Unusual Winter Activities You Might Not Know About


Skijoring is mushing behind a couple of dogs across the snow while the musher rides on a pair of skis. The name skijoring comes from Norwegian. For variety, horse skijoring also exists. You don’t ride the horse, but get dragged behind it. The horse is the “powerboat” that pulls the skier along. You can opt to have one or two dogs haul you down a snowy track, although if you choose a horse, only one should suffice. Horse skijorers have the opportunity to tackle some pretty tall jumps, thanks to the extra speed. It seems people will go to great lengths these days in search of some fun.

Ice Sailing

The name says it all: Ice sailing is sailing across frozen bodies of water. This sport takes more money to get into, than say, ice blocking, but it’s truly a thrill for those who are lucky enough to get to do it. Ice sailing, also known as ice boating and ice yachting, requires a sleek sailboat mounted on runners, which glides across a frozen lake or pond. Some skill is required to do it properly, and it can be quite dangerous, but with some incredible speeds on record, it can also be incredibly exciting. Make sure you get the proper training and equipment before trying this sport out for yourself.

Snow Kneeboarding

Yep, snow kneeboarding (also known as redneck kneeboarding) really does exist, although you might have to do a bit of searching until you find a community that has embraced it wholeheartedly. (There are a few towns in Colorado, like Colorado Springs, that might be a good place to start.)

Traditional kneeboards are built for water towing. The “redneck” winter version of kneeboarding consists of a car or snowmobile hauling the boarder across a snowy field. Yes, this sport is as dangerous as it sounds. With great risk comes great rewards, which in this case means wild kneeboard rides.

Shovel Racing

Shovel racing is a “sport” that’s pretty easy to get into. All you need to get started is some kind of slope covered in snow, thick winter bibs and a shovel. A helmet is also advisable, since you’ll be moving pretty fast. You also might want to choose a shovel that doesn’t end in a sharp point, because you’ll be sitting on the blade of the shovel, with the metal squeezed in right between your legs.

Some people take this sport very seriously, and wax their shovels in an attempt to make them glide faster. In competition, shovel riders can reach speeds of more than 60 miles per hour. When racers spill hard, they feel the pain.

Wok Racing

Wok racing is akin to shovel racing, but competitors race down icy tracks on modified Chinese cooking woks. The Germans first concocted this unusual and inventive sport. Real wok races take place on professional luge and bobsled tracks, which allows athletes to clock in some fairly impressive speeds.

Of course, if you don’t have access to a bobsled track, you can slide down any old hill on your mother’s wok, but if you aspire to true greatness, you might want to check out some of the “wok masters” taking part in the world championships, held in Innsbruck, Austria, every winter.

Snow Kayaking

Who says you have to stop kayaking when the rivers and lakes freeze over come wintertime? Snow kayaking is just the solution for paddle aficionados who are experiencing cold weather withdrawal and a touch of the winter blues.

Running a kayak on snow works almost the same as it does on water, except rather than let the current of a river push you along, gravity is your friend, dragging you down the mountain slope. You don’t have to worry about rocks jutting out of the water, but you do have to avoid snow-laden trees, which can really cause some damage if you smack into them.