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Waxing and Maintaining Your Wooden Toboggan or Sled

Tobboagan in Action

By choosing a quality built wooden sled or toboggan, you will have minimal maintenance and years of fun. Constructed with solid birch, held together with stainless steel screws and coated with a marine grade finish, Mountain Boy sleds and toboggans are built to last. Cheaper toboggans are made with thinner material and often held together with staples. During use, the staples can lose their grip and the toboggan will begin to fall apart.

Wax the bottom of your wooden sled or toboggan for best performance (though you'll find that it flies down the hill right out of the box). Waxing not only coats the bottom to increase speed, it creates a thin wax layer that sheds the film of water formed as snow melts beneath a speeding sled. Wax sticks best to a surface that is clean, warm, and dry, so bring the sled indoors and let it warm to room temperature prior to waxing.

Specialty ski or toboggan glide waxes are the best. These are available at most ski shops or sporting goods retailers. While you are there, pick up a plastic wax scraper and waxing cork.

Ski-go Easy Glide is an easy to use liquid glide wax. A solid crayon glide wax, such as Toko Toboggan Wax works well and is longer lasting. If you’re a cross country skier, you may already have glide wax. Just remember that it must be glide wax, not grip wax (which is used to help your skis grab onto the snow when you kick for uphill climbs). No ski wax? In a pinch try using paraffin wax used in many candles and for canning.

Waxing Steps:

  1. Wipe dirt off the bottom of the toboggan or sled. If there’s old, dirty wax on the bottom, remove what you can with a plastic putty knife or a plastic, cross country ski scraper.

  2. Dry and warm it with a hair dryer. Then, stroke the wax on evenly to the bottom side of the toboggan or sled using a cross country ski waxing cork. Hold a hair dryer on low heat close to the surface as you apply the wax. Warming the sled causes the pores of the wood to expand, allowing for the wax to melt and penetrate better.

  3. Allow the base to dry for at least 10 minutes after applying the wax.

  4. Remove any excess wax with the scraper tool, holding it at a 45 degree angle as it moves across the board.

  5. Check for any dry spots where the wax is too thin or has been totally scraped away by the scraper tool. Reapply a coat, if necessary, and scrape away the excess wax. When there are no rough spots, the toboggan is fully waxed.

  6. Wait for an hour or more to be certain everything is dry and fully absorbed before putting your sled or toboggan to the test on the slopes.

Storing and Maintenance

  1. After use, bring your wooden toboggan or sled inside to dry and wipe off any moisture.

  2. Use furniture oil to protect the top surfaces of the wooden toboggan or sled.

  3. Stow sleds in a dry place away from direct sunlight. Putting a toboggan lying flat on its running surface will help keep it from warping.

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