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Winter sports given a different spin

By Karen Schwartz (Shanghai Daily)

09:16, January 21, 2013


After nearly 50 years of living in the Rocky Mountains, I thought I knew how to enjoy the winter. I've gone skiing, skating, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, tobogganing, sleigh riding, dog-sledding and more.

But until this winter, I'd never heard of bumper cars on a skating rink. And it wasn't until recently that I had my first chance to carve turns down a ski hill on a snowbike.

It's part of a trend to provide visitors to ski resorts and other snowy destinations with a wider variety of choices, said Troy Hawks, managing editor of the National Ski Areas Association Journal.

"What we're seeing is a larger swathe of the family - you've got the grandkids all the way to the grandparents - and all of them have their idea of how they want to spend their day," he said.

Some activities are more popular in certain regions, and some aren't well advertised, so for a different spin on a snow-destination vacation, here are some things to look for.


A high-tech spin on winter tubing, these snow body boards are inflatable sleds with molded plastic runners and handles. They can reach speeds of nearly 100 kilometers per hour. They're offered at some ski areas (though banned at others) as well as through some private operators; has a list of rentals.

Air bags

These massive inflatable air bags are placed at the bottom of jumps to allow skiers and boarders to try flips and spins. Nail the landing on your feet and you ride off down the hill. Fail, and you have a soft landing; or

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