Kyle, this may be a dumb question, but is there any way you can build your own sled? I designed and built a sled for my video equipment and it will easily hold a full grown man, chair, and video equipment. You could jump on it no problem.
The casters are a series of roller blade wheels angled in pairs at 45 degrees mounted to a piece of angled metal on each side. The rails are PVC which is pretty cheap to add as much length as you need. I used doweling inside the PVC for quick assembly/disassembly (you can’t use normal PVC couplings because the outside must be smooth for the wheels).
The only problem is, I’m not sure where your feet need to land, and the PVC rails may be in the way, in which case you would have to trench a little. Or, maybe just forget the rails and build a sled for a wide open space like a parking lot and add a simple brake. Anyway, just a thought. It would be great if you had an opportunity to practice on something close to the real deal before the combine.
“I’m a good driver.” – Raymond Babbitt in “Rain Man”
Thanks for sharing your ideas Christopher. I’ve actually never seen what an actual skeleton sled looks like in person, but I can tell you that the sled at the push track doesn’t look like its made of anything special. Your description sounds like it would hold up pretty well.
Back at my hometown, the driveway at my house is roughly 100m going uphill to the house. The driveway is made out of crushed limestone, but is somewhat smooth. If I could just sweep some of the rocks away and smooth it out, I bet I could make it happen. I would probably only need some tires that would be thicker/more durable than rollerblade wheels that were small enough to stay low to the ground. I bet I could get away with having some railing and possibly a break if I did this.
The biggest fear to overcome about skeleton is being able to push the sled downhill (overspeed) while you’re in a crouched position and can’t see what’s in front of you. The sled will run away from you if you don’t jump on it quick enough or if you can’t run downhill controllably. Take a look at the athlete going downhill in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufRrwB3E97c. From where the track starts to go downnhill to the end of the white building in the video is where it gets a little scary. If I could find a way to practice and overcome fear in this part of the push, then I can see myself being in the top 10 next year.
Any other thoughts?