Posted on by Beckworth & Co

Outdoor Sports You Must Try This Winter

Whether it’s the stunning views, the feeling of crisp winter air, or the exhilaration of that next run, there is something about winter sports that keeps people hooked for life. And it’s a great way to stay active during winter. Enjoy the mountain scenery and the snow-covered slopes with skiing or snowboarding. Get an excellent workout with cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. There are plenty of winter sports out there, and we’ve listed down our favorites for you to choose from.

couple skiing on ice rink

Research suggests ice Skating was invented on the lakes of Scandinavia 4000 years ago with the first skates being made from shank or rib bones of elk, oxen, reindeer, and other animals.  It was only until 1850 that the all-steel skate was introduced. Since then ice skating has developed over the years into a fun yet physically demanding winter sport enjoyed by millions.

Ice skating is an awesome outdoor sport and a hugely popular activity that forms the basis of many winter sports, including figure skating, ice hockey, and speed skating. It's an accessible and social pastime that offers a diverse range of health and fitness benefits. And while beginners may initially struggle to stay upright on a slippery ice surface, balancing the body for successful skating is really not too difficult to master. 

Ice skating can do wonders when it comes to increasing your mental fitness by giving you that much-needed boost of confidence and relieving you from stress. The mental health benefits of Ice Skating are not something to be overlooked. Skating outdoors on frozen lakes and doing laps on the naturally formed ice is surprisingly freeing it lets you forget your worries for a while. The clean, crisp winter air surrounded by trees or mountains helps a lot with stress, and the experience is a far cry from the huge crowds, bright lights, and loud music of an ice rink.

two friends playing ice hockey

Ice hockey is one of the many sports you can get into once you get a hang of Ice Skating. The origins of ice hockey date back to the 19th century where adaptations of the modern-day hockey game were played in icy conditions. Since then the sport has gone on to become one of the largest in the world with the major participants originating from North America.

Ice Hockey is also known as the fastest physical game on the planet. It’s a sport played on an ice-coated surface with skates on the feet, played in between two teams with sticks to hit the puck and score goals against the other team. The game has more than its fair share of thrills and spills, and at the competitive and professional levels, there is plenty of physicality involved. This seems to be part of the game’s attraction and the reason for its popularity.

Getting in time on a rink isn’t always easy especially if there are no frozen ponds or lakes nearby. And local indoor ice rinks are usually meant for team practices, so there isn’t a lot of time for individual players to find time to hone their skills by themselves. One of the best ways to find open ice time is to make an ice rink in your own backyard. And winter is the only time you’d be able to do this. This also helps kids get in that much-needed ice time, and the rink will also serve as a gathering place for the neighborhood. Kids get to play hockey in their backyard and they can invite their friends and teammates to play along with them.

hiker with snowshoes walking

Snowshoeing is an extension of hiking and is one of the best ways to enjoy the beauty of winter. In simple terms, it involves walking over snow with the help of snowshoes. A snowshoe is a type of external footwear that features a wide frame to distribute the weight of the person over a larger area. This is to prevent the foot from sinking into the snow.

The traditional shoe form was first crafted from hardwood and latticed rawhide. Today, the shoe design has modernized. They are commonly made with a frame and connecting fabric straps or lacing to allow for better maneuverability. Designed to fit over your shoes or boots, they are an easy add-on for anyone who already enjoys hiking. The frame at the bottom, often made of lightweight plastic or metal, is what deters snow accumulation and displaces weight across the snow.

This is one of the fastest-growing hobbies of today, with people of all ages and physical abilities being able to take part. It is a great hobby for those who like to explore snowy areas, and can often be combined with other activities like glacier hiking, skiing, snowboarding, and mountaineering.  And although there is snow safety to take into consideration snowshoeing requires less technical skill or experience than sports such as skiing or snowboarding. It’s a relatively easy sport to pick up that’s perfect for beginners, all ages and fitness levels.

family cross-country skiing

Cross-country skiing is one of the oldest winter sports, especially well known in Scandinavian countries like Sweden, Finland, and Norway. It's a fun, easy, and safe way to stay active and energized over the winter months. Cross-country skiing offers a great alternative for active outdoor enthusiasts of every age and skill level to get out and explore winter.

The sport attracts a wide variety of enthusiasts, including hikers looking for a way to get outdoors in the winter, snowshoers who want to move more smoothly through the landscape, and downhill skiers looking for a more serene alternative. The gliding motion of cross-country skiing is what distinguishes it from hiking and snowshoeing. It’s also a big part of the fun.

In cross-country skiing, the heel of the boot is detached from the ski, allowing the skier to raise his or her heel with each step to mimic a normal walking motion. This enables cross-country skiers to travel across a variety of terrains without downward momentum, meaning they can move uphill as well. There are two types of cross-country skiing techniques. The classic technique follows a movement pattern similar to walking or running while the skating technique follows a lateral movement similar to ice skating. They require different gears and skiers use different lower-body movements to propel themselves forward.

man catching fish over fishing hole

Ice fishing is as much about camaraderie and getting in a little recreation during the frigid winter months as it is about the sport of fishing. For purists, ice fishing is as basic as making a hole, setting up a line, and sitting on a stool waiting for the fish to bite. People enjoy it for the solitude of being out on a frozen lake and the challenge of the sport. Others like the friendship and good times found in an ice shanty town atmosphere with friends and family. 

Ice fishing has come a long way since the time people began cutting holes with axes on frozen lakes to find food. While their goals were purely sustenance-driven, modern ice fishing is mainly about sport. Today, ice fishing is much more modernized. Today people use ice saws, augers, or chisels to create a hole on the ice. If new ice forms over the fishing hole, it will just be removed with a skimmer, a large metal spoon with holes in it. Though any person can simply fish from that hole by just sitting on a stool beside it, most ice fishers like to place an ice shack over the hole to be more comfortable.

Enjoyable and inexpensive, ice fishing is the perfect choice for anglers who want to get their fish on in winter. It also happens to be one of the most addictive ways to catch fish, making it a favorite among beginners and seasoned fishers alike.

skiier going downhill

Alpine skiing is the sport of sliding down snow-covered hills on skis with fixed heel bindings. It is also commonly known as downhill skiing. Most alpine skiing occurs at ski resorts where ski lifts transport skiers up the mountain. The snow is groomed, avalanches are controlled and trees are cut to create trails. Many resorts also include snow-making equipment to provide skiing when the weather would otherwise not allow it.

Alpine skiing is one of the most popular sports in the Winter Olympics and gets a large portion of the television coverage. It’s been an Olympic favorite since 1936. And while recreational skiing is limited only by ability, terrain, and snow conditions, in competitive Alpine skiing the racers are required to follow a course. These are marked by a series of gates that are made of two tall poles set at varying distances apart, depending on which of the three Alpine events is involved. 

Skiing isn’t a sport that takes an hour to learn, it takes a lifetime. The most seasoned veterans are always finding ways to improve. Getting a lesson from a professional will lead to dramatic improvements and a better experience than trying to learn on your own or with a friend. An instructor can watch your every move to see how your technique can improve, what you are doing wrong, and what hints you’ll need to get better. Many options are available for a variety of different levels, whether it’s your first time or simply just wanting to get better.

dog pulling couple on skis


Skijoring is a wonderful sport that allows you to bond with your dog and enjoy the winter at the same time. It’s filled with all the romance of dog sledding with the simplicity of walking your dog. Skijoring literally means ski driving in Norwegian and is a winter sport in which you are either pulled on cross-country skis by dogs, horses, or vehicles. It combines the sports of cross-country skiing and dog sledding. 

The object of this sport is to work in harmony with dogs. While they provide power by running and pulling, the skier guides them with their voice as well as providing extra power with their skis and poles. While the objective is pretty straightforward in races. In recreational Skijoring, there are no other objectives but to enjoy the activity while working in unison with the dogs and marvel at the beautiful scenery.

If you decide to bring your dog along, make sure that your dog is at least a year old, in good health, and weighs at least 30 pounds. While some small dogs could have the will to pull you through the snow even after you put on your ski jacket, you could end up putting undue pressure on their bodies. Be sure to check with your vet to confirm if your dog is healthy and strong enough for Skijoring.

father pushing kid on a sled

Sledding is a fun and easy winter sport that even the whole family can get involved in. Since sleds are relatively inexpensive and snow-covered hills are free to use, sledding provides a great opportunity for children to enjoy the outdoors and nature while offering good physical exercise and fun. A good sledding hill has a little steepness, and thick powdery snow to slow your speed down a bit.

Tubing on snow is a wintertime activity that is similar to sledding. It’s a good alternative to sledding and a really good attraction in the snow for people who really just want to be silly and have fun. This fun activity can be enjoyed for just a couple of hours during the day or evening (given there is ample lighting). There is no skill required to be able to snow tube. There is no training required, no practice needed and no muscle strength necessary. As long as you can sit and hold on, you are good to go.

No matter how deep the snow is, you'll want to pick a hill without obstacles such as boulders, rocks, trees, or stumps, which can cause some serious damage or injury. The hill should be steep enough for your sled to gather momentum for the ride, but not too steep where it sends you flying off course. Keep in mind that the more packed the snow, the faster you'll go. And the faster you go, the more stopping space you'll need. Avoid hills that are close to roads, parking lots, and moving cars.


two friends snowboarding downhill


It’s highly unlikely that there’s someone who has never seen nor heard of Snowboarding. But if you really haven’t heard of it, imagine it as surfing or skateboarding on snow. Snowboarding is relatively a young sport that was invented in the US and is one of the most popular winter sports all around the world as well as among the extreme sports today. 

Modern snowboarding as we know it began in the ’60s with a toy called a Snurfer made by Sherman Poppen for his daughter. He tied two skis together and attached a rope to one end to control the board. In the ‘70s the snowboard got its modern shape and started to become popular around the world. The sport soon became a Winter Olympic sport in 1998.

Snowboarders use gravity to go down a ski slope while standing on a board attached to a rider’s feet. They use a special boot set onto a mounted binding. The principle of Snowboarding is to maintain your balance as you surf down a ski slope with both feet securely attached to the snowboard. Snowboarders shift their weight from their heels to their toes as well as from one end of the board to the other. To stop the board’s motion, they push their heels or toes down hard to dig the edge of the Snowboard into the snow.

The best way to learn snowboarding is to attend a beginner’s course at any winter sports center or ski resort. But if you don't have that option, you can always start with skateboarding or surfing and practice to learn how to balance yourself. You’ll need good core strength and stability for this sport so you should also work on your body strength.

rider on snowmobile

Snowmobiling is not only a practical method of transportation, it is also a fun leisure activity. It’s a sport that many people have taken on as a serious hobby or a way to have a lot of fun. Snowmobiles offer the rush of riding a motorcycle but on the silvery snow. Driving through a forest on a high-powered vehicle gives you the adrenaline rush that will surely get you hooked. 

Snowmobiling is pretty much the same as jet skiing, but as the name suggests, it is used on snow. It is steered by skis at the front and propelled by a track at the back. Snowmobiles can achieve high speeds between 90 mph and 150 mph, depending on whether they are made for recreation or racing. In addition, there are a variety of styles to select from such as single rider or two passengers.

Snowmobiling is a wonderful method of sightseeing. This activity gives you entry into otherwise unchartered territories. It puts the magic of winter at your fingertips and allows you to roam through snowy forests, over frozen lakes and rivers, and through deep cushiony snow. Not to mention, this thrilling activity has minimal impact on the environment and its wildlife.

friends lying down after skiing and snowboarding

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