List of Extreme Winter Sports A-Z

List of Extreme Winter Sports

Extreme winter sports have steadily grown in popularity in recent years. The term "extreme winter sports" is an umbrella definition for a wide range of different sports. While typically supporters and participants of these sports are self-titled adrenaline junkies, not all of the sports in this category are strictly reserved for extreme thrillseekers.

Some of the most well-known extreme winter sports today are snowboarding, free skiing, ski flying, and snowcross. Some of the biggest figures in these sports are Xavier De Le Rue, a French snowboarder who recently won the FIS Snowboarding World Championship, and Henrik Harlaut, a Swedish freestyle skier who holds six X-Game medals and participated in the Sochi Winter Olympics. Typically, these sports take place outdoors on snowy terrain and in cold temperatures, so proper protection from the elements is mandatory. Equipment requirements change but some typical gear used are snowboards, skis, snowmobiles, and ice skates.

Extreme Winter Sports List A to Z


What are extreme winter sports?

Extreme winter sports are a category of winter sports that are more dangerous and adrenaline-oriented. These sports typically take place outdoors over the winter months and vary in terms of difficulty and risks posed. Extreme winter sports are very popular and are a part of numerous credited events such as the Winter Olympics, X Games, and other various world championships. While dangerous, when proper training and precaution are taken, they allow for some of the most fun someone can have in the winter.

The most popular extreme winter sports are currently snowboarding or freestyle skiing. These two sports are markedly less dangerous than their peers and are more easily picked up by newcomers. Most people can either rent or buy their gear at a relatively cheap cost at their local mountains and have long been a favored winter pastime. Other sports, such as ice cross downhill, which held their first inaugural race in January 2001, still hold popularity and continue to grow and evolve today.  

What are the most dangerous extreme winter sports?

The terms danger and extreme winter sports often go hand in hand. Snowcross, which takes place on a snowmobile, sees riders at speeds exceeding 60 mph while still making tight turns. Ice cross downhill sees participants traversing gaps that need to be jumped and vertical drops, all while on a track made of ice and surrounded by other racers. While other sports, such as snowboarding, are less dangerous, you should make sure you are adequately prepared before trying any extreme winter sports for the first time.

What are the top competitions for extreme winter sports?

When it comes to top competitions for extreme winter sports, the pinnacle of success changes based on each sport. Most are represented in either the X-Games, which is run by ESPN, or the Winter Olympics, but there are outliers. Ice climbing, for example, has two major competitions: the Ice Climbing World Cup and a separate International Championship sponsored by International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation, respectively. The Olympics currently hold five different events that fall under extreme winter sports. The extreme winter sports that carry an Olympic pedigree all consist of snowboarding or skiing.