Speed riding (or speed flying) involves hurtling above the snow at 75 miles per hour. It combines skiing and paragliding in one extreme snow sport.

Anyone who's tried it says it's the most fun you can have on the slopes - the buzz is huge! Speed riders use half-sized parachutes so they don't float too far above the ground - they skim the surface of the mountain - meaning they can jump obstacles instead of floating up into the sky.

For speed riding, the canopy is there to achieve flight and a means of braking - unlike kite skiing which harnesses the wind's power to propel you forwards.

The sport originated in France and has grown particularly popular in Les Arcs and Chamonix in Franc, Wengen and Verbier in Switzerland and Vallnord in Andorra. Closer to home, you can try it in Glencoe, Scotland.

Many beginners find speed riding suprisingly quick to learn as you start at a slow speed (not the 75mph of the experts). Before you consider speed riding, you must first be a competent skier and lessons are essential: half-day (three hours) costs around €90.

For the adventurous speed rider, it's all about height, good snow and an exciting descent. Hardcore speed riders take helicopters to drop them in extreme locations.

The Columbia Speed Flying Pro competition takes place in Les Arcs each February, where around 30 of the world's leading speed riders go head to head, competing over two courses: a timed slalom and a freeride category. Les Arcs is also home to the Speed Riding School - considered one of the best in the world.

Here's our pick of the five most extreme speed flying videos in Europe:

Speed riding in Chamonix, France

Speed riding in Wengen, Switzerland

Speed riding down the Eiger, Switzerland

Speed Flying Pro competition in Les Arcs

Speed riding in Glencoe, Scotland