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When I was shopping at the beginning of December 2010 I had heard all the warnings about the coming bad weather and had already seen a small amount of the white stuff here in Birmingham, so when I saw the one remaining shop in Brum which still had a supply of sledges I decided to buy the kids one. I paid £11.99 for it, the usual price is about a fiver cheaper but the shop keeper had obviously heard about the snow too!
It's a good sledge though and well worth the higher price for the enjoyment it has given my middle two children over the winter. It is a basic moulded plastic sledge; the bottom has been shaped into an area for the childs (or adults!) bum, and also features two ridged footplates so the rider can get comfortable. The sledge is in one piece with handles moulded to each side and also holes for the cord. My sledge came with the cord already attached but Mookie sledges can also come wrapped and then you may need to knot the cord through yourself. It would be a straightforward process to thread the cord through the holes but I don't honestly trust my knotting skills to do it safely myself!
In use the sledge is stable and looks reasonably comfortable when the kids are using it. While the shaping is minimal, it's done in a way that gives the young rider stability and a good centre of gravity (ie. they won't fall off the instant the sledge starts moving). It worked best when the snow had settled overnight; here in Birmingham the snow came down extremely powdery but the sledge sunk too deeply into that sort of snow. However, when it set icy the following day the smooth plastic glided beautifully down the hills.
The sledge is lightweight enough to make it easy enough to pull along, as long as the child is small enough! I say that, having never actually pulled the sledge myself. Mark has and he tells me it was easy to pull Hollie (a dainty four year old) but he had to tell Alice (a 'chunky' twelve year old) to get off! Haha!
As the sledge is made up of a single piece of plastic it has stood the weather well. It's been kept outside since the day I bought it, the colour (blue) hasn't faded or changed tone at all which tells me it's a good quality product. The cord looks a bit grotty now but that's not an issue as the strength and quality of the cord isn't affected. It hasn't faded at all despite being left hanging on the garden fence throughout the whole of the (admittedly crap) summer we had this year, but even if it had this wouldn't have affected the playability of it in the slightest.
As I mentioned in the title, we used the sledge on Christmas Day last year. Mark took Alice and Hollie over the road to the Lickey Hills after they'd opened their presents, they came home freezing but Hollie in particular was amazingly happy to incorporate a sledging trip into the Big Day!
It's not the best looking sledge out there, that award goes to my handmade wooden childhood sledge, but it does a good job and will last for years.