Ice blocking

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Ice Blocking (February 2008) 119.jpg
Ice Sledding.jpg

Ice blocking is a recreational activity in which individuals race to the bottom of a hill sitting on large blocks of ice. In the United States ice blocking is thought to be regional, occurring in the West.[citation needed] The sport has a long standing tradition at Southern Nazarene University (Bethany, OK), where the Student Government Association holds the event annually. [1]

The only equipment needed is some large blocks of thick ice and clothing, preferably padded. Hessian sacks or old towels have been recommended to sit on. Enthusiasts have been known to make "customized" ice blocks by freezing ropes into them to act as handles, and mixing colouring agents into the water prior to freezing.

Hazards include falls, bruises, bug bites and getting covered in mud. The bottom of the slope being used should be a wide area free from obstructions. Short grass is reported to give the best experience, due to lower drag and hence higher speed.

This activity can damage the grass and is often banned or restricted by park authorities and groundskeepers. For example, the city of Mesa, Arizona has four sites where ice blocking is permitted in rotation, depending on the judgment of the management. In Fresno, California the sport has been embraced by high school students, who frequent parks during late night hours in an effort to evade law enforcement officers. Ice blocking was once a very popular night time activity at Hillcrest Park in Fullerton, California but has subsided since its heyday in the 1960s and 1970s. Iceblocking had popularity in Adelaide, Australia, because there is no snow in the state. It was later banned in public places.[citation needed]

In 2011, TLC's series Sister Wives highlighted ice blocking in the first episode of their second season. This episode showed the polygamist family spending an afternoon picnic ice blocking at a park.[2]

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