LEARN

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.
  • People who want an eco-friendly, quiet and low-carbon transportation alternative.
  • Outdoor enthusiasts who want a fun and cool winter recreation option.
  • Parents who want a sweet way to be active outdoors with their little ones in winter.
  • People who want to get to the mailbox faster than walking, around the block with the dogs, and admire the aurora borealis on the move.

Kicksleds are for everyone who goes outside in winter!

Where to kicksled?

A packed trail of snow and ice is best. Sidewalks, driveways, roads 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 also make fantastic terrain. The Yukon is alive with places for you to kicksled all winter long! Explore! Report back! Here are maps of Whitehorse trails and Klondike Snowmobile Association trails page 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, 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 with a thermos, snack, gear and extra layers can sit on the seat, secured with rope 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 Yak Traks that attach to your footwear for better kick traction.

Maneuverability

Shift your body weight on the runners and pressure on the handle bars to maneuver 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. If approached with caution, hills can be fun to ride. To slow down, have one foot firmly on a runner, bend that knee, hold the handlebars tight and pull back while your free foot drags along the ground with a straight leg in front of you. 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 best 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 and Lifesaving Society BC and Yukon.

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 be 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.

 

 

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!