Friday, 17 June 2011

Cool sports for hot Moscow summers

When it’s hot in the city, not everybody wants to revel in the sunshine.

But help is at hand for those melting in the heat, with winter sports and watery activities available to help cool down in the sweltering summer.

And the chilled-out can brush up their sporting skills along the way, tackling anything from wind-surfing to curling at low temperatures.

The easiest way to shake off the sweats is probably to dive into one of the outdoor swimming areas authorized by City Hall.

But there are more adventurous ways of taking to the water.

Katerina Ryabova took up wind-surfing on a trip to Egypt, and was delighted to be able to continue her hobby at Strogino, to the north-west of the city.

The open water is popular with windsurfers and wakeboarders, even if a short season from June to September limits how much action can be enjoyed.

“I go to a small station, there is bigger one too – it has more equipment but the rent is more expensive there,” Katerina told the Moscow News.

And weather conditions are also not always favorable, she added, so surfers should better check the wind before sailing off.

“You can only go there if there’s enough wind (not less than 15 knots or 8 m/sec) becauseotherwise it’s useless,” she added.

But newcomers beware – windsurfing can be an addictive hobby. Having already checked out the Red Sea Katerina recently took a trip to Venezuela to explore new beaches.

Although the last bits of snow melted down in Moscow months ago, winter sports lovers don’t need to pack away their ski-wear.

“The feeling is cool by itself when it’s summer and you’re walking with all that winter gear and can’t really believe you’ll put it on in a minute,” Darya said about her visit to, an all year round centre for winter sports

“And when you get there – you just bundle up happily because it’s just so cold there!,” she told the Moscow News.

Darya is a keen snowboarder, but skiers will also be very welcome to the always wintery site.

However, experienced downhillers might find the experience a poor imitation of a real slope.

“You spend 15 minutes on a lift and going downhill takes just 1 minute,” Darya complained, though she added that a short slope was ideal for some

“I think beginners and free-stylers [snowboarders and skiers] should enjoy it,” she said.

Meanwhile, with the website contrasting a street temperature in the high 20s with an indoor -5C, it is at least reliably cold. also has facilities for ice-skaters and hockey players, although its not the only option for would-be Plushchenkos and Ovechkins.

There are central options in Gorky Park and on top of the Yevropeisky mall – where last year’s heat wave saw famed figure skater Ilya Averbukh putting his young hopefuls through their paces.

Meanwhile, if your shopaholic friends get you hot under the collar, the

MEGA malls at Belaya Dacha, Tyoply Stan and Khimki also have ice rinks operating even in the hottest weResembling housework on ice, and a quirky Winter Olympic hit, curling has a cult following in Moscow despite trailing behind hockey and figure skating in terms of coverage.

And since 2002, devotees of stone and broom have had their own venue in Moscow.

All equipment will be available at the location and instructors will be ready to give advice on the best way of sliding down the icy “sheet” to pushing the “stones” towards the “house” at the other end of the track.

And “sweepers” will be shown the proper way of using their “curling brooms” to get the highest scores for their team.

The temperature inside the “Planeta Lda” (Ice planet) club is kept between +5 - +7 degrees, according to the club’s website – making curling one of the coolest sports in town.ather.

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