Skijoring – Totally Bizarre or Next Level Extreme?

Skijoring might seem borderline insane, but is it possible that we’re witnessing a future Winter Olympic sport?

What is Skijoring Exactly?

According to records the sport of skijoring can be traced back to the 1850s in Scandinavia, but the Americans have staked somewhat of a claim on the sport as most competitions take place in the USA. Well, it can be seen as insane, while at the same time exciting. It could even be seen as quite simple but yet also somewhat difficult. All you’ll need is your Skis/Snowboard, rope, a course and something to pull you around with.

In the past riders have used snowmobiles, cars, 4-wheelers and dealers choice a horse. The name of the game is; make your way through the course’s obstacles while being pulled on your skis or snowboard behind a horse. It might seem easy enough but it takes a lot of practice to get the hang of it as most riders at these events don’t even make it past the finish line. P.S. dog power might not be your best bet if your planning on taking a win.

How Do I Win?

It’s quite straight forward. The name of the game is to make your way through the obstacles in the quickest time possible. But making it over the finish line looks a lot easier than it is but there’s a trick to completing a run. When the horse takes off you start at the end of the rope. It’s important that you have a nice tight grip but not too tight. The reason being that as the horse picks up speed the skier needs to pull himself closer to the horse as too much space between you and the horse could result in too much movement as it hits top speed.

The person pulling you will need to know how to ride as pulling a skier is pretty dangerous. It’s a rare sight to see a horse get injured at these events as the load they’re pulling (a human gliding on slippery snow) isn’t really too heavy. In fact, if you’re the horse rider in the equation it might not even feel like you’re pulling anything behind you. For that reason, it’s also important to always be aware of riders who just can’t hang on. Usually, the crowd makes it known when a skier loses their grip as they tend to be quite vocal with “Awwws” filling the stands. And if riders get injured they are covered as Skijoring America focuses on its competitors by offering competitor insurance and by providing course safety oversight at events.

If you’d like to learn more about the sport, visit

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About the Author : David du Plooy

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