Swedish Unit: Sparkstöttning

This afternoon we got to do something pretty cool, thanks to a new friend from the internet. 🙂 I was reading the Swenson family history book and ran across this tidbit that was recorded by Swen and Thilda’s son, Dan (who also happens to be my grandma’s dad)…

“To get from place to place, walking was the usual means of transportation; but the rowboat often took the place of horse and carriage in summer, and ice skates and a sort of sled, propelled with the foot – “sparkstöttning” – and skis helped out in the winter.”

I really wanted to try out one of these Swedish kick sleds (called sparkstöttning). I knew it was a long shot, but I posted about it on the Swedish Heritage Society Facebook page, asking if anyone knew of a place where I could rent one or something. A few people responded saying that there aren’t any to buy or rent here in Utah. But then this guy, LaVar, responded and said he had one! So I messaged him and he was so nice and accommodating. He said that he actually had 2, plus one that he made out of a snowboard. So we met him at a nature park near his house and had a blast. 🙂

This kind of sled works best on really hard and frozen snow or ice, so the 40 degree weather made the snow soft and a little tricky. Luckily we were able to find a hill in the shade that worked really well.

We also enjoyed learning a lot about Sweden from LaVar. He is technically Danish, but he served his mission in Sweden 30 years ago and still remembers a ton.

Experiences like this remind me that there are awesome people in the world that will take time out of their life to do something nice for a stranger.

So now I am adding “own a sparkstöttning sled” to my dreams list. 🙂 … right underneath “own a sheep and name her Thilda.”

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