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The rise of winter sports alternatives

Not so long ago, winter sports meant little more than skiing. Then snowboards hit the slopes, opening up resorts to a new breed of thrill-seeker. But in recent years there’s been an explosion in creative ways to make the most of the winter sports season.

Some of the new ideas are great examples of lateral thinking. “Split boards” are snowboards that separate lengthways, so that you can a get a serious workout hiking uphill before reassembling your board and surfing down your powder run of choice.

Fat bikes mean that for keen cyclists, snow becomes an opportunity rather than a problem. As their name suggests, fat bikes feature super-wide tyres that offer great grip on slippery surfaces, opening up a whole new world of cycling.

Why not simply fly downhill on a blow-up board when the fancy takes you? Airboards are little more than high-tech cushions, yet with a bit of training you can hit 100kph on a downhill run.

With the limited space in this newsletter we can only scratch the surface of the seemingly limitless ways to slide around on snow in creative ways. We haven’t even touched on snowkiting (kitesurfing on the snow) or ‘skijoren’ (skiing while being towed by a horse). One thing’s for sure, though – if you’re planning for winter 2017-18, it seems there are more new sports to discover than ever before.

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