5 Unique Winter Sports To Try
Winter is often the time of year where exercise goes out of the window for many or at the very least, people don’t exercise as much and fall into a pattern of the same few exercises whether that be a winter run or a cycle in the snow. However, winter is also home to a wide variety of fun and frankly bizarre winter activities that you can take part in. These can be a great way to keep yourself active throughout the winter season and simply try something new.
Most of these sports enter into the extreme sports genre but there are still plenty of fun and perfectly safe ways to enjoy yourself this winter. Below is a list of things to try this winter :
Polar Bear Swim
Now, we aren’t about to suggest that you book a ticket to the North Pole to swim with deadly polar bears, don’t worry. However, the polar bear swim or plunge is a popular challenge in the US and it continues to gain global attention. Basically, combine the old school ice bucket challenge with an ice bath and you have the polar bear swim. You enter water at freezing cold temperatures and similar to the ALS ice bucket challenge, these events are often held to raise money for a good cause. Polar Bear Swim events are a great way to try something mental in the name of good fun and it’s certainly one of the more unique water events in the world.
While old and familiar, ice skating can still be a great way to remain active this winter. We highly recommend seeking out an outdoor rink as this provides a more natural feel and can be a really memorable experience. While we can’t promise you won’t land flat on your face, it’s far less likely to cause you any major injuries than some of the activities on this list and can be great to do with the family. Maybe leave the fancy moves to the professionals but if you want to give ice skating a more spirited try, you might just pick a very situational but incredibly interesting new skill.
If you are looking for a new alternative to snowboarding or just fancy trying something new on the snow, snowkiting could be the choice for you. Kite Surfing has become an incredibly popular extreme sport and this is the same thing but colder. All you need to give this a go is a snowboard and a power kite. The principles are similar to those of kite surfing, with surfers using the kite to execute impressive jumps and cover long distances at quick speeds. It goes without saying that this sport carries a fair amount of risk and decent knowledge and skill with basic snowboarding or skiing is a must in order to ensure your safety, though even skilled and experienced professionals can get hurt during runs. However, this is certainly one to try if you are feeling like a daredevil and the clips and photos captured showcase why this sport is quickly gaining in popularity and can be done in many traditional winter sports regions across Europe, Canada and the US.
Snow kayaking is certainly not for the faint-hearted. Typical kayaks designed for rafting and other water sports are used for snow kayaking, essentially using them as a makeshift sledge. The natural shape of the kayak makes manoeuvring difficult and you can gain some fairly decent speeds while attempting to make it down the slopes. Snow kayaking only became popular over the last 15 years or so but it seems to have the potential to start a legacy of its own as a fun and unique sledding alternative.
Snow (Fat) Biking
As always, it comes back to cycling. Cycling can be hazardous in the winter months, no matter where you do it. But this sport takes it a step further. Being a biker who will ride through sleet, snow, rain, and hail to go to work without getting hurt is one thing; braving the weather on mountain trails is quite another. Snow biking, also referred to as “fat biking,” involves tackling the terrain while riding a bike with a four- to five-inch wide tyre to help you avoid slipping and sliding. Additionally, the bike has disc brakes, which are reportedly well-suited to cold weather. There are people who participate in this sport all over the world and the sport has become more popular recently. In fact, many individuals now ride their fat bikes year-round.
As always, we fully recommend trying out at least one or two of these sports for yourself to see what works for you and how you can best enjoy yourself over the cold months. Winter is no excuse to let your performance drop and it can actually be a great time to step out of your element and try something new, replacing a typical norm that you can’t do due to the conditions. While some of these won’t be for everyone, there should be at least something you can do that you’ve never done before this winter and we want to encourage you to get out there. If you have any other suggestions, please let us know as we’ll be trying a few of these ourselves over the next few weeks so it’d be good to have a wide selection of things to try.