Extreme sports generally involve a considerable amount of risk and include many things like heights, speed, and/or physical exertion. Any sport which involves one or more of these qualities can and should be considered extreme. Thrill and excitement is the vital element here. Stunts which involve danger can also be considered. Adrenaline junkies enjoy these thrilling activities while those who like to play it safe sit back and watch. Either way, extreme sports are becoming more and more popular.
A sudden advancement in technology has played a major factor in the growth of extreme sports. Now you can leap from a building and be completely safe in the process. While there is still some risk involved, it is radically lower compared to what it has been in the past. Whether you do it for the thrill or publicity, one thing can be said for sure: extreme sports aren’t going anywhere and have become part of modern society. In this article, we are going to look at the top-ten extreme sports which happen all over the world:
This is an air sport which involves a pilot who flies a small, launch-able aircraft; these are known as hang gliders. The person who operates the hang glider does so by shifting his or her body weight. They also have the option of using more modern controls; a much easier alternative for the less athletic group. Since technology has grown so fast, pilots are able to fly longer and higher than ever before. The “Federation of World Air Sports” organizes world championships for this extreme sport every year.
This is hang gliding’s cousin and is another flying sport. The design of the aircraft and the method of flying is also very similar if observed and compared. The only thing with a paraglider is that they offer no solid support. They are foot launched and even the slightest amount of turbulent weather can create some serious risk. In most cases, it is crucial that the person who is using this aircraft knows how to do so. You run the risk of seriously hurting yourself (even death) if you aren’t trained properly.
Most sports enthusiasts don’t consider surfing to be “extreme”. The truth is that surfing can be extremely dangerous and many, many people have gotten hurt or died participating in it. To begin with, it’s a water sport. There are two variations of surfing: long boarding and short boarding. Long boarding is for the casual rider who just wants to relax and have a good time. Short boarding is where the danger kicks in.
Imagine surfing a 10-foot wave (sometimes larger) which easily has the power to launch you into rocks or crush you beneath the water. Sharks are also another danger which lurks around this sport. Today, it remains a popular extreme sport for millions of people.
Here is another surface water sport which is practiced in many places around the world. Basically, you stand on a water board which is powered by a single sail. The sport is a combination of surfing and sailing and it is important that the rider be a little experienced in one or the other; preferably both. Speeds of up to 30 mph can easily be reached when conditions are at their peak. What began way back in the 20th century is now an international practice. Training at an early age is encouraged for those who would like to surf competitively as they get older. Pros like Robby Naish and Bjorn Dunkerbeck are perfect examples of this.
This sport involves climbing up an inclined piece of ice and is commonly known as “ice climbing”. People who practice this activity ascend alongside frozen waterfalls or rocks which have been capped with ice over time. “Alpine” ice climbing is a practice which involves the crossing of mountainous landscapes while regular ice climbing involves frozen cliffs or waterfalls.
Depending on the difficulty of the climb and how experienced the climbers are, specific gear is required to complete. Ice climbers are usually part of a club of some kind which is designed to help train younger and less experienced climbers. The American Alpine Club and the Mazamas are the most popular and oldest clubs in Canada and the United States.
Hot Air Ballooning
This is what launched human-carrying flight into what we know it as today. The first manned hot air balloon occurred in France in 1783. The part of the balloon which holds the hot air is known as the “envelope”. The “wicker basket” is the part of the balloon which passengers stand on. The envelope is constructed from a nylon-like material while the mouth of the balloon is made up of something which is much more fire resistant. This sport has also become widespread and practiced by many.
Skydiving involves a drop out of a plane using a parachute to safely land on the ground. Also known as parachuting, successful jumps have been recorded from hot air balloons since the year 1797. The sport became internationally known in 1951. Free falling is far from safe. You have to have proper knowledge and become certified to do it on your own.
Mountain biking involves riding a specialized bicycle over some very rough terrain. Depending on the terrain, this sport can be broken down into four different variations: cross country, free riding, downhill, and street riding. Biking really broke loose in the 1970’s and has been growing ever since. Many riders claim the evolution has caused the sport to be considered extreme. Survival skills are just as important as bike riding skills since you’ll be riding in dense wilderness where you can easily get loss and be forced to survive.
Imagine jumping off of a 100-foot bridge with nothing but a bungee cord to stop you from falling. Believe it or not, this is an extreme sport; and a popular one at that. Participants have even been known to jump off of tall buildings, bridges, and even cranes. The higher and more dangerous, the more exciting it is.
This is one of those extreme sports which can be considered a sport and a hobby at the same time. It is a combination of hiking, trekking, and walking and basically involves making your way across high, mountainous points. Some athletic ability is required; probably more than other sports. Mountaineering is largely practiced in the Alps but it’s still very popular in other parts of the world as well.