Blobbing & Snowkiting: Austria's Obscure Sports
Once travel to Austria opens up for the UK, many holidaymakers will be raring to return to the mountains, meadows and lakes to partake in their favourite holiday pastime, whether that's skiing, hiking or cycling. At the same time, others will be searching for original, lesser-known ways to make their post-lockdown breaks as action-packed as possible.
For the latter traveller, we recommend checking out blobbing and snowkiting - two of Austria's more obscure sports.
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Blobbing in Area 47
AREA 47 in Ötztal, Tirol, is Austria's largest adventure park. Zip lines, bungee jumping, rafting, canyoning, wakeboarding and much more is on offer in this gianormous thrillseekers' playground. In between via ferrata routes and Forest Cross freeriding, take some time to try out one of the park's most playful and novel activites: blobbing.
This sport starts with one person - the 'blobber' - sat on a giant inflatable bag in AREA 47's lake, located beneath a three metre tall platform. A second person jumps from the platform down onto one side of the bag, propelling the blobber up to 19 metres high in the air, and down into the water below. It's pure silly fun with laughter guaranteed, and with a minimum age of twelve, it's a great way to get teens involved in the holiday merriment.
Read more about blobbing in AREA 47 here.
Snowkiting on Achensee Lake
Snowboarding, skiing and kitesurfing are all well recognised sports - but how many of us know about the activity that combines the best of these seasonal pursuits? Snowkiting, in which a large steerable kite pulls a skier or snowboarder across wintery terrain at great speeds, is the next holiday pastime to which to turn one's attention.
To try snowkiting for first time, head to Lake Achensee: Tirol's largest lake, measuring 13,000 square metres. In winter, this entire surface area turns into a stadium of smooth, snow-covered ice, kept pristine by piste groomers. Situated between steep mountain chains, it's blessed with consistently good wind conditions. With these factors in mind, it makes sense that Achenkirch is home to Tirol's oldest specialist school for snowkiting (open since 2010).
For those who have graduated from their expert-led snowkiting courses and are looking for more heart-pounding adventure, the nearby Nößlachjoch Ridge at the Brenner Pass will more than suffice. Its deep powder and strong winds - which on some days have the power to pull snowkiters back up the mountain - guarantee thrills for even the most experienced riders.
Read more about snowkiting on the Achensee here and the Nößlachjoch Ridge here.