French ski resorts are pushing the boundaries of winter sports, creating original and often hair-raising activities collectively referred to as les nouvelles glisses and often translated into 'new slides' or 'new glides'.
Les nouvelles glisses activities can include the following:
Airboarding: a favourite among riders, this is similar to an inflatable mattress used as a sledge. You lay down, push off, and let gravity do the work. Alpe d'Huez, Courchevel, Val Thorens, La Grave, Valmorel, and Les Rousses offer Airboard pistes.
Speed riding: France's own, created in Valfréjus. This sport mixes skiing and paragliding, and allows skiers to reach powder fields that were once inaccessible. When it's time to go, you just ski straight down and take off again. Speed riding is possible almost anywhere, but requires some training. Chamonix-Mont Blanc, Les Arcs, Morzine, and Avoriaz offer speed riding lessons.
Snowscooting: this half snowboard, half scooter contraption was invented by a Swiss BMX fan and includes two boards held together with a frame. You hold on to and steer with the handlebars, while standing on the back board. With this one, you can go as fast or as slow as you want. It's fun for the whole family. Les Orres, Chamrousse, Font Romeu, and Pra Loup all have snowscoots for hire.
Snake Glisse: Imagine a human sledge train and you get the idea of the Snake Glisse. A series of sledges are connected together, like train cars, and the whole gang goes sliding down the mountain, supervised by a trained Snake Glisse professional. This can be fun for the little ones, but adults will like it too. Try it at Orcières 1850, Puy St Vincent, or Ax 3 Domaines.
This list is in no way exhaustive, and more nouvelles glisses are invented all the time, so ask your resort what they offer.