The Best Winter Sports
Winter sports have been the passion of millions of people for decades. Whether it be skating at your local rink or playing in a curling tournament, numerous sports can be crowned the “best winter sport.”
The top-performing NHL teams will tell you nothing beats hockey, while dozens of world-class performers will say skating takes the cake. Here are the best winter sports for you to try right now.
Ice hockey is probably the most popular winter sport out there. It is played across the world, from the US to Canada, Europe, Asia, and even Africa. It is also enjoyed by both men and women, especially in the Nordic region of Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Denmark.
The rules are easy to follow once you know them, with the biggest challenge being your ability on skates. It is also enjoyed by millions year-round, both professionally and casually.
Snowboarding is one of those winter sports that everyone tries at least once when given the opportunity. While it is very difficult to master, taking years to get to a professional level, many still enjoy the sport.
The biggest upside is you can start at almost any age; many pros have spoken about being able to snowboard before they could walk properly. Also, nearly every winter resort offers lessons for all skill levels, giving anyone the chance to learn.
If you aren’t a snowboarder, you are probably a skier. Skiing has become the winter pastime of choice for everyone from royalty to parents. To some, it is easier than snowboarding, as you feel like you have more control of your speed and direction, especially when you are starting out.
There are also many variations of skiing; a couple will be covered later on, with the Nordic Combined and Alpine skiing being some of the most popular sports at the Winter Olympics.
Like its summer equivalent bowls, curling has exploded in popularity over the past couple of decades, expanding to include a much younger player-base. This has led to the game being enjoyed casually by millions every year.
A quick look at Winter Olympic curling teams will show you the number of young teams playing. Curling is also relatively easy to learn and play, with the biggest problem being the fact that curling rinks aren’t as common as they should be.
Figure skating has been one of the most popular sports on ice for decades. While not as popular as ice hockey and not done in as many countries, it is highly popular in the US, Canada, China, Russia, and across large parts of Europe.
Figure skating also crosses the gender barrier, being enjoyed by both men and women. In that way, figure skating is very similar to dancing, if not just dancing on ice.
Speed skating is the winter equivalent of sprinting. Tracks are much smaller, and there are also multiple types of speed skating. There has even been some crossover, with summer athletes taking part in speed skating once the Winter Olympics start.
Speed skating also has a relatively easy entry point; the only equipment needed is a pair of skates that differ from regular ice skating skates. This means it is far more accessible than something like ice hockey or snowboarding.
There are fewer team-based winter sports than summer sports, making them very popular with competitors and casual enthusiasts. One of the more technical team sports is a bobsleigh, which requires a sled and a very large track.
While there have been exceptions that haven’t had access to the same tracks and resources, Jamaica being the best example, bobsleigh does require a lot of infrastructure. This means it is popular in far fewer countries compared to other sports on this list.
Luge, and its variants, suffer from the same problems bobsleigh does. It requires a very specialized infrastructure, but it is almost more popular than bobsleigh as you don’t need a team.
This means you will often find the sport much more diverse, with lugers from many more countries than bobsleigh. It is a hazardous sport that requires a lot of training and can’t be done casually, but this hasn’t hindered its popularity in the slightest.