What New West’s teenage sledders really do

Ice Blocking (February 2008) 087Originally uploaded by *Jame* My fair brother posted previously on the many snowy and wonderful ways (and places) that people can sled in our fair city… however timely this may be, what with the freakish sub-zero weather and inches of snow and all, he has made one critical omission. Ice blocking.advertisementRead More

My fair brother posted previously on the many snowy and wonderful ways (and places) that people can sled in our fair city… however timely this may be, what with the freakish sub-zero weather and inches of snow and all, he has made one critical omission.

Ice blocking.

What is this, you ask? Well, in our (usually) temperate climate, what’s a young non-drinking teen to do for fun in a city of hills but no snow?

Answer: Buy a few blocks of ice from your local gas station, and head on up to the steepest sledding hill you know – New Westminsterites (and churchy teens from miles around) flock to Burnaby Mountain Park, mainly, as well as the Eastern Meadow slope of Queen’s Park (ending in McBride Boulevard) and Robert Burnaby Park. If it’s one of the 360 days of our year when we have no snow at all in Vancouver, then you will have an open hill of green, green grass on which to sit your bum-on-iceblock, give a little push and voila! You are off, ice blocking with the best of them.
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While this sport has variously been demonstrated on Saved By the Bell and MTV’s Jackass, curiously, this phenomenon seems most common among church teens. Perhaps this population are the only ones crazy enough want to do this while still sober enough to accomplish it. Of the various youth & young adult church groups I went to over my time, they all had this one crazy, seasonless sport in common. While the history of the activity may be debatable, it’s not hard to see why it remains so popular – apparently humankind simply has a mad urge to slide down a hill with a cold hiney once in awhile, regardless of the snow availability. It’s universal.

Evidence #1: GoIceBlocking.com (the Las Vegas Association of pro-Ice Blockers)

Evidence #2: Wikipedia: Iceblocking (written seemingly from an Australian point of view)

Evidence #3: Jamaican Bobsled Team

Jocelyn Tomkinson

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2 comments

  1. Just when we had our firs dusting, not enough for real sledding, I heard a gaggle of teens on the nearby hill. I wandered over with the dog and lo, Ice blockers!

    What is even more noteworthy is that I did get the impression they were from a local youth group. While I am sure this ice blocking feat can be achieved with a beer in one hand, perhaps it is a particularly strong trend for those on the straight path. (ahem).

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