Houston is where it’s at, no doubt, but there are a few things Austin is really good at: nightlife, quirky interior design, food trucks, and racing. It’s not exactly an ice sports haven, but the Capital City’s racing enthusiasts have a chance to bring their skills to a whole new ice-covered arena.
Go Karting on Ice — a frozen twist on kart racing probably invented on a formerly peaceful lake by the most chaotic of unknown Jackass rejects — is barreling into Austin’s own Chaparral Ice this April 30 and May 1, oddly, just in time for spring.
Surely, some tumultuous souls somewhere have been strapped into go-karts and pondering, “If only this vehicle had a lot less traction.” These anarchists have gotten their wish.
Home ice-karting videos (and even the local pop-up’s own promo video) show everything from squirrely slides to ethereally smooth drifts, all completed at a super fast pace that looks both wrong and deliriously fun. It’s everything you don’t want driving on ice to be in your Toyota Camry.
Some ice karts have studded tires, but apparently not these. The team promises to teach drivers how to glide around, and they’ve designed a variety of obstacle courses to make sure things stay challenging as drivers get the hang of it.
Since ice karting obviously necessitates lots of video evidence of both skill and embarrassing spinouts, the event organizers will provide Day-Glo racing onesies and incentives so karters can show off their own style. A costume contest will determine the best-dressed racer, who will receive a prize and bragging rights that they beat out a lot of other verified speedy lunatics.
Each karting session is 12 minutes, so there is plenty else to do while not behind the wheel. The bar will serve winter cocktails, to be enjoyed in between curling, hockey target practice, and other chances to win prizes. When winter is more a construct than truly a cold reality in Texas, why not extend the season a month or two with an ice karting adventure?
Chaparral Ice is located at the Northcross Mall on Burnet Road and West Anderson Lane, where it houses Austin’s only NHL-regulation rink. There are open-skate sessions available to the public, and competitive hockey and figure skating is available for all ages. Solo skating takes a lot of initiative in a city that rarely sees ice; thankfully, the sports bar and group packages may encourage non-skaters to tag along.
Tickets for the Go Karting on Ice pop-up ($55) are already on sale at explorehidden.com. It’s early for the April 30 and May 1 event, but there is limited space, so consider signing up soon.