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Buliding a sled - help!

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.


Mermaid, Musician and Marketer
Nov 12, 2002
Does anyone have a photo of a good sled? or any advice on how to make one?

we need inspiration


I got slammed on here a couple of years ago when I posted the same question. Time passes and people are now more willing to share information- I think.

The nicest one that I saw, which also looked the easiest to copy, is like the one that Fred Buyle sells. It consisted of a few pieces of pipe that fit together with a bar to wrap your knees around. There was a space to strap a bottle on the front and the whole break/drag system was handled by a 'sailing rope clutch' that you can pick up off of a marine supply store- or Ebay. A simple lift bag attached to the top and you were 'in business', as they say.

If you check into some back issues of FREEDIVER magazine they had some nice pictures of it.

Fred Buyle's sled

Here is a description of Fred Buyle's site (www.futurapnea.com) concerning his sled:
"The futurapnea sled has been designed to fullfil all freediver's needs. It can be used for recreational freedivng in a few meters of water, for teaching, but also for the demanding freediver. It's conception is unique. The sled can be taken to 4 pieces, the longuest one is only 70cm and the total weight less than 8kg.So it makes it easy to travel with and the sled can be fitted in any dive bag. The break system consist in a specialy factory modified Spinlock sailing clutch providing a total control of the speed at anymoment of the descent..The tank support plate will accept any kind of cylinder. Two d-rings allow to attach the lift bag for coming up with the wholesled (lower one) or just releasing the lift bag for no-limit dives (top one). The sled has a knee-down position and for a maximun ergonomy, the knee bar is deported from the main tube.The ends of the sled are fitted with rope-guide wich reduce friction for a better glide and rope preservation.The break allows use of ropes from 10mm up to 14mm. The sled is made of hi-quality stainless steel."

There are also 2 litte photos of the sled, but unfortunately I can't copy them. :(
=> www.futurapnea.com -> activities -> equipment


So where does the ballast attach to? Anyone got any more info on sleds as I would like to make one too.

An easier way is to pick up a copy of the latest Freediver magazine.

They have an article in there on how to make your own sled out of an air tank and a liftbag. You strap on ballast onto the tank itself with a BC cam-strap and they even show you where to get the handle bars to mount onto the tank for the diver's to wrap their legs around.

Here's the link to the shop that can set you up:http://www.notanx.com/

The whole thing is rather ingenious in how simple it is, and if you were a scuba diver first you may have all of the parts you need to make one. It doesn't have a rope clutch on it, for breaking, so it isn't as fancy as the one that Fred B. sells.


Fabrice - Thanks for the link! Really helpful, and a good starting point for me :)

Jon - I don't subscribe to Freediver [perhaps I should, but am about to start travelling so would never get any copies]. Any chance of taking a scan of the article [or is that illegal?]

Either way, thank you both for your help


I don't know about sleds, but I do weighted descents with a easy to make rig. It consists of a collection of weights, a collection of bouys, and a collection of ropes with the addition of some metal rings and a key chain thingy to release the weights. This whole system has a lot of possiblities. Although you do have to make sure that you have enough bouy to float the weight at the surface.
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