We have those three vehicles available at my mothers house ...
Those can be used on the ice, for instance on lakes ... but also on roads. With significant snowfall and roads with modest car traffic and being cleaned for snow but not gritted, there will usually be sufficiently icy for kicksledding.
I'd say that they are in most regards inferiour of a bike - wherever the kicksled can go, a bike with winter tires can go faster and safer. However, there are a lot of people who don't bike, most people who bike aren't comfortable with biking in the winter time, and quite few bothers to change to winter tires and bike in the winter time. (Personally I more or less gave up winter biking after moving to Oslo - it is no fun biking around when the snow is black - and quite often there is the same problem in the traffic in Tromsø - and summer time I usually find the public transport more convenient than biking, as I can check my emails and do other work on the go). Going with the kicksled down the steepest hills in Tromsø with a child on the seat is not something I would recommend for beginners - but I believe anyone that is able to walk should be able to handle the kicksled on flat surfaces or gentle downhills. A kicksled can even be used as a replacement for a wheeled walker, for those who have problems walking or who are afraid of walking on the icy roads. Bikes also needs significantly more care and maintenance than a kicksled.
Here we're out with the big and medium kicksled. We started with good conditions for kicksledding.
I don't think it has been gritted ... but this road is currently without asfalt, and the snow plow has been digging a bit deep, mixing a bit of rocks into the snow.
It got even worse - though, by keeping at the right side of the road it went relatively fine. Here my middle son has just been pushing his little sister up the hill, he's hot so he had to remove the hat ...
... and he's tired ...
Later in the evening I went out with my wife with two kicksleds, her on the middle one and me on the biggest.
We did two more trips, but my wife thought the middle one was a bit too small for her, so we managed with one kicksled - me kicking and her sitting, or walking in the uphills.
In Norwegian the kicksleds are called "spark", and as far as I understand Wikipedia, the word "spark" can also be used in English, hence the title of the article. Literally "spark" means "kick" in Norwegian.
Selected photos available in original quality on IPFS QmWsr7bJ2kvh5djEEzFGQYCqjrZNSeA3NPvqMmAjZAhi1A. All photos taken available in original quality on IPFS QmaeiTYz4jmyAUAhUfHzFyGYeyaDts3Ni6EPmjBC7LtmnZ. The CC BY-SA 4.0 license applies on both my photos and the article
Don't be afraid to criticize my posts. I will give a 100% upvote or 1 SBD reward to any (unique) reply pointing out typos, grammar mistakes or mistakes in the facts presented. This applies to any post or comment from me, no matter how old. I also usually give upvotes to opposing points of view, particularly when a good and logically valid argument is given.