Woodloch’s Guide to Winter Sports
Winter is finally here, and suffice it to say, the ski crowd is rejoicing! In 2017, the number of skiers in the United States totaled around 14.94 million, and the number of snowboarders that year was about 7.56 million (Gough). They may squabble on the hill, but they come from every background and share similar passions for their respective winter sports.
However, if skiing and snowboarding aren’t quite your speed, that’s okay too! You don’t have to sit the winter out. There are plenty of other options for cold weather play.
We’ll start with the obvious. Downhill skiing is by far the most popular winter sport in the United States (Gough). If you’ve never been, don’t fret; skiing is a sport you can learn at any age! People as young as three can be found on family-friendly slopes around the country participating in this 170-year-old pastime. Many ski resorts even offer professional instruction that allows the average adult to hit the slopes on their first day.
We are fortunate to have one of the area’s best learner’s ski resorts just a short trip away from our resort! Ski Big Bear at Masthope features 18 trails for beginners and experts alike. Great Ski and Stay packages are available through midweeks and weekends!
If you’re an 80’s or 90’s kid, you probably already have a soft spot in your heart for skateboarding. Given the opportunity, chances are you’d probably jump on the
board and attempt to relive some of your glory days — provided no one is watching.
So here’s the good news: snowboarding is strikingly similar to skateboarding and even surfing. You can take all the same principals and apply them to this winter sport. No, we don’t expect you’ll be doing an Indy Grab off a jump on your first day, but if you can manage to find your core and balance on a board, you’ll feel less intimidated by this thrilling snow sport.
A good choice of winter sport for a large group, ice hockey only requires 6 players per team. And with artificial ice rinks popping up in more places, it’s never been easier to just rent your gear for a friendly pickup game.
However, if you don’t have 12 people, there’s something to be said for gliding around in figure eights on a pair of skates. Skating is another kid-friendly winter sport, with some children donning fancy blades as young as three! Try it out on our lake, skating ponds, and even our all-year skating rink!
It’s like sledding, only way cooler. Ditch your little plastic saucer and itty-bitty sloped driveway, and trade them for an inner tube and a killer hill on the side of a mountain. You’ll find this snow sport at resorts or ski hills throughout most of the Northern United States.
Up to 1,300 foot runs are designed to get you and your tube down to the bottom as swiftly and thrillingly as possible, with ramps and vertical drops along the way. Don’t quite classify yourself as a thrill-seeker? That’s okay! Less adventurous adults and small children can usually find a tamer version of these tube runs at the same location. Woodloch features our main tube hill and longer, faster “X-TREME” run!
Really just in it for the view? Snowshoeing is a great way to enjoy the winter months at a slower pace, but don’t let a scenic walk over a blanket of fresh snow fool you. There’s still a certain level of dexterity needed for this activity as your steps must be large and purposeful enough to make headway in sometimes rough conditions. A common suggestion when choosing a snowshoe destination is to try cutting your normal hiking trail length in half and start there.
No more spending your winters wistfully watching the snow fall. Get out and try something new!