Most people think of Canadians as polite and rather bland, but we’re a quirky bunch when it comes to Canadian sports.
Of course, we all know that hockey is the game of the Great White North, but some Canadian sports are a little out there.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise from the land of three-down football, but Canadians have a different take on sports than other places. Most of the weirdest inventions have a lot to do with the weather. Winter is a Canadian sport all its own.
But wouldn’t it be great to bet on some unusual contests, especially as expanded regulated betting in Ontario nears its launch?
Well, there may not be betting lines on them yet, but here are five unique Canadian sports worth a handicapper’s look.
1. Ice sailing
There is no need to wait for summer to get the sailboat out in Canada. Slap some skate blades on the bottom for runners and let the adventures begin.
Finding frozen lakes to race the wind on is no problem up here. All it takes is the will and a stiff North breeze to speed across the ice.
These contraptions can soar over 125 mph in the right conditions. Ice boats come in different speed classes, like the auto racing series.
Ice boaters build crafts of various designs, but at the top end, the speed racers are where bettors will find the best action.
So if you are looking for a Formula 1 alternative for the winter months, this is your sport.
One day, wagering on these adrenaline junkies will be a favourite for bettors.
2. Rubber Duckies
These bathtub toys may not be exclusive to Canada, but nobody celebrates rubber ducks like Canucks.
It might sound crazy at first, but the rubber duck race generates a lot of money for fundraisers. One of the most famous rubber duck races was in Halifax Harbour, off the East coast of Canada. The Hali Derby was recently retired after nine years though.
The race once featured 10,000 yellow duckies entered by competitors. Folks buy numbered ducks for an entry fee. Then they sit back with a warm beverage as the rubber racers float down the Narrows and into the Atlantic. This race has some serious prize money that attracts players.
The Halifax Duck Derby offered a sizeable cash prize to the winner, plus secondary awards.
Best of all, the annual race raises money for charity.
How about this one for duck lore? A resilient duck from an Alberta race once reached Russia, according to a CBC story from last year.
That’s about 10,000 kilometres away. What do you think the betting odds would’ve been there?
Why should boaters have all the fun in the Winter? Surfers need their winter fix too. So Canadians, of course, invented snowkiting.
If you have ever watched kite surfers, it’s an attractive pastime to spend on the water. Canadians strap on their snowboards and bring a kite along for extra fun.
A harness at the waist attaches the skier to the kite. The racer then plays roulette with the wind to propel along the racecourse.
You can imagine there is a lot of skill involved. Not only do you need to stay upright on your skis, but you have to manipulate your kite to catch the wind for speed.
Snow kiters perform on frozen rivers and lakes. But they also work on open snow-covered plains. When this sport gets more events going, it’s bound to be a sportsbook favourite.
No, this is not the name for a fireside snack. Skijoring is growing in popularity in Canadian sports, and with animals involved, there’s the interest generated from other sports.
The name originates from Scandinavia, where dogs were the primary mode of pulling. Unlike dog sledding, humans are wearing skis or snowboards.
But leave it to Canadians to put their own wrinkle on the festivities. Instead of getting tugged around by dogs, these hearty folks use horses instead.
Skijor Canada hosts a series of contests for a day’s excitement. They include sprints, circuit races, and jumping events.
The skiers are doing the jumping, not the horses. Horse safety is the sport’s primary priority.
This might be one to watch for future sports betting opportunities. There’s a lot of action-packed into these events.
5. Pond hockey
Need we say more.
The OG of Canadian pastime sports, there’s nothing like a game of shinny to keep the blood flowing during the winter.
While it’s mostly a local game, who knows, maybe something like the World Pond Hockey Championships at Plaster Lake in New Brunswick could be up for wagers someday.
We Need More Canadian Sports
The Winter Olympics are only around every four years, so Canadians have to find ways to enjoy the outdoors.
There are plenty of other activities associated with the Canadian winter. Canadians have ice sculptures and maple syrup to take some of the chill away during the long, hard winters.
And there are plenty of winter activities like snowmobiling to get us going. But for the bettor out there, we need more action.
Wouldn’t it be great if these five Canadian sports became mainstream for bettors? You never know when one of these eclectic Canadian sports will hit the big time, so keep watching this site for new updates.