A sled, sledge or sleigh is a vehicle with runners for sliding instead of wheels for rolling. It is used for transport on surfaces with low friction, usually snow or ice but any grassy surface is good when it is not too dry. In some cases round river-washed stones make a good surface for sledges. Devices to be pulled across bare ground, such as a travois, are not generally called "sleds", although skids often are.

Sleds are typically smaller and simpler than sleighs which are generally understood to be a larger vehicle designed for riding in a sitting position that is drawn by a draft animal such as a horse or oxen, though this is not always the case. The sitting connotation is clear as the English bobsleigh is a steerable sled invented to sit upon or within. North Americans transmorphed this into bobsled, since clearly the vehicle is not drawn by a draft animal. Both (or all four) are lightweight vehicles whereas a "sledge" is more usually a low, sturdy, and rough "work vehicle" designed for haulage of heavy loads such as cordwood, stone or ice blocks or the manifold heavy transport needs on a farm.

With only gravity as the propelling force, a sled can be used downhill as a recreational (toy) vehicle or drawn behind one trudging step by trudging step to haul a load—such as logs or children back up a slope. Modern competitive sledding has come about since the 1870s when steerable sleds were invented as a recreational prescription to combat winter boredom amongst the rich and privileged in the alpine resort town of St Moritz by British hotel guests.

Alternatively, sleds may be pulled by animals, usually horses, mules, oxen or dogs. They may also be pushed or pulled by humans (playing children, a parent pulling a child, etc.). Man-hauled sledges were the traditional means of transport on British exploring expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic regions in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Dog-teams were used by most others, such as Roald Amundsen. Today some people use kites to tow exploration sleds in such climes. The Egyptians are thought to have used sledges extensively over the sands whilst building their public works, in particular, for the transportation of taller obelisks.

A troika is a vehicle drawn by three horses, usually a sled, but it may also be a wheeled carriage.

The SR-71 Blackbird is also referred to by the nickname "sled" and its pilots are referred to as "sled drivers".

The various categories of sleds include:

* Coaster sled
* Wooden sled/sledge
* Draft-animal sled/sledge
** Horse-drawn sleigh
** Dog sled
* Flying sleigh
* Bobsled - an Olympic sport.
* Toboggan
* Kicksled or spark or kicker, a human-powered sled
* Aerosan, powered by an airplane propellor

forklift at McMurdo Station in Antarctica.]

ee also

* Luge
* Pulka
* Skeleton (sport)
* Ski
* Sledge Hockey
* Snowboard
* Snowmobiles
* Snowmobile

External links

* [ North America's Horse Drawn Sleigh Rides]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sled — Sled, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Sledded}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Sledding}.] To convey or transport on a sled; as, to sled wood or timber. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • sled — n. snow vehicle that glides over snow on two ski like runners (especially one used by children to glide down snow covered hills); sledge v. travel by sled; transfer by sled, transport by sled …   English contemporary dictionary

  • sled — ☆ ☆ sled [sled] n. [ME sledde < MLowG or MDu, akin to Ger schlitten: for IE base see SLIDE] any of several types of vehicle mounted on runners for use on snow, ice, etc.: small sleds are used in the sport of coasting, large ones (also called… …   English World dictionary

  • Sled — (sl[e^]d), n. [Akin to D. slede, G. schlitten, OHG. slito, Icel. sle[eth]i, Sw. sl[ a]de, Dan. sl[ae]de, and E. slide, v. See {Slide}, and cf. {Sledge} a vehicle, {Sleigh}.] 1. A vehicle on runners, used for conveying loads over the snow or ice;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • sled — sled, sledge, sleigh All three words are derived from Dutch and are used for vehicles that carry people or goods over snow. In BrE sledge is the normal word for vehicles of various sizes pulled by people or animals (toboggan, a native American… …   Modern English usage

  • sled — (Brit. sledge) ► NOUN ▪ a vehicle on runners for travelling over snow or ice, either pushed, pulled, or allowed to slide downhill. ► VERB ▪ ride or carry on a sled. DERIVATIVES sledding noun. ORIGIN Low German sledde …   English terms dictionary

  • sled — [sled] noun [C] a sledge …   Dictionary for writing and speaking English

  • sled — [n] sleigh bobsled, dogsled, horse sleigh, luge, sledge, toboggan; concepts 187,217 …   New thesaurus

  • sled — vb., præt. af slide …   Dansk ordbog

  • sléd — a m (ẹ̑) zool. majhna, ob bokih zelo stisnjena riba z globoko razcepljeno repno plavutjo, ki živi zlasti v severnih morjih, Clupea harengus: loviti slede; sardele in sledi ú stil. a m, mn. sledóvi (ẹ̑) 1. kar ostane zlasti na podlagi in kaže,… …   Slovar slovenskega knjižnega jezika

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