Wacky winter sports

Wacky+winter+sports

Philip Prager, Staff Writer

It is almost winter, which means winter sports are around the corner! Typically when one thinks about winter sports, usually what comes to mind is skiing, sledding, ice skating and snowboarding. However, the full list of winter sports includes far more than these. In fact, there are a multitude of different winter sports around the world! Here are some of the wackiest, most unusual and most interesting snowsports you might not know about.

Snow scooting

The equivalent of a bike or scooter with skis instead of wheels, the snowscoot, is an alternative winter sporting device that some people use at ski resorts. According to Wintersport4all.com, it was developed in France during the year 1990. Snowscoots are even steerable and have handlebars. There are multiple kinds of snowscoots — some do not have a seat and are more like a scooter, or some called ski bikes which have a seat similar to a bike. Lastly, there are skiboks which is a ski with a seat on top. 

Skijoring

You have probably heard of dog sledding, but skijoring is like dog sledding only with skis. According to AKC.org, the name comes from the Norwegian word for “ski driving”. Typically, skijoring consists of having a few dogs or a horse pull you while you are on skis. According to AKC.org, you only need skis, a harness and two to three dogs. This unusual winter sport is great for people who want to go dog sledding but don’t have a large team of dogs and an expensive sled. It also is a very fun way of walking your dogs during the winter!

Ice cross downhill

Ice cross downhill, otherwise known as “Red Bull Crashed Ice” is a sport invented by the company Red Bull. It is effectively ice skating taken to the extreme. It consists of people on ice skates skating on a downhill ice track at high speeds over different obstacles such as ramps. According to theatlantic.com, Red Bull has been doing races and world tours of Ice Cross Downhill since 2001. Red Bull even has custom tracks built for these races since the entirety of each track needs to be cooled like an ice rink.

Yukigassen

Have you ever wished that snowball fighting was a professional sport? Well, it is! Yukigassen is a Japanese winter sport that consists of teams fighting each other with snowballs. The sport takes place in an arena with different snow obstacles. According to Shoulderofgaints.com, the snowballs used are specifically made for Yukigassen and are dense enough that the players need to use helmets. There are many Yukigassen events around the world along with professional Yukigassen teams. 

Curling

You may have heard of or seen curling in the Olympics before. According to olympic.org, curling is an Olympic sport that was added to the Olympics in 1924. It is played on a rectangular ice-covered rink and a rock/stone slides across it. It is a team-based sport where the goal is to get the rock to a target at the end of the rink. Gameplay consists of brushing ice to make the rock slide better and keep it from curling. According to olympic.org, it is nicknamed “The Roaring Game” because of the sound the rock makes as it slides. There are multiple rocks and the team to get the most rocks to the target wins. The sport requires a surprising amount of skill and coordination but still looks very unusual.

Snow sailing

Snow sailing is windsurfing but on snow or ice. In snow sailing, one stands on a sled with a large sail attached to it. In order to snow sail, one needs wind and an understanding of how sails work. One of the cool things about snow sailing compared to normal sledding is that you do not need to travel down a steep slope. Snowsailing is also known as ice sailing and snow surfing depending on where one does it. According to Adventure.howstuffworks.com, Dutch sailors are believed to have experimented with ice sailing first.

Wok racing

According to Snowskiing.com, wok racing started as a TV stunt back in 2003. Now it is a popular winter sport that has championships. It is similar to sledding but instead of a sled, you use a wok. According to WebstaurantStore.com, a wok is a very versatile Chinese pan used for cooking. It is allegedly very challenging and very fast. If you are looking to bring your sledding up another level, all you need to do is go visit your local cooking store and buy a wok before your next sledding trip.

Snow kayaking

Snow kayaking, otherwise known as snow boating, is a very unusual and dangerous sport. What you do in it is very self-explanatory: you sled in a kayak and use the paddles to steer. According to Red Bull, you can reach up to 60 kph while snow kayaking. This makes it pretty dangerous. According to Sportsmatik.com, snow kayaking had its first official event in Austria back in 2002. 

As you can see, there are many unusual snowsports out in the world. The ones mentioned here are only just some of them, but there are many more to explore! 

 

Photos Courtesy of John L. Russell, Getty Images, Ntsportweb.com, Tetex.com, Undiscoveredmountains.com, Wikipedia and Yukigassen-intl.com