Top 5 Alternative Winter Sports
If you have skied or snowboarded long enough, you might be itching to try your hand at another winter sport. Or, maybe you would rather not go the ski or snowboarding route. Several winter sports out there offer alternatives to the typical ski or snowboarding experience. Read on for some options that might pleasantly surprise you.
1. Do You Like To Ride A Bike During Warmer Months?
Try Ski-Biking: Bicyclists will get a kick out of extending their bike rides into the winter months. So-called “ski-biking” is just like it sounds: Daredevils ride down mountains covered in snow on bikes attached with skis instead of wheels. Ski bikes come in several different variations. You can choose the “training wheel” style, where the skis are actually on your feet, or jump straight to either the hybrid version (skis built into the bike) or a board-bike version. Experienced skiers will quickly adapt to the hybrid version, which allows the skier to ride with your knees gripping the bike’s saddle.
2. Are You New To Winter Sports?
Try Cross-Country Skiing: If you’ve never ventured out in the snow and the idea of racing down a mountain doesn’t sound like a good time to you, cross-country skiing might be a good fit for you. You’ll get a feel for wearing and moving around on skis, but you’ll essentially be speed-walking the countryside. Keep in mind, this isn’t a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood – you’ll find that you’re winded after just a few miles. The equipment needed to get started is relatively simple: Skis, boots, bindings and poles. Choose cross-country skis that are super light so you won’t feel the weight as quickly. Complete your look with a snowsuit and other cold-weather wardrobe items.
3. Are You More Of A Walker Than A Speed-Walker?
Try Snow-Shoeing: If cross-country skiing seems too strenuous for you, snow-shoeing might be the right speed for you. While it seems as simple as slapping a tennis racket on each shoe and heading out into the snow, there’s actually a little more to it than that. Snow shoes are designed to withstand weight while reducing the impact on the snow. With a pair, get back out in the back-country powder where you can hopefully spot woodland creatures in their natural habitat.
4. Do You Enjoy Racing Go-Karts?
Try Ice Karting: If you enjoy racing go-karts, ice karting might be right up your alley. Traditional go-karts are tricked-out with studded tires. The structural changes result in a sport where technique is more important than speed. Popular in Europe, ice karting has recently made its way to this side of the pond. Chances are an indoor ice rink near you already offers this sport or intends to add it soon.
If you want to take a spin in your own nearby pond or lake, first make sure the ice is frozen and thick enough to support the weight of the ice karts and riders. If you already have a go-kart, you can easily adapt it to winter use by putting on studded tires. A Wisconsin ice raceway sells parts and used ice karts periodically, or you can follow easy instructions to make your own using a handful of bolts.
Once you have your vehicle squared away, don’t forget to invest in a quality helmet, preferably a full-face one to protect yourself from the frigid breeze. A winter-exclusive suit and gloves wouldn’t be a bad idea, either. This way you’ll have a set for each season. Smart features to look for include fleece liners to keep the chill at bay and gloves that are frost-resistant.
5. Do You Want To Try Snowboarding But Are Scared?
Try Mono-Shoeing: While you might not be able to channel Shaun White, you can kick your skiing up a notch or two and see if you have what it takes to snowboard. Try a monoski, which was created by a surfer in the 1960s. This recently rediscovered sport brings skiing and snowboarding together for an exhilarating ride.
This winter, instead of skiing or snowboarding down the same slope over and over, branch out and try a new winter sport. Whether you’re more at home on skis, or in a motorized vehicle, there’s a winter sport out there perfect for you.