What is Grass Skiing?

Ski All Year Round on the Grass

Austrian Grass skier Hannes Angerer in the second Slalom run at the Austrian Grasski Championships 2010 in Rettenbach.
Christian Jansky/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

Whether your aim is to keep your legs toned for the winter or to find a new, exciting sport, grass skiing might be a great activity for you. While it's still making progress with technological developments, grass skiing is a great way to ski all year round.

Grass Skiing: What is It?

Grass skiing is sometimes considered summer’s equivalent to winter snow skiing. While not as popular as its cold weather counterpart, grass skiing has certainly made a name for itself and even has an international club. Generally more popular in Europe than the United States, grass skiing is a legitimate way to “extend” your ski season and technically, to ski all year round.

History of Grass Skiing

Grass skiing was originally developed as a training method for alpine skiing and was invented in Europe in 1966 by Richard Martin. Grass skiing is still developing, yet it has already spread around the world.

Grass Skiing Equipment

Grass skiing equipment is relatively similar to alpine skiing equipment. However, grass skis are designed to function on grass, not on snow. Wheeled grass skis can be used on a variety of terrain, but the majority of grass skis are tracked skis. Tracked grass skis are specifically designed to “slide” on grass, so they require smooth, grassy slopes. Tracked grass skis offer great speed.

Grass skiers use poles just like snow skiers. Just as helmets are a necessity for alpine skiing, helmets are used for grass skiing, too. Many grass skiers wear padding on their knees, legs, and elbows. Grass tends to be much less forgiving than snow.

Grass skis are generally less expensive than alpine skis, but can still cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, unlike snow skis, they aren't always readily available for rental. For current pricing information, check the Grasski USA website.

Who's it For?

Just like alpine skiing, anyone physically fit can enjoy grass skiing. As long as you have an open mind and you’re willing to try a new sport, grass skiing can be a great experience for you. Grass skiing participants usually consist of athletes who just can’t resist the sensation of speed, and skiers who just can’t wait for the next ski season and need to get on the slopes. Even though many grass skiers started grass skiing because of their love for the snowy slopes, previous time on the slopes isn’t a necessity.

Where To Grass Ski

Though grass skiing enjoyed a brief period of trendiness during which many grass ski centers offered rentals and lessons, it's now a lot harder to find an official grass skiing location—especially in the U.S. As of this writing, your best bet is to hop a plane to Europe, or buy your own pair and make the world your ski resort!