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It affords incredible control, letting you execute sharp turns, spins and, with practice, aerials (yes, aerials—search YouTube for “Mad River Rocket” and “free sledding”) that would be impossible on a traditional sled.
A new sport that deserves a new name because rocketing is not about going out of control, it’s about being in control.
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You can definitely steer them like a small car or bobsled because you’re strapped in and can set an edge and turn and stop…It takes the idea of sledding to the next level.
Mad River Rocket started 20 years ago as a spark of eco-consciousness among a group of architects who lived in experimental homes on the side of Prickly Mountain in Warren. ‘There was a lot of discussion at that time about skiing, and whether it was a good environmental solution,’ said Dave Sellers, one of those architects. ‘So we thought it would be cool to figure out a way not to have to have a ski area.’
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On mountains across the country, thrill seekers are flying off cliffs, traversing through trees and doing flips in the air. All with a piece of plastic strapped to their legs.
The sturdy plastic Rocket differs from traditional sleds in two important ways. First, you ride it while kneeling, with a knee strap securing you to the sled. And second, it has what Dave calls a “negative keel”: Instead of digging down, the square-shaped channel of the inverted “keel” creates its own monorail out of snow as it makes its descent.
Sellers sees the Rocket as ideal for any mountain that can be snowshoed up, although his favorite location is Hunger Mountain. “We’re setting the mountains free for people who don’t have a lot of money,” he said.
...you and your sled can make like a gravity bomb as the road drops 1,100 feet in 1.2 miles with no fewer than eight hairpin turns and a hair-parting straightaway near the bottom.
The 7-pound Killer B is built for deep off-trail powder. ...use your hands to drag-steer and brake as you glide down the mountain.
From Vermont, where they’re serious about their sledding, comes a thrilling high-performance ride.
Forget the toboggan of your youth: Sleek high-performance sleds are built for speed, maneuverability
The mini boat-shaped sled has knee pads and a strap for controlled steering so it’s easy to zip around in the white stuff.
Trail sledding/Backcountry sledding/rocketshoeing depends on good snow - another reason to celebrate winter! But I think it’s easier to find good snow off the beaten path because the snow hasn’t been so, well... beaten!