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RR Preview: Mad River Rockets
No Other Sled Can Go"
The evolution of the Mad
River Rocket began with architect David Sellers and friends at Prickly Mountain
in Warren, Vermont. They
set out to find a way to have fun sliding down the hills of Vermont without having
to cut trees, make snow, create parking lots, dig sewage systems, or build condos.
The early ideas began with
toboggans sliced in half and pinned together for rapid steering. They were too
heavy, too big and with no control surfaces. They also tried to modify the cheap
toy store sleds. It then became clear that in order to be safe and to be able
to see the changing terrain as you glide through the thick forests prevalent in
Vermont, they had to develop a new type of sled.
Many who were experimenting
with this new sled design were also kayakers and white water canoers. The similarities
are strong. In white water you need to be high enough in the
water to see ahead and you need to lean and brace for balance.
The team experimented with
sled designs that incorporated the kneeling position. A knee strap was added,
thus creating a design that would be highly maneuverable in powder snow. The design
allowed for traverse over snowy terrain without slipping. This is an essential
element in the Rocket, and one of the many patent claims that was secured. It's
called the "negative keel," which packs a monorail of snow under the sled. This
snow rail has
enough strength to allow for a traverse without slipping and which is easily broken
with a weight shift in order to change direction.
The Mad River Rocket has
created a following among snowshoers looking for adventure. Lightweight and easy
to carry, the Mad River Rocket combined with snowshoes makes it possible to access
backcountry terrain. Dubbed "Rocketshoeing," it's a trend waiting to
Check back for our Rippin'
Riders reviews of the Mad River Rocket.
Or visit our Kidzstore
a sled here.