Over 50,000 entries in Google are called up by the search for the "Davos sledge". With good reason: The Davos sledge is effectively the original amongst toboggans. It is the wooden structure that makes it so special. The pull-bar provides it with the requisite stability, joining the two runners shod with iron. The iron rod usually bears a rope, which can be used to pull the sledge through deep snow. And the word "DAVOS" is branded on the central wooden slat in capital letters.
The sledge is a tradition in Davos and Klosters.
Beginnings in the 19th century
The history of the world renowned Davos sledge started in the 19th century. Carpenters from Davos worked on further developing the Norwegian sledge. The sledge was given its name at the first, historic toboggan race in 1883 in Davos. At that time, daredevil sledge pilots hurtled on Davos sledges down the snow-covered streets from Davos-Wolfgang into Klosters.
Sledge rider in Clavadel, ca. 1890. (Image: Documentation library, Davos)
Davos Toboggan Club
The same year, the English poet and literature critic John Addington Symonds founded and presided over the Davos International Toboggan Club. At that time the club was still known as the "Davos Toboggan Club". One of the co-founders of the club was also the first winter spa guest of Davos: Hugo Richter.
Also suitable for less hurried riders
The Davos sledge is traditionally fashioned from ash wood and is 80 to 130 cm long. The position adopted on a Davos sledge is more upright than on a toboggan. In contrast to a toboggan, the Davos sledge is controlled with the feet - by positioning the foot adjacent to the inside edge in the snow. The sledge is also braked using the feet. Davos sledges are slower than toboggans and are therefore popular amongst less hurried riders.