Yahoo Sports: Check out the Wilder Side

On the ski slopes, they're called "yetis" -- those greenhorns who hit the slopes in jeans and a huge parka. They fly down a ski run with their arms outstretched, legs wide open and yelling, "Whooaa" all the way down the run. Yetis (don't ask us where the name comes from) are fun to watch because they appeal to that nutcase inside us all that secretly wants to fly down a hill at top speed. These days, the yeti isn't such an oddity. From extreme skiing to skysurfing, there's wackier variations of established sports springing up all the time that crossbreed different activities. We've collected some of the lesser-known yeti-type toys, for both summer and winter enjoyment, that might appeal to your wilder side.SLED DOGSThey're not entirely new, but Sled Dogs haven't come close to attaining snowboarding's popularity. Essentially, Sled Dogs are rollerblades for skiers. Sled dogs are a cross between an in-line skate and a ski boot. The boots' treads are small skis that are just slightly wider than the boot itself. Once you slip into your Sled Dogs, you can skate down a slope as fast as you want. Sled Dogs will cost you about $300 (U.S.). For info, call 612-359-9020.WINDSKIING OR SKISAILINGThere's no official manufacturer or name for windskiers or skisailers yet. But according to Dan Savage, publisher of Ski World magazine, numerous people out west have taken up the sport. Windskiing is, as the name suggests, a cross between windsurfing and skiing. Apparently, the windskier is relatively easy to make: attach two universal joints to the top-end of your skis, then attach a plate to both universal joints (you can use wood, aluminum or stainless steel). Fix a windsurfing joint onto the plate and you have a windskier.ALL-TERRAIN MOUNTAINBOARDThey're sometimes called "the monster trucks of skateboards." The all-terrain mountainboard is a take-off on the modern-day skateboard, except the mountainboard is designed to be a lot more durable. It's also designed for snow, asphalt and grassy terrain. Instead of standing on the mountainboard, you lie on it. The board has a four-wheel suspension system that allows you to steer and cut corners at high speeds. Costs about $350-400 (U.S.) Info: 310-399-6625.PARAMOTORINGIf you're into new adventures, here's a little summer activity that'll cost you big bucks. The paramotor will cost you between $7-8,000 (CDN), so you may want to skip buying a car for now. A paramotor is a lightweight engine with a propeller attached to a seat or a harness. The harness is attached to a paragliding canopy. You only need any average-size field for take-off and landing. You can cruise with most paramotors for up to two hours without landing. The average speed is 15-25 mph. For info, contact Delta Air Sports in England at (011) 0345-125593.WHITEWATER BOOGIE BOARDChuck Dunn, owner of Rebel Skates in Riverside, California, calls it "the most exciting thing I've ever done." Although Dunn says he's been boogie boarding on whitewater rapids for 17 years, companies have only begun to market the boards within the last two years. Apparently, it's one of the hottest things in Cali these days. And if you've got the guts to try this, you won't be able to use your boogie board from the cottage. A whitewater boogie board is much thicker than the one used for waterskiing. Costs about $98 (U.S.). Info: 909-590-7711.WAKEBOARDAccording to Florida sports experts, the wakeboard was the thing at a September Surf Expo in Orlando. The slalom skiboard is the waterized version of snowboarding. Costs range from $159-$279. Info: 206-775-5416.SNOWBLADEIt's essentially a scooter on snow minus the wheels. The snowblade is a relatively new take on an old idea, and has a single ski with a padded seat and handles for steering. Although the snowblade is advertised for kids aged six-13, small big kids might to try this snow toy out. Costs $59.99 (CDN). For info, call 514-640-7299.


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