Extreme winter sports: risk & adrenaline on ice and snow tracks
With each passing year, winter sports are growing in popularity. Not only are they great fun, but they can boost your fitness and mental well-being and take you to some of the most beautiful locations in the world.
Extreme winter sports have long catered for thrill seekers and more people are being drawn to this exciting new breed of sports every year.
If you want to get involved this winter season, or simply want to find out more, read on as we reveal some of the world’s most popular winter extreme sports.
Six of the most popular winter extreme sport
1. Downhill skiing
Although downhill skiing has long been established as one of winter's most prestigious sports, downhill skiing provides a thrill that no other sport can come close to matching.
With the ability to reach speeds of up to 100mph, downhill skiing certainly isn’t for the faint-hearted!
For those that like to travel fast, downhill skiing allows for its participants to carve up the piste and throw themselves over hair raising jumps. It also offers up the chance to escape and many have turned to this Warren Miller quote for inspiration ‘A pair of skis are the ultimate transformation to freedom’.
The best part about skiing is that you are never too young to try or too old to start. It’s simply a great sport for everyone.
Bobsledding is arguably the most iconic and coolest extreme winter sport in the world.
In its short journey down the track, a bobsled will reach speeds of well over 90 miles an hour.
A journey down a bobsled run is anything but smooth sailing. As well as reaching breathtaking speeds, the bobsled will screech around corners and will always flirt with danger.
Providing a truly unique thrill, it’s no wonder that so many view bobsledding as one of the world’s most iconic extreme winter sports.
3. Ice climbing
Gone are the days where sports like ice hockey and ice fishing were viewed as extreme. There’s a new ice based sport in town and that’s ice climbing.
Having started in the 1920’s, it wasn’t until sixty years later that this extreme winter sport started to gain major appeal.
Seen by many as the ultimate endurance based winter sport, not only do ice climbers need to be incredibly brave, but they need to be insanely fit and technically sound.
“In the search for new thrills, ice climbers are now no longer satisfied with just climbing glaciers and cliffs. A new trend has caught on which sees climbers climb up frozen waterfalls.” - tells Shaun Parent, northern Ontario’s Grandfather of Ice Climbing.
Already ranking high on the extreme scale, it remains to be seen how much more extreme this winter sport could get.
Snowboarding has long been regarded as one of the world’s most popular outdoor winter sports and it’s easy to see why.
Not only does a great snowboarder look effortlessly cool, but there are so many different disciplines that can satisfy even the most ardent of thrill seekers. Most of these events can also be bet on. With winter sports betting growing in popularity and payment methods become more numerous, MightyTips recommends betting sites that accept astropay where you can place your bets, get generous bonuses and withdraw your winnings quickly.
Not only does a great snowboarder look effortlessly cool, but there are so many different disciplines that can satisfy even the most ardent of thrill seekers.
Similar to surfing, snowboarding has a way to connect to the soul. Three time Olympic Champion Sean White described the feeling when he said ‘some people attach snowboards to their feet, very few attach them to their souls’.
From dangerous off piste boarding, to riding the rails in the snowpark, or trying to pull off that new trick inside the halfpipe. Snowboarding provides a magnificent way to blow off steam and seek out new adventures.
If the thrill of snowboarding simply isn’t enough, you could try your hand at snowkiting. A relatively new phenomenon, snowkiting became popular in the 2000s and takes its lead from kite and windsurfing.
Powered by a thin foil kite, snowkiters can glide across the snow at great speed. With kite technologies improving all of the time, snowkiting is evolving at a rapid rate.
Hugely popular in France, Canada, the U.S.A and Norway, it wouldn't be a surprise to see it become an official Winter Olympic Sport.
6. Ice Diving
For those amongst you that don’t fear the cold, ice diving could be the perfect sport for you.
Similar to scuba diving, ice divers are able to see what life is like beneath the surface and journey to an unexplored world beneath the ice.
Often involving diving underneath frozen lakes, ice divers will be able to revel in the silence that the ice provides.
A truly unique sport, ice diving is perfect for those who want to get up close to nature, or transport themselves to a different world.
7. Extreme winter activities for those that like a more leisurely pace
Some extreme winter sports don’t need to get your heart racing, instead there are some sports that offer up some stunning views or use the beauty of winter’s surroundings to create a lasting memory. Three winter sports that are incredibly popular for those looking to take on a more gentle experience are snowshoeing, snow sculpting and snow biking.
8. Extreme winter activities that rely on horsepower
The winter and snow has led to the creation of many different vehicles and it isn’t surprising that some of these winter vehicles have become perfect extreme winter sports.
Snowmobiling has long been popular and allows its participants to reach extraordinary speeds whilst navigating some pretty treacherous terrain. If you are looking for an outdoor winter sport that uses horsepower of a different kind, snow polo could be worth a shot.
If the power of a snowmobile or horse don’t appeal, you could always use your own horsepower and partake in snowshoe racing. With such a brilliant variety of winter sports available to every type of thrill seeker, there is bound to be something for everyone to enjoy this winter season.