Competitive shovel racing has its roots in New Mexico’s ski resorts in the 1970s. It began after ski resort workers used shovels as sleds to quickly move from one location to another. The sport reached the zenith of its popularity in 1997 when it was featured in the winter X games. The serious injury of a shovel racer during a crash that year prompted the X games to drop the sport.
The top speed of elite shovel racers can range up to 70 miles per hour (112 km/h).