Tag Archives: extreme sports

Could These Extreme Sports be Exactly What’s Missing from Your Life?

This is a guest post by Billy Henry. Billy Henry has been an extreme sports nut ever since he experienced his first sky dive on his 21st birthday. He is very interested in trying out BASE jumping next.

As sports fans, some of us are always searching for the next big buzz, seeing how far we can push the envelope and raise the ceiling. Once you’ve exhausted all the more conventional avenues though (snow sports, skydiving etc), is there really anywhere left to go? This article strives to offer an answer to that question, by exposing readers to a raft of more unconventional extreme sports from all around the world.

BASE Jumping

If you really want to feel like James Bond, there is no extreme sport quite as exhilarating or daring as BASE jumping. The sport involves free-falling from a bridge, a building or any incredibly tall, inanimate object with a parachute attached and opening it on the way down. With adequate training, BASE jumps can be achieved almost anywhere, but there is a set calendar of events for enthusiasts, where they congregate to perform ‘mass jumps’. Of course, this is NOT a sport to be taken lightly. It requires plenty of training and a strong stomach as any mistakes made could be potentially fatal.

Jousting

No this isn’t some kind of bizarre euphemism; we’re literally referring to medieval style jousting here. You might have thought jousting died out along with court jesters and ‘fair maidens’ but jousting is still alive and well today, but it’s certainly not for the fainthearted! If you’re not aware of the basics of jousting the sport involves two heavily armoured ‘knights’, charging at one another on horseback whilst carrying an 11-foot lance. The aim of the game is simple; knock your opponent off their steed before they knock you off yours. Competitors can reach up to 30 miles an hour and as such, jousting is a decidedly dangerous extreme sport that requires great riding skills, a solid centre of balance and significant upper body strength. Events take place all over the world, from New Zealand to California. The ‘Harcourt Park World International Jousting Tournament’ held annually in New Zealand draws up to 10,000 people every year.

Ice Climbing

This is a sport that requires a certain amount of experience in climbing and nerves of steel, as you’ll be climbing vast ice caves supported only by your own wits and a seemingly infinite (and definitely fatal) drop. The largest indoor ice wall in the world is actually located in Scotland at Kinlocklevan. This is a great place for beginners and seasoned professionals alike to train and gather their skills. Once you’ve tackled the artificial snow and have acquired a decent level of training and equipment, you can move on to the real deal. Needless to say however, a great level of fitness is absolutely necessary!

Volcano Boarding

Even the title of this one is exciting right? It’s also surprisingly literal. Of course for most people, the sight of one of the world’s most active volcanoes would cause them to turn tail and run as fast as humanely possible in the opposite direction. But of course, you’re not “Most people”, are you. Volcano boarders are daredevils who choose to travel down the Cerro Negro volcano in Nicaragua wearing just some thin overalls and a pair of goggles on a thin wooden board. The active volcano is located just outside Leon in Central America and has erupted 23 times in the last 160 years. Boarders can either stand or ride their boards like snowboards down the mountain (indeed, the ash is almost the consistency of snow) or sit and sledge down the steeper sides. Over 10,000 people have boarded down Cerro Negro since 2005, do you fancy joining their ranks?

Downhill Mountain Biking

A time trial event generally held on incredibly steep, rough terrain and often featuring jumps, rock patches and other obstacles, downhill mountain biking is an extreme sport that requires not just the right gear, but a steady hand and a clear head. In many ways, downhill mountain biking is a little like downhill skiing, in so much as how the basic principles of the sport function. The UK is not known for its snow though, but we do have quite a few incredibly mountains. Snowdon especially is something of a Mecca for downhill mountain biking enthusiasts from all over the world. This is a sport that requires a decent initial investment when it comes to gear, but if you visit SportPursuit.com you’ll be able to find a bunch of reasonable offers on some of the best mountain biking equipment money can buy.

Limbo Skating

We’ll end with an incredibly odd one. Taking two already potentially dangerous sports and combining them into one even more dangerous sport, the relatively new sport of Limbo Skating is essentially exactly what it says on the tin. You’re basically taking limbo dancing and adding skated into the equation. The results are something akin to a dance, only a dance that could easily end with a broken back if things go wrong. The most famous limbo skater in the world is the young Indian boy Rohan Ajit Kokane, who is able to skate horizontally with his body only 8 inches above the ground! His record is to skate underneath 20 cars whilst almost completely horizontal!

Of course we’ve only scratched the surface here. Other unconventional extreme sports that should earn themselves a place on any fanatics bucket list include ‘Bike Polo’, ‘Sled Dog Racing’ and ‘Drift Diving’ (like a roller-coaster, only on your back and in the water). So get out there and get stuck in!

Rollerblading Gets Radical

We may not be full-time skaters, but we have had some experience in the past. And we learned even more about it this past weekend. If you thought that inline skating was just about gliding at a leisurely pace through the park or along the boardwalk, then you haven’t been keeping up to date with extreme sports. While rollerblading can be a gentle activity – about as much exercise as going for a walk – there are lots more exhilarating ways of going skating if you are looking for thrills and a heart-pounding workout.

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Image source: http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lujcm5IZH31qel33so1_500.jpg

 You’ve probably seen rollerbladers performing the same sorts of tricks that you expect to see on skateboards and with free runners. This is known as aggressive rollerblading, where the focus is on performing spectacular moves, such as spins and grinds. You will see skaters spending their time defying gravity as they fly through the air. While it’s not for everyone, aggressive skating has a huge following, and it’s guaranteed to get your adrenaline running.

If aggressive rollerblading interests you, there are two different types that you can try. Street skating, which is also called freestyle skating, uses the urban environment as the stage. Street skaters jump down flights of stairs, grind down rails, and leap over obstacles at high speed. In many ways, street skating has a lot in common with other extreme street sports, such as parkour.

If street skating seems just a little too much for you – and it can be pretty intense – then you can try park skating. As the name suggests, this form of aggressive rollerblading takes place at the skate park, with skaters focusing more on technical tricks than on the freestyle moves seen in street skating. Not only do they try to perfect individual tricks, they try to connect them together into a fluid series of moves known as a line. This can include tricks on features such as pipes and curved ramps, which just don’t exist in a street environment. If you are looking to try park skating, ask around for a good park – the best parks have a flow to them, and have good lines that make it easier and more enjoyable to perform tricks.

Of course, if you are going to perform all those tricks, slides and grinds, a regular in-line skate just isn’t going to do the job. What you need is a pair of aggressive rollerblades, which are specifically designed to take all the impacts and strains. Not only are they tougher in general than regular skates, they also have specific features designed for aggressive skating. For example, the frames are specifically made so that skaters can grind on them, and some include grind plates. Street variants may also omit the inner two wheels, giving a huge area for grinding.

As well as aggressive rollerblading, there are a number of other types of in-line skating that you can try. For example, freestyle slalom skating is incredibly technical and involves performing tricks as you weave around cones that are laid out in a line. Vert skating is another variant, and is basically park skating on steroids – skaters perform acrobatics as they zoom up and down the sides of a half pipe, carrying out complicated aerial stunts such as spins and flips that can take them 10 feet above the sides of the pipe. There are also inline sports that mirror traditional winter sports, such as hockey, speed skating and off-road skating – this last one is basically the equivalent of cross-country skiing on rollerblades.

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Image source: http://0.tqn.com/d/inlineskating/1/0/s/5/-/-/fabiola_da_silva.jpg

 Whatever type of inline skating appeals to you, it’s incredibly important to take the right safety precautions, otherwise the sport can be hazardous. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are slightly more than 400,000 rollerblading and skateboarding injuries every year. However, given that over 11 million Americans are into these sports, that means that you have a less than one in 20 chance of getting injured in any given year – and most of these injuries are preventable. Buy quality skates that fit you properly and support you, so that you avoid injuries like twisted ankles – and make sure you keep them in good working order. Also, it’s inevitable that you’re going to fall from time to time, so learn how to fall without hurting yourself – if you don’t know how to do this, ask someone who does. And of course, proper protective gear is essential, starting with a helmet that meets or exceeds government safety standards. Other things you will want are quality wrist guards, along with knee and elbow pads. If any of this protective gear gets damaged, replace it – it’s already done its job.