Spring may be just around the corner, but here in Maine we know we still have a few weeks of winter left to weather. Not that we mind, of course. Because after watching a few hometown heroes go for the gold, we were inspired to get out and own the snow ourselves. And with testing and design partners like champion athletes Seth Wescott and Kikkan Randall, we know that our world-class gear will help us take on the toughest of winter activities.
So before winter has its own closing ceremony, check out our handy guide to trying everything from biathlons to bobsledding.
Cross-Country Skiing & Biathlon
If you’ve never cross-country skied before, there’s no better way to learn than by just going for it. Grab some of our tried-and-true Nordic skiing gear and head to one of our Outdoor Discovery Schools, where our guides can get you started with cross-country basics. Still curious about the sport? Zach Stegeman of the New England Nordic Ski Association gives a great overview of what to expect your first time on the trail.
Ready to add another element of skill? Biathlon combines cross-country skiing with another of our favorite outdoor hobbies – target shooting. Not ready for the rifle? Get the little ones involved and substitute target shooting for tossing snowballs.
Speed Skating & Figure Skating
Trying to hit top speed at a local ice-skating rink is fun, but can be a little difficult (and dangerous!) when weaving through crowds. But with an open rink, a comfortable pair of ice skates and a generous amount of practice, whizzing across the icy surface will become second nature. Check to see if your local rink offers speed- or figure-skating classes, or find a club listed by the US Speedskating and US Figure Skating organizations.
Bobsled, Luge and Skeleton
Our Sonic Snow Tubes may not be German-engineered speed machines, but that won’t stop us from zipping down a snowy hill. Use our Parkfinder to locate a nearby snow park, or check out our favorite spot at Sugarloaf for some great nighttime tubing. For the full experience, Whiteface Mountain in Lake Placid offers guided bobsled and skeleton rides, while the Adirondack Luge Club in Brookline, NH, continuously recruits new members who compete nationally and abroad.
Especially popular in Canada and growing in the States, the sport of curling has been nicknamed “chess on ice.” The US Curling Association lists clubs by state where you can learn how to sweep a stone and properly push out of a hack, but you can also recreate the experience in your backyard. Take a look at how one Canadian family brought the sport to their backyard, complete with DIY ice rink and Tupperware stones.
Have you tried out any new winter sports or created your own backyard events? Let us know in the comments below.