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Which winter sport is the most unusual?

 

Skiing, toboganning, skating... these are probably some of the winter sports you've seen or tried.

There's so many great winter sports out there, it can be hard to pick just one to try.


But there are also some really fun and more unusual winter sports. Here are five of them that you may not have heard of:

Skijoring

A man skijoring - a sport where he's pulled behind a horse while on skis.

Photo by Kaila Angello licensed CC BY-SA 3.0

Think of it as skiing with a twist. Skijoring (say "ski-yoring") involves being pulled by a horse, dog or a pair of dogs while on skis. 

The sport takes place in a number of snowy spots around the world, and most races are between five kilometres and 20 kilometres long.

To add some extra fun to the competition, some of these races have obstacles and ramps that test racers’ skills.


North Pole Marathon

Two people on the ice of the Arctic

Photo by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center licensed CC BY 2.0

You can pretty well guess where the North Pole Marathon takes place. But it may be hard to imagine what draws participants to this 42-kilometre run.

As you’d imagine, it can get quite cold at the North Pole. Plus, racers have to deal with uneven, icy ground.

Sometimes the ground is so snowy that runners actually wear snowshoes as they run. There are large tents along the route where racers can warm up.

Maybe the coolest part of the race is that it takes place on top of the frozen Arctic Ocean, making it the only marathon that’s run on water.


Yukigassen

People participating in yukigassen - a Japanese version of a snowball fight.

Photo by Biblioteques de Montreal licensed CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The name may sound strange, but you’ve probably played a version of this sport. Yukigassen (say "you-key-goss-en") is basically a huge snowball fight.

The sport, which got its start in Japan, is made up of two teams of seven throwing ready-made snowballs at each other.

The object is to capture the opponent’s flag without getting smacked by a snowball.

Players wear special helmets with face shields to make sure it’s all fun and games.


Shovel racing

A little kid racing down a hill while sitting on a shovel.

Photo by Lynn Eubank licensed CC BY-SA 2.0

In this wacky winter sport, participants sit on a metal shovel and race down a snowy mountainside.

There are snow shovel world championships held every February in New Mexico.

While barrelling down a hill on a shovel may sound like fun, it takes a stomach full of guts to try it out. Riders can go as fast as 110 kilometres per hour!


Wok racing

A man racing down a hill while sitting in a wok.

Photo by Stefan Grassberger licensed CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The wok has found a spot in the sports world.

In wok racing, racers sit in a wok and zip down an icy bobsled run. The fastest to the bottom is the winner.

Racers wear protective gear similar to hockey players, and that’s a good thing, since they can go as fast as 120 kilometres per hour.

Wok racing can be done as an individual or as a team. For a team race, four woks are attached together using a wooden frame.


What do you think?

So what do you think? Would you try skijoring or maybe even wok racing or are they just too different? Let us know which one of these winter sports you think is the most unusual of them all.