Skijoring sounds like something that you’d mumble under your breath when your girlfriend tries to talk you into taking her to a ski resort. However, it’s actually a cool sport. The thing about it is that it looks as though it’s a sport that was created after a long night of drinking. And who knows, maybe it was.
As an adventure guy myself, I feel like this is something I would have eventually come to create with my friends after drinking in the college dorms. Especially as it starts snowing in Minnesota, we all long to go out and play in it. However, wintersports can be expensive. Not everyone has the money for a snowmobile, especially as a college student.
Enter skijoring. The first time I tried it, I was hooked.
Pronounce it however you will, it is this crazy sport that originated in Norway. You strap on some skis and are then pulled by a horse, a dog, or motor vehicles. Since I grew up having a few dogs in my house, I had to investigate this sport using the willing Siberian Huskies that I had in my home. They love the snow as much as I do, so when I told them it was time to play in the snow, they were all in.
There was a time when I used a motor vehicle. A friend of mine used his beat-up Chevy to take a few friends out to a big hill in MN. That’s when we decided to strap on our skis. He handed us a rope. Then, we held on for dear life as he pulled us around in the snow. It’s a lot like water skiing, except that it’s snow instead of water. That, and it can be dangerous when your friend in the Chevy decides to hit the gas and take you faster over the hill than what you were ready for.
However, you haven’t really lived until you plow headfirst into a pile of snow at about 40 miles per hour. It’s a rush like you wouldn’t believe.
With the right harness, a few dogs can be used to pull you. If you find someone who can ride a horse who is willing to go out into the subzero temperatures of Minnesota, this is an option, too. When the horse can gallop and jump, it adds some challenging fun to the equation.
Okay, This Might Actually Be Cool
Oh, it’s more than just a little cool. After college, my friends and I were hooked. Of course, this wasn’t really a thing according to some of my other friends because they’d never heard of it. Despite showing them videos on YouTube, they insisted I was making it up. It may be that the dialogue was happening in Norwegian. Geez, just because it sounds like people sneezing the whole way through a conversation, friends start questioning your sanity.
Anyways, we started to kick up our new sport to the next level. We weren’t drunk college kids anymore, so we had to be a little more responsible. We learned more about the sport. It still looks crazy, no matter how much equipment you have. However, it beats the heck out of buying gas for expensive snowmobiles.
If you’ve ever had to go through a MN blizzard and wanted to participate in wintersports but couldn’t make it to the gas station to fuel up your snowmobile, you might want to listen up. Being pulled in the snow doesn’t require any kind of fuel. You just need a few willing dogs, a horse and rider, or someone who’s going to drive their vehicle around the snow.
Yes, you heard me right. No fuel means more fun in the wintery scenes across northern Minnesota. Oh, so now you think you might want to give this Norwegian sport a shot? That’s what I thought.
Getting the Supplies
Realistically speaking, you probably shouldn’t start your supply list with a 12-pack of beer for ski-joring. Instead, there are some actual supplies that you will need, especially if you want to be safe.
The obvious first is a pair of skis. From there, you will want to get a special harness. This is a thick belt that will go around your waist so that you can be pulled across the snow. A rope will connect you with the harness that’s pulling you. The length of the rope can vary but should be around eight feet long.
The harness that pulls you will vary based on whether it’s going on a dog (or dogs), a horse, or a vehicle.
Storing all of this stuff requires some room, which is probably why I cut so many corners when I was in high school. I just didn’t have the room. Now that I’m a responsible adult (I use that term loosely), I have a pole barn that I absolutely love. It provides me with all of the room that I need for sporting equipment as well as other gear that I use throughout the winter months.
Sherman Pole Buildings created a pole barn for me that I absolutely love. They customized it so that I have plenty of space. It’s also capable of withstanding the harsh MN winters so that I don’t have to worry about the cold temperatures cracking the materials.
Skijoring might not sound like a real sport, but it is. It can actually be a competitive winter sport, too. After all, what college students wouldn’t want to make a contest of being pulled by their dogs in the snow? It’s more fun than I can possibly explain, which is why I highly encourage you to try it for yourself. However, take the time to invest in the real supplies so that you’re safe. It’s hard to explain that you have a black eye because you ran into the back of your dog when you fell in the snow.
Sherman Pole Buildings can hook you up with the storage space, too. This way, you have absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t try this sport. It could end up being the best winter sport that you get involved in.