NEWS

‘Tarp surfing’ catches wind in Aklavik, N.W.T.

01/19/2012 03:10 EST | Updated 03/20/2012 05:12 EDT

Instead of hunkering down indoors, a group of people in Aklavik, N.W.T., are beating the winter and blizzard blues in an unusual way.

They’re using tarps and sleds to go wind surfing.

Neil McKee, who is a teacher in Aklavik, checked out the action a few days ago.

"The wind was really whistling because of the blizzard that was going on, and they got on the toboggans or their little plastic sliders, and they had a tarp tied up in front of them, and they were just waiting for the wind to catch it. It didn’t take long, and it just sent them flying,” he said.

McKee said all people need to go tarp surfing is a sled, a tarp, a safe, flat area and a little muscle power.

McKee filmed friends Nathan Wilson and his mother Evelyn Wilson trying it out. The video has now been shared on Facebook by people all over the Northwest Territories.

While McKee hasn’t tried it himself yet, he said the sport is catching on in the community of about 600 people.

“I saw a group of kids that looked like they were stuck in the blizzard two nights ago, and I thought, ‘jeez these guys look like they need a ride.' And I stopped and asked them … and they said, ‘oh we’re fine’ and sure enough they had their sliders underneath them and they had their tarps bundled up heading out to the river. There was no problem at all,” said McKee.

McKee said he’s seen about a dozen people in the community try it out and expects more to join in the fun.

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