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Sled work involves pushing and pulling a weighted sled over a set distance. This distance is usually no less than 10m. It is important this training surface is extremely resistant to wear and provides exercisers with good grip underfoot. A sled lane surface is often a feature within a gym and the design is easily customized by cutting in lines, numbers, letters and even a company logo. For plyometric activities the sled lane can be bonded to a high performing shock pad. Materials suitable for this type of activity include:
It’s all about friction. The sled lane has to provide grip underfoot but be slippery against a smooth surface like metal. The amount of friction between feet and floor and sled and floor determines how the surface feels to use and how much effort the person has to use to move forwards.
In other words, the amount of friction determines how well something can slide, so sled lane surfaces need to be carefully designed. The surface needs to offer consistent friction so that the user can adjust slipperiness by adjusting the sled’s weight. Sled lanes that provide a high degree of flexibility are the best to use for this reason.
Our favourite surface for sled lanes is needle-punched polypropylene. While the surface appears to be made from a very low pile fibre, it’s actually made from polypropylene with the texture created by thousands of tiny holes. This material is designed to resist a high level of abrasion and look as good as new after 10,000 cycles.
We also like polypropylene sled lanes because the material can be cut to length and tailored to any shape. It can be installed over your existing flat gym floor or installed into the floor. It all depends on what you want to achieve.
If you have the space, you may want a two, three, or four-way sled lane with markings to create a sled lane track. These are ideal if you have a busy gym. We supply sled lanes in a wide range of colours including green, yellow, blue and black, and we can create custom markings in contrasting colours.
The most important thing to remember is sleds create friction which causes abrasion, so the floor needs to be built to resist that abrasion.
The performance and feel of the sled lane underfoot can be adjusted using a high-performance shock pad. This is made from a high-density rubber or foam that absorbs the user’s weight. This helps to improve the sensation of grip under heavy loads by giving your user something to sink into and push off from.
Shock-absorbing underlayers will not affect the performance of the sled because the sled will glide across the floor anyway. We recommend an elastic layer to improve support and performance. It will also increase safety and protect your subfloor.