Looking for sledding saucer (or other sled) suggestions
January 9, 2017 9:37 AM   Subscribe

Recent east coast snow storm got our family out sledding. We've gone through 8 saucers in the past 3 years, what's a better option (or longer lasting) ?

The cheap $8 saucers generally last one day of sledding (really 1-2 hrs) before cracking and breaking. So we get what we pay for (but have a lot of fun with them).

I'd love something a bit more rugged. There are the $45 metal saucers and really high-end fiberglass saucers for $170.

What have you used that works for kids and adults, is fun to ride and has lasted ? I'm wary to blow $170 on a saucer, and the metal one looks like an injury waiting to happen, but if you've used it and love it, I'm interested.
posted by k5.user to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I don't sled much anymore, and never liked saucers very much due to lack of control, but if I was shopping for a sled these days I'd look into something like the Mad River Rocket. I know some adults who love these things.
posted by baseballpajamas at 9:56 AM on January 9, 2017

I've never liked saucers much-- high friction and no control, fosters the idea that sledding is about randomness and falling off and facing the wrong way half the time.

I'd never spend more than 20 bucks on a saucer, but I'd spend $99 on a flexible flyer , that 60" size will fit adults or decent sized kids, small kids should use shorter sleds.

Flexis can last for 50 years or more if properly maintained (wipe dry before storage, wax runners a few times a season, maybe oil the wood bits once a year after the first decade).

They do not do well on deep virgin powder, but anything called a "sledding hill" usually turns to hard pack within a few days of good sledding, in my experience.

But if you often or usually find yourself wanting to sled in deep powder, flexi flyers are not a great choice.
posted by SaltySalticid at 9:57 AM on January 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

I've had one of those Flexible Flyer metal saucers for 25 years. There are a few dents, and the plastic handles (which aren't really necessary anyway) broke off, but it is still quite usable. If I were buying a new sled (which I don't have to do, because I still have a 25-year-old one that is in pretty good shape!), that's what I'd go for.
posted by kevinbelt at 10:07 AM on January 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

If you like the saucer, I'd go for a metal one for sure. I had one as a kid that my mom got when she was a kid... it was dented and scraped to hell, but still perfectly functional. We had toboggans (a giant one my grandfather would tow behind his car, yikes) and flexible flyers and saucers, and the flyer was the most fun, but as Salty said they don't work on soft snow. If I were going to buy one today, though, I'd get that Mad River Rocket... that looks fun.
posted by Huck500 at 10:29 AM on January 9, 2017

You should ask Clark Griswold for some of his special beta-test lubricant.

But, yeah - go for the metal one, if you're not going for the traditional wooden sled.
posted by rich at 10:34 AM on January 9, 2017

There plenty of "how to fiberglass" resources in DIY websites. If your kids are into it, you could easily just line the cheap saucer with fiberglass yourself. I haven't lined a snow disc with fiberglass, but have lined other, similar things with it. It's fairly unintimidating , and the materials are cheap (cheaper than $170).

When all is said and done, (if your kids are old enough to help) you and your kids will have a new, applicable skill, and the coolest snow disks around.

Better yet, once they get the basics you could challenge the kids to make BETTER snow-vehicles.
posted by furnace.heart at 11:23 AM on January 9, 2017

We had a long slope in our yard that was pretty easy to pack down and ice up for flyers. But they were no good in soft snow.

Mom and her four siblings used to pile onto an old truck hood and barrel past all the kids on storebought sleds, but that may not be an option if there's no junkyard in your life.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:35 AM on January 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

Those mad River ones make my knees hurt just looking at them

We use foam sleds

My kids prefer the ones that look like surf boards, and prefer longer ones.
We get at least a season, and I've got a couple that are 4 years old.

We do have two saucers that are just plastic shells, and neither kids like it.
posted by Ftsqg at 11:42 AM on January 9, 2017

Adding, we usually pick up the longer foam sleds at Costco for about $25ish.
posted by Ftsqg at 11:43 AM on January 9, 2017

The best sleds we ever got were some like these.
They've lasted years and are always the most popular (we have six of us and only 2 of this kind).
I bought them on a whim at the end of the season at Costco because they were like 25 bucks. They are regularly priced at about $60, but I think worth it.
posted by beccaj at 12:24 PM on January 9, 2017

My parents got me a saucer when I asked for a sled, and the first time I hit a tree sideways was the last time I enjoyed using it. I eventually cajoled them into getting me something like this that I probably saw in a Sharper Image catalog or something, and it was everything I imagined it would be. I discovered that the brake on mine was completely useless so I ended up removing it and just digging my feet into the snow when I needed to stop.
posted by fedward at 3:02 PM on January 9, 2017

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