Friday, January 25, 2013

Review and Giveaway: Zipfy: Speeding But Still in Control? Yes!

Why do kids like it?  It's Fast!!  Parents like the safety!  Kids secretly will like the safety too.  photo: Great Circle Works

Zipfy by Great Circle Works (makers of Oblo)

DOES: FAST sled that lets you feel and be SAFER. 
INVEST:  $39.99 MSRP
AGES: 5+  (capacity up to 250 lbs.)
TOOLS: My Body Needs to Move, I Can Take Care of Myself
GIVEAWAY:  Win a Super Cool RED Zipfy (Canada and U.S. Addresses Only Please) Winner announced in a WEEK!

I live in New York City and we are going through one of the coldest winters ever imaginable.  I can't believe how bad it is but the good news is that it may actually snow today.  That is really welcome news because we haven't gone sledding this whole entire season.  We didn't even go sledding all of last winter either.  Global Warming- We're Onto You!!!

We have a Zipfy (pronounced: ZIP-fee) sled here at home that we are dying to try out but luckily, I can tell you all about it because this is Number 5's sled of choice these days. She rode it happily down the hills of New England this winter when visiting relatives and her mom had great things to tell me about it.

Want to stop? Just dig in those heels!  It's instinctive. No technique to teach.  If you are feeling scared, nothing could be more assuring that you are still in control. photo: Great Circle Works

Nervous Newbies Will Love It

I frequently find that the products that best matches the kids who are most talented in that particular activity is equally ideal for the kids least able to exercise that same skill.  But that is what I mean about great design.  It's kind of incredible but while Zipfy is meant to go super fast, Zipfy also is wonderful for the most nervous of kids whose bodies act before the brain has a chance to give it directions.

What do you do when you are nervous going down a hill?  Your feet come out and you stop.  But what is nerve-racking for those new to sledding is the fact that you can't always stop as quickly as you want to stop.  But that isn't the case with Zipfy.  Your feet have close proximity to the ground.  You just dig your heels in With other sleds, you usually have to bring your feet out (like a V) and then skid against the ground.  Not only is that awkward but kids don't need to be physicist to know--- that won't be all that effective.  That makes some kids nervous.

Your kid's butt sits firmly on the anti-skid vinyl seat.  Good for steering and for bumps!  I love the core trunk muscle building opportunities here too! photo: Great Circle Works

But don't be mistaken- this doesn't mean it is slow.  Once your child starts to trust the Zipfy, she will be rewarded with the kind of exhilaration that only a sled going fast down a hill can provide.  Number 5's parents really like ths slide.  Moreover, this slide is durable.  You can save it for next year.  No more buying a new sled each year. (We've done that)  We store our Zipfy easily in our closet.

This is Mark Cahsens, CEO of Great Circle Works who re-engineered the sled design that originated in Europe and mass-produced it for markets all over the world.  Great Circle Works also makes the Oblo Puzzle Sphere.

Steer With Your Body

I think one of the reasons why the Mini Kick Scooters have been so popular is how much you can use your body to direct what you are doing.  It's not totally a hand-eye coordination thing (like a steering wheel), rather it's a body-eye coordination thing.  Want to go right, lean left!  Want to go left, lean right.  You can experiment as you go along and you will learn instantly.  This is one of those great trial and error toys.  Each time your child goes up and then down that hill, she learns!

With other sleds, like the one we had before, we didn't quite know how to control it.  On most sleds, there are usually reigns but you know, my kids have been sledding for a while now and I think it safe to say, THEY DON'T KNOW HOW TO USE THEM.  Neither do I.  Do you?  Do they even work for steering or is it so that you can hold onto something?  Our old sleds have now become under the bed storage containers.  The reigns have become the handles.

Kid: Mommy, help me bring up the sled!  Mom: It's only 3 lbs., uh, you do it. HA!  I love when my kids do short heavy resistance work and then become immediately rewarded for it. photo: Great Circle Works
Number 5's mom loved going fast down the hill but she had to give it back to the kids.  Apparently this railway design on the bottom helps you pick up the speed.


Number 5 is already 9 1/2 years old and her mom has purchased their share of sleds.  She really likes this one in comparison to the ones she's purchased in the past. Number 5's mom loves that it is so sturdy and yet light..  Bringing it uphill is much easier and that is huge.  Moreover, unlike other sleds, it doesn't fill up with snow.   She also likes that she can easily put it in her car too.  

So glad it finally snowed in NYC today.  It's about time!  This is Number 5 sledding down the slopes in snowy New England.  
Number 5 loves her turquoise one.  My boys love the red.  I thought boys liked blue and girls liked red!  Zipfy offers an abundance of color choices.  They're all beautiful!

And now here's your chance to win your very own Firefly Red ZIPFY:  This Giveaway is for ONE WEEK ONLY so you can get your sled FAST!!!!!!!!!!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you an Amazonian?  This week I've found many for just $25!!!  Use my link to support Toys are Tools!

Disclosure: Toys are Tools has not been compensated by the manufacturer for the publication of this review.  The product was submitted to Jenn to facilitate a review.  Number 5's family purchased their Zipfy on their own.


  1. The zipfy looks awesome, way better than our current plastic sled which is scratched and rough on the bottom.

  2. I have them hold on tight.

  3. My son ogoes down smaller hills he walks the hill first to the top looks down and if it looks steep momma goes with him cause i have the breaks (my heels)