How to ride your tray sledge

There's one thing for sure: you can't spend a holiday in the mountains without coming across the famous tray sledge. You know, it's that plastic sledge with two handles to use as brakes on the sides. Can you see it now? Thanks to this simple tool, you can have fun whizzing downhill as a pair or on your own.
But how do you actually ride a tray sledge? I'll give you the low-down in this article, accompanied by a video, to help you get to grips with your plastic sledge. It's time to get sliding for fun and laughter guaranteed!

How to ride your tray sledge

Whizzing downhill on your own or as a pair!

Whether on your own or with a passenger, the choice is yours! The classic tray sledge offers many possibilities.

- Adult solo descent: Some models of the tray sledge are suitable for an adult's size. So if you're a big kid like me, you can now enjoy a long and comfortable toboggan run without having to contort yourself to fit. Forget having to fold up your legs and knees to your chin... you'll finally be seated with ease. To do this, make sure you sit on the seat furthest from the front of the sled, firmly against the backrest. We show you the correct position on the video at the end of the article.

- Child solo descent: Children can also slide down the slope on their own! To enjoy the exciting ride ahead, the child should also be seated on the back seat, firmly against the backrest. Take the time to explain the safety rules, how to turn and how to brake. I would advise you to go down with them the first few times to help build their confidence. 

- Duo descent, two children or one adult and one child: Because it's even more fun to do things together, the tray sledge is also suitable for two. The older adult or child should sit behind, on the back seat. They are the one who drives the sledge. The other child sits in the seat just in front, placed between the driver's legs. 

And off you go!

How to ride your wooden sledge

Our top tip: 

Some models of tray sledges come with a place to store the rope and handle for pulling the sledge. I would recommend putting them away before each descent, to make sure the rope doesn't get in your way.

How to ride your tray sledge
How to ride your tray sledge

To fully enjoy a good sledging session, it's important to be well equipped. 
Here are the four essentials for a successful outing on a tray sledge:

How to ride your tray sledge

Just for you, here are the two things you need to know to drive your plastic sled

Going straight ahead may seem easy. But how do you turn left or right? How do you brake on a plastic sledge?

1/ How to turn

A tray sledge is quite simply steered using your feet.

- To turn left, it's the left foot that touches the snow, using your heel, on the front side of the sled. Keep your leg out slightly, hands on the brake handles. You'll see, it's a very natural movement. 

You can also enhance your steering by using the brakes to turn. Grab the left brake to turn left. The only problem is that you risk losing speed. So I would advise you, for a better downhill glide, just to steer with your feet as shown in the video below.

- To turn right, unsurprisingly, it's the right foot that touches the snow this time.

To help you better visualise this technique, we explain everything in the video at the end of this article.

How to ride your tray sledge

2/ How to brake

Braking on a tray sledge couldn't be easier. 
Simply pull both brake levers at the same time. The handles will then come into contact with the snow to slow you down and bring you to a stop. 

I would advise against sledging on icy snow. It will be difficult for you to control your sledge and especially to brake. And as you know, good braking is the key to safe sledding.

Find all my advice in the video below.

How to ride your tray sledge


You now know the best way to ride your tray sledge. It's time to enjoy whizzing downhill on your own or with a friend! Still have a question? Feel free to ask it in the comments, we will be happy to answer it!


Here is our step-by-step guide to driving your sledge (wooden, tray or snow shovel). In our series of video tutorials, our in-house sledger gives you all her top tips for safe and smooth sledging in the snow.