By Andrew Liszewski
I still don’t know what compels humans to climb to the top of a snow covered hill and then slide back down at breakneck speeds, but damned if it isn’t fun!… Well at least the down part is. Climbing back up with a giant toboggan in tow? Not so much. But at just 3½ pounds, the Bavarian Zipfel Bobsled makes the getting back to the top part a bit more bearable.
The bobsled’s design was inspired by Johann Uttenthaler’s 1969 invention for careening down the slopes of the Bavarian Alps, and if there’s any place on Earth to put a new sled design through its paces, I imagine that would be it. The rider sits on the back of the sled with the suggestive joystick-like handle sticking up between their extended legs, kind of like riding a snow shovel. A set of molded plastic rails on the underside keeps the sled headed in a straight line, but the rider can easily turn and carve by simply leaning from side to side. And like with most sleds, braking is provided by your boots, another sledder or the nearest tree.
The Bavarian Zipfel Bobsled is available from Hammacher Schlemmer for a reasonable $39.95.