Travel + Leisure
February 09, 2010

The newest winter sports are as varied as snowflakes. Snowkiting pairs a board or skis with a parachute-like apparatus. All you need is a small gust of wind to soar up to 50 feet off the ground—even when the "slope" is a flat surface, such as a frozen body of water. Test your skills at Lake Tahoe Kiteboarding (877/769-5483; $250 for a five-hour lesson for four). In airboarding, daredevils can ride any incline face-first on a six-pound inflatable nylon raft, which folds into a small knapsack. Already a hit in Europe, the activity has arrived stateside, at places like Colorado's Keystone Resort (877/625-1556; www.keystoneresort.com). Meanwhile, Head Intelligence Skis (800/874-3235; www.head.com; $850) are imbedded with microchips and intelligent fibers that react to snow conditions and body movements to decrease bending and vibrating of the equipment. Using them doesn't require a degree in physics—just a need for speed.
—Laura Shin

Keystone Resort

One of the area's two full-service hotels (the smaller Inn at Keystone is the other) this rare non-condo sits on Keystone Lake with views of mountains and well, condos. Still, a $2 million renovation has helped liven this mainstay lodge. Its 152 rooms and suites are decked out with blond-wood furniture and an understated alpine look. Dercum Mountain and the Snake River Valley fill many a window space, while some rooms also feature balconies. You can't miss the spa, expanded in 2007 to 10,000 square feet; it's the only one in Keystone.


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