Windsurfing is traditionally a sun-drenched, summer activity, but when winter hits, the skies close up in a cloud of grey and snow peppers the ground. The water of most local rivers and lakes freezes and what we know as windsurfing is no longer possible. As the Daily Mail‘s photos of Zsomber Berecz jetting across Hungary’s frozen Lake Balaton show, however, ice doesn’t have to mean a total hiatus from the sport. It’s time to strap on some blades and try ice surfing.
Ice surfing has been popular for several years, and according to the Daily Mail feature, some surfers claim to have reached a chillingly-fast 90 mph – assisted solely by the wind.
Ice surfers use smaller boards than the ones used for traditional windsurfing with blades, similar to ice skates, affixed at both ends. You aren’t technically “surfing” the ice, you’re skating it. The same basic tenets of windsurfing do apply, with the cause and effect of the wind and the direction of your sail, but you’re without the aid of waves to rocket off into the air. Instead, you must attempt to keep the blades on the ground as much as possible to reduce lag and increase velocity. Speed is the name of the game, and controlling your movements with precise manipulations of the sail is essential.
Ice surfing certainly takes some getting used to if you’re used to traditional windsurfing, but us Adrenalists never turn away from a challenge – or the chance for neck-breaking speed.