Thursday, March 27, 2008

Why Sledding Is So Fun

Sledding is one of those winter sports that children often enjoy, and many adults too. There are so many ways you can go sledding that you can make do with just about anything. It can be an impromptu event that takes place after a snow storm has blown in. Sleds come in many different sizes so you can have one person on one or several at the same time. They can be made from wood or from plastic depending on the brand you want to purchase.

Common household items are often used for sledding as well. Cardboard boxes and even laundry baskets can be used to climb to the top of the hill and then slide back down. You can travel to the hills around your home to enjoy sledding or even enjoy those that the snow plow makes as they remove the snow from the streets.

The biggest problem with this type of sledding is that you have no control over the speed or how you will stop. Therefore you don’t want to climb up too large of a hill as you will pick up momentum as you go down. You also want to investigate the landing area so you won’t be at risk of running into trees or other objects that can result in an accident.

Inner tubes are also a common item used for sledding. They are lightweight and round like a donut. You can sit on them or lay on them. It is quite common to pull an inner tube along behind a moving vehicle with a piece of rope. This allows the riders to sled at a faster speed. You do need to be careful though of other vehicles on the road. Make sure the exhaust isn’t going directly into the faces of the rides either.

Sledding is a winter sport that the entire family can enjoy. Make sure you protect everyone from the cold with thick gloves and hats. You also want to wear boots with plenty of traction that are waterproof. This way your feet will stay dry and reduce the risk of frostbite or hypothermia. Make sure you all pay close attention to the warning signs of these problems so you can protect against them.

It is very important for children to be supervised while sledding. They may not be paying close enough attention to how cold they are getting. You also don’t want them getting lost in the snow. Sometimes injuries happen such as bumping heads with each other or cutting a lip. While they are minor, having a parent around to deal with such issues is important.

The best time to buy sledding equipment is in the fall when they put out the new merchandise. You may be disappointed with what is left over if you wait too long into the season to buy them. You also don’t want to have the first snow storm come along and you don’t have anything to go sledding with as it may be too dangerous to travel to the store at that time.

Sledding is one of the least expensive winter sports which also makes it very popular. You don’t have to travel and you don’t have to invest a great deal of money for the equipment. Most people already have hats, gloves, and boots for the winter time anyway. Investing is a few good sleds isn’t’ going to cost you very much either. Instead of being coped up indoors during the snow, get out there and enjoy it.

Most adults feel like a kid again when they go out sledding. It is a great way to relieve childhood memories and to get some great exercise during the colder time of the year when too many people simply don’t venture out for such activities. Take your time to try out different types of sleds too so you will find those that are a good fit for your size.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Winter Olympics

There are plenty of different sports to keep your attention if you are watching the Winter Olympics. They take place every four years at different locations found around the world. Some of the most exciting events of the entire Olympics take place during the winter games. The most popular winter sports events that get watched are the skiing competitions and the skating events.

There are ten different events that take place for both men and women to compete in for the Alpine skiing competition. Cross country skiing is offered as an individual and as a team event with competitions spanning over several different distances ranging from 15 km to 40 km.

Freestyle skiing allows those in competition to be judged on their style, their stunts, and the level of difficulty that they are able to offer during their routine. Ski jumping allows contestants to race down hills and then see how far they can jump in the air across an area. The way in which they land is also judged. The Nordic combined is a skiing event that offers a combination of cross country skiing combined with jumping.

Snowboarding was added to the Winter Olympic Games in 1998 and continues to be one that many people love to watch. These events require the individual to use a board strapped to their feet without any poles as you would use in regular skiing. The individual controls the direction of the snowboard with their feet and body.

In the skating categories of the Winter Olympics, figure skating is watched by millions of viewers. There are individual and team events which have both been plagued with controversy over the years. In 1992 Nancy Kerrigan was attacked and injured while practicing for the Olympics. It was later determined that a rival, Tonya Harding, had launched the plan with her boyfriend to get Kerrigan out of the way for the competition.

In 2002 there was controversy surrounding the judges as the Canadian team had a flawless routine but the Russian team walked away with the gold. Rumors that some judges had been paid off quickly circulated and eventually the Canadian team was offered a gold medal. However, the accusations could not be substantiated enough to justify the removal of the gold medal from the Russian team.

The event of speed skating in the winter Olympics is one that has gained the attention of the audience in recent years. This involves individuals and teams racing around the ice at neck breaking speeds. There is plenty of action though to keep you on the edge of your seat as they skate around the track.

Ice hockey is always a fun sport to watch, and there are events in the Winter Olympics for both men’s teams and women’s teams. Canada holds the record for the most gold medals in this event with 13. There is plenty of stiff competition in the ice hockey games though so make sure you tune in to cheer on your favorite teams.

The fastest sport in the Winter Olympics is the Luge. This event involves one or two people on a small sled that quickly descends down the course. The riders control the speed and the movement of the sled with their bodies so they have to exhibit strength in their calves and their shoulders in order to be very fast.

The bobsleigh events are very similar but there are events for a full five person team as well as a two person team. They sit upright for this particular event in the Winter Olympics while they lay down for the Luge events. The next Winter Olympic Games will be taking place in 2010 and will be hosted by Canada. You will be able to watch all your favorite sports as the teams from around the world compete to take home the gold metals in the various individual and team sports.

Friday, February 1, 2008

The Sport Of Ski Jumping

Many sports enthusiasts take skiing to the next level by engaging in ski jumping. This is a fun and adventurous type of winter sport that people engage in for fun or to be part of various competitions. They are judged on the length of their jumps and they earn points for their performance. Both men and women participate in ski jumping competitions held at various ski resorts and in the Winter Olympic Games.

Each participant can earn up to 20 points for their jump, with the points totaled by a panel of five judges. They areas of their individual style that are judged include how steady the skis remain while they are in the air, the amount of balance that the participant has throughout the event, and the manner in which they land.

The person is bend almost all the way forward during the jump, almost parallel to their skis. This body angle is what gives them the dynamics to be able to jump long distances. No ski poles are used for ski jumping so the arms are tucked tightly at the sides of the body to help with the distance factor. If you aren’t sure how to use your body for a quality landing you can imagine the tumble you are going to take from this position.

The distance that a person can ski jump depends on the type of equipment they have. You need different boots and skis than what you use for regular skiing. In practice, the skier only jumps short distances to begin with and then eventually works up to the longer distances. In Olympic competitions the ramp that the ski jumpers go down is 76 feet and they generally launch at just over 30 miles per hour. Their overall jump distance is between 270 feet and 360 feet. Of course those that engage in ski jumping for fun generally won’t come close to that distance, but this is still a fun sport that allows you to glide through the air.

Most ski resorts that offer ski jumping don’t have ramps that go half this distance in order to offer a safe place for people to practice. If you want to attempt the more daring distances for ski jumping you will likely have to get with a personal trainer. It is important to wear the proper safety equipment regardless of the length of the ramp you are using for ski jumping. There is too high of a risk not to use the necessary safety equipment.

To prevent head injuries, a quality helmet is essential. It needs to strap underneath the chin and have a soft strap with padding for the chin area. A quality ski jumping suit is also required to help with wind resistance and to keep the body warm. It is important to wear the right style of boots and skis for this type of winter sport as well. The skis are much wider and longer than those used for regular skiing.

Of all the different types of skiing you can try, ski jumping is one of the most difficult to master. Learning to rely on your body for the majority of the movements is very difficult and requires immense concentration as well as body strength. If you are very flexible and enjoy skiing though this can offer a very good challenge. Stay safe and have fun though so that you can enjoy your adventures while ski jumping.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Game Of Ice Hockey

The game of ice hockey is very fast paced and full of action. As the players glide effortlessly across the ice in order to control the puck and score points, it gives the illusion that this is a very easy sport. However, that is quite far from the truth because you have to develop excellent skating skills and you need to know the game of hockey inside and out.

Both men and women enjoy playing ice hockey and there are minor league and major league teams out there. Ice hockey is even a team event in the Winter Olympic Games which are held every four years at a location that changes each time. To help reduce the amount of injuries sustained during ice hockey players have to wear helmets and padding. This is a contact sport that still results in some interesting injuries though in spite of quality safety equipment being used.

Professional ice hockey is considered to be one of the most violent sports out there. While the number of hits that take place among the players have tapered off over the years, there are still plenty of fights that continue to take place out there on the ice. Many people will tell you that is one of the reasons why they enjoy watching it so much.

For their participation in various penalties such as shoving, tripping, and other types of interference during the game players have to spend time in the penalty box. Generally this period of time is two minutes for each infraction called by the referees but the amount of time can be up to four minutes.

Even though these time periods are very short, they can result in the other team scoring.

This is because the player on the other team gets a free shot of the puck towards the goal without any one defending it due to the penalty call. Still, players often engage in any types of behaviors they can while playing ice hockey in order to gain control of the puck for their team.

The game of ice hockey is generally played in three periods, each lasting 20 minutes in length. If the game is tied it can go into overtime in order to determine the winner. For professional ice hockey one 20 minute time period is placed on the clock. The game continues until the 20 minutes ends without any scoring or when one of the teams scores. Amateur games may decide to leave the game as a tie or follow the professional rules.

Ice hockey games can also be found being played by kids on frozen ponds during the winter months. This can be a great way to pass the time and to have fun during the colder time of year. However, it is vital to make sure the ice is solid as it can crack from the weight of the players on it. This can result in serious injuries or even death due to drowning.

Proper safety equipment should also be used for this type of ice hockey because it is still a dangerous sport. Even though most people that engage in ice hockey on the frozen ponds don’t engage in the violent behaviors of the professionals, there are still plenty of risks. Getting hit with a hockey stick or falling down can all be serious if you don’t have the right equipment to protect yourself.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Ice Skating

Ice skating is a very popular sport that used to only be available in the winter. If you want to skate outdoors on real ice then that is still the only time to enjoy it. However, with advances in technology it is now possible to experience ice skating at an indoor area. Special machines are made to add layers of ice that are continually smoothed out so you will always have a terrific surface to glide across.

Special skates are used for ice skating that have sharp blades on the bottom of them. The blades allow the person to be able to glide along the ice at very fast speeds if they desire. The amount of friction that a skater is able to manipulate as they move along the ice will help to determine the speed of movement. It also allows them to remain in complete control of their movements at all times.

Most people find ice skating to be more difficult than ice skating as you have to learn to balance your body differently on them. A great deal of weight is placed on your ankles and legs while ice skating. The more you practice the stronger they will become and as a result you will improve your ice skating skills.

After you master the basic skills of ice skating you will be able to start learning various stunts if you want to. The leaps and twirls that professional ice skaters are able to perform are the result of plenty of practice. You may want to pay for classes with a professional in order to learn the right skills to be able to do such feats during ice skating.

You may find you want to participate in various types of ice skating competitions either on your own or as part of a team. These events take place on a regular basis so you may want to search online to find out what is available. If you are under the direction of a coach they will be able to get you signed up for the right competitions.

In order to make improvements of your ice skating skills you should have someone video tape your movements. You will likely find watching yourself to be a great way to identify what isn’t working right for you. Continue to have yourself video taped and learn from your actions. Always pay close attention to your instructor as well so you won’t get injured as you ice skate. Don’t be tempted to jump into challenging routines too soon or you will be putting yourself at risk.

If you choose to ice skate out doors you will need to make sure the ice is thin enough to sustain your weight. Serious injuries and even death can occur if someone falls into ice which has cracked due to the weight on top of it. Always pay attention to signs that tell you to stay off the ice. You should never go ice skating alone in case you do need assistance from another party.

Make sure you are dressed warmly while ice skating out doors. You don’t want to suffer from frost bite. Avoid loose clothing that can get caught up in your skates and cause you to fall. The ice at an indoor center is often cool as well so make sure you dress in layers. This way you can be comfortable depending on what the temperature is.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Skiing In Colorado

Colorado is a very beautiful state and one that is well known for both the mountains and the amount of snowfall they get annually. It is only fitting that many locations in the Colorado Mountains are top ski resorts.

Copper Mountain is considered to be the very best because of the variety of ski slopes it offers. The fact that the slopes are separated by skill levels means beginners don’t have to be intimidated by more advanced skiers. Likewise, those with better skills don’t have to worry about those without experience being in their way as they are barreling down the mountain.

Snowmass is located about 15 miles from Aspen and offers plenty of skiing for intermediate and expert skiers. They offer a few slopes for advanced skiers and only a couple for beginners. This isn’t the place to visit if you are new to the concepts of skiing. However, it is heaven for snowboarders with three separate parks. They are also locations for speed skiing and for various types of racing events.

For the expert skiers and snowboarders, the very best place in Colorado to go is Winter Park. They offer 143 slopes and approximately 65f% of them are for experts. The way the slopes are set up at Winter Park is like going to three different ski areas. Some of the steepest ski slopes in Colorado are found at Winter Park so this is the place to go if you are looking for some great thrills and challenges.

In fact, some of these areas are so dangerous for skiers that you have to sign up for an orientation class. Upon completing that safety class you have to also sign a waiver stating you don’t hold the Winter Park Ski Resort liable for any accidents while you are on those types of slopes. There is an additional cost of $20 for this right but you only have to pay it once. Then you can access it each time you return to Winter Park for the season.

In Telluride, Colorado you will find one of the least known ski resorts in the state. Telluride only offers 84 slopes but it is a place that you will find to be very beautiful and not nearly as busy as the other ski resorts around Colorado. Many snowboarders have found this hidden location to offer some of the best snowboarding areas in Colorado. One downside is that Telluride is one of the most expensive ski resorts to visit in Colorado.

Steamboat Springs is the place you need to be if you are an intermediate skier. More than ½ of their slopes are for this category of skiers. They do offer a total of 164 slopes though so you will have plenty to keep you entertained for the entire day. In fact, you should plan to spend several days in Steamboat Springs in order to experience as much of it as possible.

Many people travel to Steamboat Springs to ski in Colorado because it is very easy to access. There is a major airport only minutes away so you can avoid the traffic and the difficult road conditions. You can take advantage of great deals on ski packages for Steamboat Springs that include your airfare, accommodations, a rental vehicle, and your ski lift tickets.

While traveling to the various ski resorts to enjoy winter sports you need to be very careful. The road conditions can be very terrible due to the ice and snow in the mountains. If you are driving your own vehicle you may want to consider renting a four wheel drive vehicle. Take your time and make sure you pay attention to the weather reports. You should have tire chains with you in case you need them. It is a good idea to travel with food and blankets too just in case you get held up on the way.

Knowing what all the different ski resorts in Colorado have to offer you will definitely help you to make an informed decision about which one you would like to visit. The majority of them are very affordable and offer plenty of places to get something to eat and comfortable lodging. Thousands of people travel to Colorado annually to enjoy the various ski resorts so check them out so you can see what you have been missing all this time.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Speed Skating Basics

Speed skating has become a very popular winter sport, but some critics claim it is simply too dangerous for people to be engaging in. Many people enjoy watching speed skating during the Winter Olympics and then want to engage in the activity on their own without proper training. The speed of a person in this type of sport can be more than 30 miles per hour so when they fall down or collide with someone else it is quite powerful. In order to reduce the risk of injuries during speed skating, it is vital that safety gear is worn at all times. This includes a helmet that fits properly, knee pads, and elbow pads. It is best for this sport to take place on an ice rink that has been specifically designed for it instead of out there on a frozen pond somewhere.

In professional speed skating there are pairs of competitors on the ice. Each track has two lanes and each person in a pair will get a colored band. This tells the judges which lane they started at for the beginning of the competition. The skaters have to change lanes at a given location along the track to ensure both skaters are covering the same amount of distance.

There are many different types of races that take place in the winter sport of speed skating. If a pair of teams are racing against each other they will state at different locations on the track. This prevents them from being in the way of each other and their times are tracked by the judges. For marathon speed skating races everyone starts at the same location and there is plenty of bumping and pushing as the skaters try to get ahead of each other.

However, speed skating does offer a great way for people to get into shape and to enjoy the exercise they are taking part in. It takes plenty of practice to build up enough strength to successfully participate in this sport. The type of skates you will use for speed skating depend on the type of events you are participating in.

Long distance speed skating requires you to use clap skates. They are different from regular ice skates because they feature a hinge on the boot that the blade is attached to. This allows the skater to move faster and to have more control over the skates because part of the blade is continuously in contact with the ice.

There are plenty of speed skating events that take place all over the world for you to participate in. Find a partner that is just as interested in the sport as you are so you can train for them. Many people have a goal of one day being part of the speed skating teams in the Winter Olympic Games. While not everyone can be a part of that, there are plenty of other events you can easily be a part of while you continue to improve your skills.

If you decide to engage in speed skating you need to make sure you have skates that are designed for it. You also want to make sure you always wear your safety equipment so that you minimize your risk of injuries. Speed skating is quickly becoming one of the most popular winter sports and you can expect to see more people participating in it in the near future.