all be perfect kicksledding paths — as long as there is no gravel, sand, salt or exposed dry pavement. Frozen lakes with little snowpack or skidoo tracks also make fantastic terrain. The Yukon is alive with places for you to kicksled all winter long! Explore! Report back! The Yukon Kicksled Facebook page is a great community of practice to share prime kicksled hotspots. Here are maps of Whitehorse trails, Klondike Snowmobile Association trails page and the fantastic Whitehorse Walks to get you started.

Safety and Children

Please be aware that kicksleds can go very fast down hills. Do not allow children to ride their kicksleds where conditions are unsafe, and take caution when you have precious cargo riding on your kicksled. Use your good judgment. Be visible to others: extend the included reflector attachment, carry or wear a flashlight/headlamp, and make sure you travel with winter survival gear including clothing and outerwear that protects you and your little passengers from cold and wind. (See also, Ice Safety, below.)

What to wear

Regular Yukon winter outdoor attire is suitable: parka, toque, mitts, neckwarmer, cozy socks, boots, etc. Dress to the weather and wear layers as you might want to shed some as you work up a sweat on your ride. Your bag or pack with a thermos, snack, gear and extra layers can sit on the seat, secured with strap or a bungee cord. For footwear, winter snow boots are best. If you're racing a kickspark on clear ice, you may want to invest in some kind of cleats or grip enhancer that attach to your boots for better kick traction and faster rides.

Maneuverability and turning

Shift your body weight on the runners and pressure on the handle bars to maneuver and turn your kicksled. The galvanized spring steel runners have some flex to help you take corners like a champ. When approaching a turn, kick with the outside foot while turning the handle bars. (Turning left? Keep the left foot on the runner and kick with your right foot and push your right hand on the handlebars and see the kicksled turn where you want to head.) If approached with caution, hills can be fun to ride. Practice the "Brake Technique" from the top of the hill to keep your speed manageable. Have one foot firmly on a runner, bend that knee, hold the handlebars tight and pull back with your arms straight, get low like you're sitting on an invisible seat, while your free foot pushes on the ground in front of you causing drag to slow down. Take care, use your good judgment and know your limits when kicksledding.

Canine Companions

Dogs that like to pull can be hooked up to your kicksled. We recommend you kit up with harnesses, lines and other dog kicksledding and skijoring gear from the pros at Tanzilla Harness Supply at Duffy's Pets beside Alpine Bakery in Whitehorse. 

Ice Safety

Late winter and early spring ice conditions on lakes are the ideal for kicksledding. When the sun returns to crunch things up, often you don't even need a skidoo trail to enjoy the expanse of hard snow on the ice. Always use good sense when out on frozen water bodies from freeze-up to break-up. Ice conditions can be unpredictable and change daily. Watch weather patterns and talk to locals. Here is ice safety information from the Canadian Red Cross, Lifesaving Society, and a new one on Frozen Lake Safety from SnowSportsZone in Denver Colorado.

Kicksled Maintenance

Kicksleds require little maintenance and can last a lifetime if cared for properly. Protect it from sun and rain in the off season. Best to store it folded against a wall standing upright on its runners. If you ride your kicksled over gritty conditions (it happens), the plastic runners can get damaged. We sell extra plastic runners if yours get too scratched and slow down. Keep an extra snow brush and ice scraper (a cheap wood one is perfect) for your kicksled if you leave it outside. Brush the fresh snow off and when necessary, tip your kicksled to one side then the other to scrape frost and ice from the bottom of the runners for the best glide. Some have reported success with glide wax or silicon spray to reduce frost scraping effort.

At the beginning of each season it's a good idea to check and tighten all the 10mm nuts and bolts to make sure your kicksled is ready to ride safely. Anne would be happy to give your kicksled a once over and a tune up if you want to bring it to the shop.

If you have lost your knobs don't despair, Anne sells replacement ones! 


ESLA Products and Kicksled Info Links

ESLA kicksleds

An extensive and comprehensive primer on the history and technique of the kicksled.

Recreation and Parks Association Yukon instructional video: How To Fold a kicksled!