Skating with an ice sled (modified kick-sled, spark or putkukelkka)

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John Faughnan

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Jan 2, 2003, 12:09:00 AM1/2/03
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Title: Skating with an ice sled (modified kick-sled, spark or
putkukelkka)

Today our family went skating at Centennial Lakes [1], a public
skating area in Edina, a suburb of Minneapolis. There we rented a
wonderful ice sled, which I'd never seen anywhere before. It was made
by NORD Industries, and called a RAPP Tarzan. It was great fun to
skate the kids around the lake on this device, and it really helped
our boys learn to skate.

I went home figuring I'd easily locate a US distributor for this
device and then buy one. Wrong. I couldn't find ANYTHING like it.

After several web searches failed I finally found some relevant usenet
postings [1,2,3]. I think that what we used started out life as a
"kick-sled", but then someone cut off the rear runner extensions and
made it into an ice-sled that one can skate with. I gather that in
Scandinavian nations one uses a kick-sled or spark to cross icy snow,
frozen streets, frozen lakes etc. by standing on one of the runners
while kicking backwards wearing boots [4].

The long runners of the true kick-sled would block skates however. I
think that at Centennial lakes they modified a kick-sled to be an ice
sled. Minnesota has a strong Finnish/Swedish heritage, and I'm sure
these sleds made their way here via Scandinavia. (They look to be
about 20 years old!)

Amdittedly there are few places one could use such a thing; most ice
rinks are too small and most lakes are too rough for skating.
Centennial Lakes, or Ottawa's Rideau canal, are the exception.

I'm curious as to whether anyone has seen these sleds elsewhere, or
whether they've bought them or made their own versions. They are
really fun!

john

[1] http://ci.edina.mn.us/Pages/L4-66_CentrumSkating.htm
[2] http://groups.google.com/groups?q=RAPP+Tarzan&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&selm=Pine.LNX.3.96.990327084333.361A-100000%40localhost&rnum=2
[3] http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&threadm=Pine.LNX.3.96.990225115540.412B-100000%40localhost&rnum=3
[4] http://www.crossled.com/

--
john faughnan
jfau...@spamcop.net
www.faughnan.com
usenet template page: www.faughnan.com/usenet.html

[meta: sledge, ice sled, ice sleigh, skate, skating, child,
recreation, ice skating, 030101, sparkstötting, putkukelkka,
kick-sled, chair-sled, spark,
jfaughnan, jgfaughnan, jgf616468]

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John Faughnan

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Jan 2, 2003, 11:07:50 AM1/2/03
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"johns" <john...@moscow.com> wrote in message news:<av0jmi$1944$1...@news.fsr.net>...

> > sled. Minnesota has a strong Finnish/Swedish heritage
> .. putting it mildly :-) I saw something like that over on lake
> Mindota ( sp? ) at Madison. Six miles across that thing,
> and students would hike out with them, or use them as
> pack sleds ?? You had to watch out for them when you
> went out in your 4wd flying around at 2am.

I may get nordic-flamed (meaning very polite low key flaming) for
omitting Norway from my list of origins for the kick-sled. Norway is
where they are manufactured (duh!) and where they were exhibited
during the 1994 Olympic games.

I'd guess the Madison (U Wisconsin students) were using true
kick-sleds, rather than the modified version (runners shortened) in
use at Centennial Lakes by skaters. That lake would be a great place
to use them! I wonder if they build their own or if there's a Madison
manufacturer. I'll send the U of Wisconsin cross country team [2] an
email and inquire.

I maintain a skijoring page [1], and I'll add some kick-sled links to
that page later today. A small or older dog might be able to pull a
kick-sled on icy logging roads, icy snow, or across lakes, whereas
they couldn't do as well in deeper snow.

I wonder if I could come up with a way to make removal of the runners
reversible, so I could use the sled for skating with my kids and for
sled-kicking with my old dog? I'll have to see if I can find an
affordable version, the Canadian manufacturer's costs are over $200
apiece. (If I were handy at woodworking I might make one, but, alas,
I'm not.)

john

[1]http://www.faughnan.com/skijor/

[meta: sledge, ice sled, ice sleigh, skate, skating, child,
recreation, ice skating, 030101, sparkstötting, putkukelkka,

kick-sled, kick sled, kicksled, chair-sled, spark, jfaughnan,
jgfaughnan, jgf616468]

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The Walsh Family

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Jan 7, 2003, 9:56:56 PM1/7/03
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>
> Be awhile I suspect. They are all at deercamp until the
> spring thaw.

Yep and eating Lutfisk too
lyle


David Dermott

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Jan 13, 2003, 1:02:12 PM1/13/03
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On 1 Jan 2003, John Faughnan wrote:

> Title: Skating with an ice sled (modified kick-sled, spark or
> putkukelkka)
>
> Today our family went skating at Centennial Lakes [1], a public
> skating area in Edina, a suburb of Minneapolis. There we rented a
> wonderful ice sled, which I'd never seen anywhere before. It was made
> by NORD Industries, and called a RAPP Tarzan.

> .......


> I'm curious as to whether anyone has seen these sleds elsewhere, or
> whether they've bought them or made their own versions. They are
> really fun!
>

Rapp and Tarzan are the names of spark models made by Norø
Ind. in Tynset, Norway.

North American importers:

"http://www.crossled.com"
"http://www.alaskasparken.com/"
"http://www.nordickicksleds.com/"
"http://www.norsled.com/"
"http://www.vikingkicksled.com/"

Build your own:

"http://www.trytel.com/~tstrang/spark/spark.html">

Agreed that skating behind a normal kick-sled is difficult. My
method of skating is to tow the sled behind me.

Vansbro Spark (Sweden) makes a model with foldable runners,
so one could detach the rear part of the runners. Or you just cut
a long runner off. Or get a blacksmith to make a short set of runners.


My kick-sled article:

"http://www3.ns.sympatico.ca/dermott/ski/spark.html"

--
David Dermott , Wolfville Ridge, Nova Scotia, Canada
email: der...@ns.sympatico.ca
WWW pages: http://www3.ns.sympatico.ca/dermott/


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