Snow job

A newbie entrepreneur creates a sled for grown-ups.

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Hammerhead sled, $399
Steve Luhr worked in medical equipment sales but yearned to become an entrepreneur. When a rival firm bought out his employer in 2002, Luhr received eight months' notice and the motivation to do his own thing. After considering several business ideas, he chose to launch Hammerhead Sleds, a company that manufactures high-quality sleds for adventure-minded adults.

Luhr, who lives in Shelburne, Vt., enlisted Minneapolis product designer Bob Worrell to brainstorm on a sleek reimagining of the traditional runner sled. The first 225 Hammerheads sold out at Eastern Mountain Sports in 2004. Since then Hammerhead has shipped more than 4,000 sleds, and 2008 revenues hit $250,000. Last year Hammerhead ventured into ski resorts. Tenney Mountain in New Hampshire began renting the sleds for use on dedicated, lift-served slopes. Three other New England resorts are expected to follow suit by next season.

Thanks to the ski resort market, Luhr, 50, thinks this season will be even better. "So far we've spread mostly by word of mouth," he says. "We hope that local success will help us raise the $300,000 to $500,000 needed to roll out nationally."

Click on for a look at what makes Hammerhead's design stand out from the rest of the sledding field.


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