Desert sleds

More than 3,500 years after the pyramids were built in Egypt, the desert sled finally gets its comeback - not as a means of transport, but as a piece of sporting equipment.

First there was sand skiing and sandboarding on hot quartz sand, then came the innovation of tobogganing parties by enormous sand dunes. The manufacturer of the innovative piece of sporting equipment is KHW, based in Geschwenda, who have been the world leaders in the production of leisure plastic sleds since the '90s. The innovative aspects of the bioplastic sled are the particularly low-abrasion runners and modified design. Scientists at Ilmenau University of Technology and the Franhofer Institute UMSICHT in Oberhausen were the research partners for this project. The sled itself was tested in Namibia - by a Thuringian in fact, who runs the world's first sand skiing school there.

Video: The best sand toboggan

Daredevils have been trying to sled in the desert for years. Conventional sleds just can't cope with desert sand.

Plastic sliders, car tyres and woks can go into a dangerous tailspin when used to slide down sand dunes. Simple plywood bases are certainly quick, but there's no way to steer them. The KHW desert sled provides both optimum speeds on sand and safety you can trust.

Henrik May

Sand skiing in Namibia

The 39-year old from Zella-Mehlis in Thurinigia runs the first sand skiing school. As a former Nordic Combined athlete, May sees himself as a pioneer of new forms of tourism. Motto: You can ski and toboggan well anywhere - even in the desert! ski-namibia

High-tech materials

KHW is entering new territory with its newest of approximately 49 sled models, in terms of materials, technology, and sledding philosophy.

The physics of sledding down desert sand and setting hard quartz crystals in motion is something completely different to gliding along a thin layer of water between runners and snow. Therefore, the desert sled has broad and abrasion-resistant runners. The materials were designed with friction in mind. The manufacturer is paving the way for year-round tobogganing with this new development. Possible later models could also allow autumnal sledding on wet grass as well as summer beach sleds to be used by the North and Baltic Seas.


Media coverage

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