Too School for Cool: Sledding season isn’t over

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Apr 082013

Author: Allison LeCain

Ice sledding

Ice blocking (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Spring is finally upon us. The season of ice, snow and sledding may seem long-gone, but with a new season comes a new method of sliding down a hill.

Ice blocking is a western sport where people sit on blocks of ice and slide down hills, much like sledding. In many areas that do not receive snow, the sport of ice blocking is called ‘reversed sledding.’

You can buy ice blocks at many grocery stores or make them yourself. A good ice block is generally a rectangle shape around six inches tall and one and a half feet long.

I recommend putting a small towel over the ice block before sitting down to avoid the dreaded wet-butt. Also, wear clothes you don’t care about – they will get muddy.

The art of ice blocking involves great balance, speed and bravery.  Many participants will fall off their blocks and get bruised and dirty. Consider the risk of injury before trying this at home. Also, there is no shame in wearing a helmet.

Once you have all the required materials, find a steep hill. At the top of the hill, sit down on your ice block, have a friend give you a little push, and down the hill you’ll fly. It is recommended to have ice blocking races – a little competition never hurt anyone.

Ice blocking is best done after dark, as the sport is frowned upon and illegal in some parks and cities due to the wear-and-tear effect it has on grass. Wherever you decide to go, ice blocking is a great springtime activity.