As the snow blankets the ground, the one thing most of us have on our mind is to grab a flat surface and have some fun with it. There are numerous ways to skate, slide, and slip-on snow, but nothing compares to the thrill of sledding on a snow-covered hill. Every person sledding, whether experts or beginners, can benefit from accessories that increase thrills many folds. To make sure you get the most of your time spent on snow, we have written this guide that will tell you all about what is a snow tow for sledding.
In case you’re wondering, snow towing is different than snow tubing. Both methods help you slide down a mountain; however, you need to know a few subtle differences as they will make buying the gear easy for you.
Sledding vs Snow Tubing vs Snow Towing
Snow tubing works via gravity as the inner tube takes you for a jolly and fun ride downhill. You plop down an inflatable tube and let the wind and gravity take control. The tubes come in various designs and sizes but are generally referred to as “donuts.” It has handles on either side or the front to help you balance yourself and take control of the tube.
On the other hand, sledding involves different kinds of surfaces on which you can sit, stand, and lie down while going down a hill. A sled is a modern version of a snow tube. It is made of wood or plastic with metal construction to make the seat sturdier.
Lastly, snow towing is a combination of sledding and snow tubing. It involves picking up a tube or any sled type and dragging it behind a snowmobile.
Types of Sleds
You have probably seen the most common type of sled made from wood slates. It has a steel construction and a steering bar to help steer in different directions. This classic sled comes with a rope that can be used to lower the speed. Others have no pulley system and can be stopped with foot or hand. This sled has been around for centuries and was a gift item traditionally given by grandparents on Christmas.
Let’s look at how far these sleds have come in design:
Toboggans are made of wood as well as plastic, but you can’t find one in the latter material. This sled has a classic style that features a curved front and long back end. The best thing about toboggans is that more than two people can sit in one.
Inflatable Snow Tubes
Inflatable snow tubes are similar to the tubes used as floaties in swimming pools. The only difference is the material used to make them. The former tube is sturdier and has a thicker material that holds in the air for a long time. Inflatable snow tubes also have built-in cords used for hauling it back up the snow bank. As for the latter, it’s lightweight and made of thinner material that might tear while sledding.
No, we’re talking about flying saucers. However, these do make you feel like you’re flying. Made of various materials, a saucer is like a round plate with a handle in the middle that can be used to hold on for dear life. This sled can pick up quite the speed and makes it difficult for you to control the trajectory. Hence, we only recommend this sled for advanced sliders. If you do want to try it, find a nice gentle slope without a steep incline.
For young children, foam sliders are the best! They are like boogie boards that come with an underbelly and two handles. Compared to all the other sleds, foam sliders don’t move fast and are a great choice for first-timers.
Dogsled or Kick Sled
A kick sled is like a chair built on top of multiple metal runners. You get this sled into motion by kicking back with your foot. Two people can sit on a kick sled with the one in the back propelling it and the one in the front feeling the wind on their face. Kick sleds come in various designs and usually have a harness in the front that can be tied to horses, dogs, and vehicles, like snowmobiles and snow buggies.
Snow scooters are the newest invention, and as the name says, they are built in the shape of a scooter with no wheels. Unlike toboggans and inflatable snow tubes, you can stand on a snow scooter and steer it with the handles. However, if it’s your first time sledding, you’ll find maintaining your balance difficult. Nowadays, snow scooters are available in collapsible models so that they can be stored easily.
Why Is Snow Towing a Better Form of Sledding?
This question is the one we usually get after we answer “what is a snow tow for sledding?” Snow towing is considered a safer option because it allows beginners to enjoy the thrill of sledding without fearing that they might crash into a tress or snow bank. Since a sled is specifically constructed to float, you get to cover a distance easily.
The market is full of fake donuts right now, and buying a snow tube might not be in your favor as it can be susceptible to punctures. On the other hand, a sled is sturdier, and with a snowmobile pulling it and controlling the speed, accidents are less likely.
Our Final Thoughts
So, now you should know the answer to “what is a snow tow for sledding?” and more. Since saucers are plastic plates basically, they are the cheapest among the sledding options mentioned above. Snow tubes are next in line, with the price slightly increased, and the rest follow after with a kick sled being the most expensive.
Sledding can be a dangerous activity for first-timers so choose your terrain carefully. Snow towing can be a fun option to start with, as it will give you an idea of how slow and fast your sled can go. Make sure your sled has a rope and a handle; so, when you go solo sliding, you can carry it back up the hill.