If you live in a snowy region then you most likely have a snow shovel – they come in handy to remove all that white stuff from the walkway.
However, there’s another use for the snow shovel other than clearing a path.
This chilly sport is practised using a typical snow shovel and a steep hill.
How It’s Done
The riders sit on the shovel facing the handle. They then lean back with their feet pointed forward and allow gravity to take them for a ride down the hill.
The top speed achieved by the elite shovel racers can range up to 60 miles per hour (97 km/h). To go this fast, most riders usually wax the underside of the shovel to increase its speed.
History of Shovel Racing
Shovel racing began as a simple contest in the 1970s when lift operators would ride their shovels down the mountain at the end of their shifts.
The sport gained popularity in 1997 after it was featured in the Winter X Games (an extreme sports event in the US). However, it was later removed due to safety concerns.
The most notable competition of the sport is now held at the Angel Fire Resort in Angel Fire, New Mexico. Each rider gets two shots to clock the fastest time down the front of the Angel Fire ski mountain.
The Shovel Racing Competition
The organized competition has been held for over 38 years at Angel Fire Resort. Racers come from all corners of the country. Over 140 women, men and children compete for the title. It has grown into a crazy competition on the mountain that includes speed suits, costumes and radar guns! No year is ever the same, as competitors always try and outdo each other every season.
The event has even been featured by national news outlets including ESPN, ABC Sports, MTV, and The Travel Channel.
Check out this video of the Angel Fire Resort Shovel Racing Competition!
Although this weird winter sport does look like fun, it can be very dangerous, too. We don’t recommend using a shovel as a toboggan. As with any sport, shovel racing takes practice and skill to perform it safely.
What do you think of shovel racing? Leave us a comment with your thoughts!