Monster: n 1 a: of abnormal form or structure, b: deviates from the norm, 2 a: a threatening forceAs we did in 2005 & 2006, we took another look at what Jeff King was up to with his sled this year. Always a tireless innovator with his gear, Jeff has yet again further refined and pared down his “sit down” sled. The first thing I noticed about the sled was how short it was. The length of the runners are about 7′. Typically that is about 1′ shorter than a sprint sled and about 2′ shorter than a distance sled. Jeff did pull a plastic tobaggan behind for gear, but didn’t use it after McGrath in this year’s race. Jeff has told me that one of his objectives with using and creating these sleds is to split the cargo load over the entire length of the runner, to allow it to handle better over bumps and around turns. This year’s model accomplishes that, but is noticeably smaller and more pared down. There isn’t any sort of handle bar near the rear cargo box, and the cargo box itself is the dog food cooler dually used as a seat. There is also very little sled in front of the bag, and the brush bow itself is just a thin sheet of UHMW attached to the front crossbar and held up by thin UHMW strips attached to the fronts of the runners. The front bag isn’t mainly designed to carry gear, Jeff used it to transport a dog during the early stages of Iditarod. His thought process is that the first part of the race is spent trying to slow the team down anyway, so why not take a dog out of the team and let it rest. In previous years, he carried this dog behind the driver in an adapted airline crate, but now feels this is the safer place for a dog to be carried. We dubbed Jeff’s sled “Monster” after first seeing it in person. Without a doubt the 2008 sled still lives up to the description. As with the previous models, this one is no slave to fashion, unless rough sawn, raw, unpainted aluminum, plastic and wood are the new black. Jeff’s sled is and has always been pure utility. A design that is pure of purpose and made to work. It has much more go than show. Jeff took this sled to seond place finishes in the Iditarod and All Alaska Sweepstakes this year. Images and text by Greg Sellentin


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