My own sled is called ‘Mervyn’ and has been with me from the start. Mervyn was made by the BlackRoc design team Rachel Blackburn and James Roche in 2009. I make improvements to Mervyn all the time so that he has the latest technology built into him to help me go as fast as I can on the ice.

Hover over Mervyn to discover more about how he is built.


The saddle is one of the most important parts of the sled as I use it to hold on to so that I don't fall of off!

For the push start I grip the back of the saddle so I don't have to bend down as far, I can push on either side of the sled and therefore use either the left or right part of the saddle. When I'm lying in position I put my arms down by my sides and grip onto the saddle with my hands, tucking my body in as close as possible to the sled.


Every sled has four metal bumpers which stick out a little bit from the sled on each of the corners, these are there to take any hits from the side of the track so that my arms don't get bruised instead!


We have different runners for different ice conditions, like the wet and dry tyres used in Formula 1 racing. The two runners are in contact with the ice the whole time and have a certain setting for each track and each run.

I can change the runner setting with my tools like allen keys and spanners, putting in more or less rock into them.

There are also knives cut into the back half of the runner, which enable me to change direction when I am sliding down the track. The more I dig each runner in to the ice, the more the sled will grip and then change direction.
There are strict rules about the design, measurement and weight of all skeleton sleds.
In the women’s competition sleds must weigh 29Kg if the athlete weights more than 55kg, otherwise the sled can weigh up to 32kg if the athlete weighs less than 55kg. These two weight categories gives the lighter smaller athletes a chance to equalise the combined weight of themselves and their sled before the race.
The sleds are so heavy that many athletes get out of breath from pushing the sled at the start of the run.
Click here if you’d like to see the FIBT specification plans for equipment (PDF).