Riding a Zipflbob
The inspiration for the Zipflbob was the coal shovel. Invented in 1970 by Siegmund Loger, the original model was changed to plastic. Modifications were made to the handle and seat over the years to provide more maneuverability, speed and comfort. It only re-emerged in the 1990s and this form of sled has gained so much popularity that the first Zipflbob World Series was held in 2002 in Switzerland, Austria and Germany. Today there are thirty official Zipflbob events and the International Federation Zipflbob was established in 2009.
As mentioned, the Zipflbob is a type of sled where the rider sits flat on the seat with legs on either side of the control handle. It is easy enough for all ages to master and weighs a mere two kilograms. The Zipflbob is ridden by shifting weight and leaning in the seat, with riders first pushing themselves off with their hands to get the Zipflbob moving downhill. To remain going straight, all riders need to do is keep their arms at their sides with their feet in the air. To turn the Zipflbob to the right for instance, the rider will hold onto the handle with the left hand, and lean his/her body to the right; doing the opposite to go to the left. Stopping the Zipflbob is just as simple, as all riders need to do is hold onto the handle, lean back and dig their heals into the snow. It is one of the safest snowsports to enjoy and the popularity of the Zipflbob is growing with each passing season. Just as with any other winter sport, such as snowboarding and skiing, Zipflbob riders are advised to wear strong boots, a facemask, goggles, ski pants, hat and gloves, and always have a backpack with them to take accessories such as headlamps with them in case they get stuck out on the slopes in the dark.
Zipflbobs are able to reach high speeds, with the world speed record standing at a hundred and thirty-nine kilometers an hour. It is for this reason that Zipflbob racing has become so popular. There are different categories for riders to compete in such as a Team Race, Zipflbob Cross, speed racing and downhill. The latest models of Zipflbobs now feature molded rails and polyethylene frames. Zipflbob is truly a safe and enjoyable sport that all ages can participate in.