Snow Drifting: my experience drifting with cars in Finland

The time has come, yet another year. The first snowflakes have already fallen and there are less hours of light during the daytime, so every car in Finland now has to sport winter tires. It is time to enhance security… and maybe do some snow drifting.

Some winters ago I took a car trip with my Finnish friends. If I remember correctly, we went to practice some cross-country skiing in the outskirts of Joensuu, on a cold and sunny day. After some hours of skiing, and having fallen over many times in the snow – skiing doesn’t come naturally to me – it was time to head back to the city. But a surprise awaited me on the way back.

A car with winter tires, ready for some snow drifting.
Ready for some snow drifting. Fuente.

Snow drifting with a car in Finland: pure fun

What we did on the way back from our trip was one of the things I did in Finland that made me the happiest: getting behind the wheel of a Volvo on a clearing and starting to drift in the snow. It felt as if I was a driver in the Rally of Finland.

I have rented a car a couple of times in Finland – for instance to visit Koli, one of the national parks of Karelia, during the Ruska time – but never when the roads were covered with snow. Also, snow drifting with a rented car might not be the best of ideas.

And this is another reason I was really surprised: going snow drifting wasn’t my idea nor was it expected. We were on our way back to Joensuu when my Finnish friends decided take a detour, stop the car on a clearing, and ask me “Have you ever done snow drifting”? Having never ever driven a car in snow before, I of course said no.

They started the car and started to carve up the snow with the car’s thick winter tires. “Your turn”, they said a few minutes later.

That day I decided to put the camera aside and just focus on the experience, but now I miss having a video of it. Nonetheless, I can tell you that it was more or less like this.

And it was very fun. 15 minutes of speeding up, turning the wheel, use the hand break, and start again in every possible way I could come up with, all over virgin snow while hearing the engine roar. And the seats in the car were classic Nordic car seats: they were heated! Altogether it was an amazing experience that I can definitely recommend.

Learn to snow drift with a Finnish champion: Juha Kankkunen

This kind of activity is also on the rise in Finland: Rally champion Juha Kankkunen has started his own snow rally experience company, where he and his team can teach you to drive powerful cars and go snow drifting like a pro. This and other snow driving activities are listed here, and you can see Juha Kankkunen driving on snow in the video below. What an experience it must be!

Have you gone snow drifting? If you are in Finland this winter, I do recommend it. A lot.