Seattle man has high hopes for new sled

Posted: Sunday, December 08, 2002

MUSKEGON, Mich. - David Levy loves the sensation of zipping down a snow-covered slope, the cold wind in his face, his body twisting and turning along the way.

The Seattle man is neither a skier nor a snowboarder. When he rides down snowy hills, he's going headfirst and lying on his stomach.

Levy enjoys sledding, an outdoor activity normally associated with children. He's passionate enough about it to have invented a new sled he hopes will appeal to adults, the 5-foot long Captain Avalanche.

The sleds are made of polyethylene and have contoured "body cradles" that are padded for comfort. Their aluminum runners can be bent for riding tricks.

"It's the natural way to do it," Levy said. "If you can lay down, you can go down - it's that simple."

He plans to sell the sleds starting next winter. The retail price will be $300 - about 10 times the cost of an average sled. But he believes his creation will foster a new crop of serious sledders of all ages.

Joan Palicia of Wayne, N.J., who wrote a book on collectible sleds, said she was skeptical when she first heard about Captain Avalanche. "But when I got it, it was magnificent."

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