Shovel racing

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Shovel racing at Angel Fire Resort in 2011

Shovel Racing is a sport practiced in some parts of the United States. It consists of riders racing down a snowy hill riding on a shovel. It has been practiced on both typical snow shovels and modified shovel based sleds. It was once an event in the winter X games, but was removed due to safety concerns.


Competitive shovel racing has its roots in New Mexico's ski resorts in the 1970s.[1] It began after ski resort workers used shovels as sleds to quickly move from one location to another.[2] The sport reached the zenith of its popularity in 1997 when it was featured in the winter X games. After racers crash that year prompted fears that the fledgling sport would be banned. The most prominent competition is held in at the Angel Fire Resort in Angel Fire, New Mexico. In 2005, the resort that hosted the largest annual competition dropped the event due to liability concerns. It was later resumed after modified sleds were banned from competition. Riders often decorate their sleds with custom paint jobs. There is a wide age range in competitors, including students and retirees.[3]


Shovel racer after losing control

The shovel racer typically races on a basic snow shovel. The rider sits in the shovel facing the handle and leans back with his feet pointed forwards. In some cases, shovel racers have extensively modified shovels to the point that they bear little resemblance to normal shovels. These shovels have been banned from competition due to safety concerns after a high-profile accident on a modified shovel. Competitors generally wax the underside of the shovel in order to increase its speed. The top speed of elite shovel racers can range up to 70 miles per hour (112 km/h).[4]


  1. ^ Neelman, Sol (2012-02-16). "Racing Shovels See Serious Speed". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2019-11-14.
  2. ^ Simon, Scott (7 February 2004). "Snow-Shovel Racing". National Public Radio. Retrieved 27 January 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Bustillo, Miguel (8 February 2010). "Snow-Shovel Racing Went Downhill, but It's Getting a Second Chance". The Wall Street Journal. p. A1. Retrieved 8 February 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Caple, Jim (February 2002). "Riding a shovel ... and a dream". Retrieved 8 February 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

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