The thought of getting down the mountain with anything other than a set of skis or a snowboard may seem blasphemous to you, but believe it or not, there are other ways! And, some of them can be quite fun! If they weren’t, they’d have never been invented and people wouldn’t still be participating in them.
I know, how can it get any better than plowing through fresh powder on your double-rocker, fat skis? Well, hear me out. Here are 7 other snowsports that make good alternatives to sliding down the mountain.
1. Kite Boarding/Skiing
Remember that little kite you used to fly in the gusty winds as a kid? It’s kind of like that. Except the kite is almost the size of a parachute. And when you were little and thought the kite mighret lift you off the ground, this one will lift you off the ground if you let it. Uphills and downhills are really quite optional for kite boarding, but wind is a necessity.
I suggest taking lessons from an instructor first, but the gist of it is that you strap yourself into a harness connected to the kite and then use a handlebar to help steer and control the kite. Things can stay as mellow or as wicked as you’d like!
Yup! It’s not just for little kids anymore. In fact, adults have been known to go tubing with adult beverages. And you think, “I’m not going to pay money to go to a tubing park. I already have a season pass.” Pfffffssshhh! Think outside the box!
If you recall my article about the history of snowboarding, snurfing was the first iteration of the modern sport, and it’s making a comeback in small communities. Of course, the technology has been updated since the the 1960’s, but the overall design and concept remains the same.
Do you like mountain biking in the summer? Do you like speed? Do you like ripping down the mountain sitting on your butt? Snowbiking gives you all these options as well as knowing that everyone on the mountain will be staring at you and thinking you’re pretty badass.
When all else fails, glissade!! What’s glissading? I’m glad you asked. It’s sitting on your butt directly on the snow and sliding down the mountain! It’s typically found in winter mountaineering and utilizes an ice axe to control speed. I’ve done it a few times and as long as your pants hold up, it’s pretty fun!
In the simplest terms, snowskating is pretty much skateboarding on snow. Snowskates are bindingless, used to perform skateboard-style tricks, and come in different styles (single decks, bi-decks, etc.). It’s only recently been gaining popularity and wide acceptance, so check in with your local resort before you start rippin’ those rails and boxes.
7. Homemade Sled Racing
Some mountains, either in early or late season, will host homemade sled racing competitions, but if you can’t wait that long, or aren’t ready that early, grab some friends and find a nearby hill in your area. Then, modify any existing sled, cardboard box, skis, or snowboard, and see who can come up with the wackiest idea for a design. The sled that makes it down the hill the furthest or the fastest wins! Of course, you could have a separate competition for design as well.
So there you have it. Multiple other fun ways of getting down a hill or a mountain! Give ‘em a try on your next rest day or whenever you’re bored with shredding gnar gnar with your crew and want to try something new.