Ice-Karting in Finland

Outdoor adventurers living in cold countries keep finding novel ways to enjoy the snow and ice, with skijoring, wok-racing and snow-tubing being some of the options on offer at various resorts. Located in the subarctic climate region, also referred to as the boreal climate zone, Finland experiences warm summers and freezing winters. Snow covers the land from around late-November through to mid-April each year and day temperatures generally remain below zero degrees centigrade, with night temperatures sometimes dropping to -30 degrees. This results in lakes freezing over and remaining frozen for some months, which is great news for ice-karting fans.

As the name suggests, ice-karting is an activity where a go-kart is driven on ice, with the difference being that the tires are studded to grip the icy surface. In Finland ice-karting takes place outdoors on the surface of a frozen lake, with participants competing against one another in a race that is more about skill than speed. Run by Ruka Adventures, ice-karting takes place at a lake near the ski resort, with participants being transported to the venue by car, or by snowmobile if they are enjoying a snow safari.

At the 350 meter long track a guide will instruct ice-kart drivers on safety measures and rules for competition. Anyone over the height of 150cm can participate, irrespective of their age. A maximum of 10 karts, and minimum of 4, will be on the track at one time. Equipment supplied by Ruka Adventures include overalls, shoes, gloves, balaclava and helmet, and as the temperatures out on the ice are even more extreme than on land, participants are advised to dress warmly.

Ice-karting continues to gain in popularity as a sport, with the procedure for PRO Ice-Karting being similar to competitive go-kart racing. Competitors first complete some warm-up laps, followed by qualifying laps to determine positions at the starting line for the main race. While speed adds to the thrill, ice-karting is all about skill and control – along with a whole lot of fun.