If there is one thing that Norwegians take very seriously, it’s definitely their winter sports. My trip to Norway this winter season didn’t disappoint me as I had the chance to attend Kicksled World Championships 2017 that was held in Hurdal Municipality. Sparkstøtting (spark) or the kicksled is a traditional Norwegian locomotion, also a common use in Sweden and Finland. Held every year in February, it’s a fun event attended and participated by people across Scandinavia – 4km down the hill with speed up to 15 to 20 km/h.
It was first introduced in Sweden, kicksled then became popular in other Scandinavian countries. It’s a great way for the whole family to enjoy being out in nature, surrounded by the fresh breeze of winter. The traditional sled is a chair mounted on a pair of flexible metal runners which makes the whole thing look like a chair on a pair of skis, but these days the sleds look more polished and ready to be used in racing. It’s called the kicksled because the sled will be manoeuvred by the driver standing on one runner and kicking backwards on the ground. It is best perform on hard, slippery surfaces like ice or hard packed snow.
This sled that is also known as the “chair-sled” somewhat functioned like bicycles, they increase the rider’s speed and freighting capacity while demanding very little extra physical input – only works best when going downhill. What made this event super fun and special, the participants dressed up in costumes and they were heavily cheered by sporting spectators – the fun spirit continued all day long.
Hurdal is the most popular Alpine slopes in Eastern Norway that is located 1 and a half hour from Oslo city centre. Driving there is fun, you’ll be accompanied by scenic view of the mountains and frozen lakes – you will also drive into the wood and through the snowed trees. You can also take the public transport to reach there.
What better way to enjoy the great outdoors than peacefully gliding through your surroundings, and watching nature go by? A great fun for all ages, if you can’t ice skate or downhill ski then you should try kicksledding. It’s easy to pick up, it does not require any special skills and it is also effective as a form of exercise. It develops a wide range of different muscles of the body. Kicksledding is an alternative to cross-country skiing for those who like a little more stability. If you’ve never seen or ride on one before, you should definitely make a trip to Norway and watch The Spark Utfor or Kicksled World Championships yourself.