Speed is a common characteristic found across extreme sports. Perhaps that’s why extreme sports represent a fast-growing category with bookmakers.
As it turns out, punters are an adventurous lot who are eager to share the same thrills enjoyed by extreme athletes. Extreme sports also give punters competitions to wager on year-round. The same can’t be said for traditional sports with long off-seasons, like football or basketball.
With this in mind, we’ve created a list of seven of our favorite extreme sports to bet on and arranged it by warm weather and cold weather sports.
Warm Weather Extreme Sports
Maybe your vision of a perfect summer is lying on the beach and soaking up rays. That’s all fine and dandy, but extreme sports fans have a hard time sitting still. For the punters among us, the warm weather months bring out some hot bets on sports such as skateboarding and surfing.
Surfing is one of the granddaddies of extreme sports, having gained popularity in the 1950s in places like Hawaii, Australia, and California. The sport is set to make its Olympic debut at the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo.
Bookmakers in a few countries are now offering bets on professional surfing events, including the winner of the World Surf League Championship.
Mountain biking is another extreme sport that has existed for decades but is newer to bookmakers. Few sports challenge the endurance, speed, and mental-capacity of riders like off-road terrain biking.
There are many types of racing categories under the mountain biking umbrella, from cross-cycling to downhill. This diversity provides for a nice range of available bets from participating bookmakers. The sport’s biggest events include the UCI World Cup Series, Enduro World Series, and the UCI MTB World Championships.
Drone racing has been a thing since about 2015, when several big investors pumped money into the sport. The manless flight technology has moved from the military to public use over the last decade and now into the extreme sports sphere.
Will we see Amazon racing drones to deliver packages?
Maybe not, but drone racing is an interesting concept rooted in motorsports. There are many classes of manned auto racing. Then there are hobbyists who race motorized RC cars and planes. We see drone racing as a cool expansion of modern motorsports.
Progressive bookmakers do too. That’s why the Drone Racing League is gaining steam with extreme sports punters.
When California surfers first invented skateboards as a way to “land surf” when the waves were too flat for the real deal, they could’ve never imagined how huge the new sport would become. By the 1970s, skateboarding had evolved into a lifestyle that still thrives today.
Skateboarding is long overdue for Olympic recognition. That finally changes in 2020 when the sport, along with surfing, will appear at the Olympic Summer Games. Bookmakers are already offering skateboarding futures for the Olympics.
Cold Weather Extreme Sports
Ice hockey is probably the most popular winter sport with punters. Every NHL season, bookmakers take stakes on dozens of different wagers, such as moneylines, puck lines, and Stanley Cup futures. Punters may be surprised to learn that the extreme sports of ski jumping, biathlon, and Alpine skiing also offer prime winter betting opportunities.
Ask someone to strap an extended plank on each foot, slide down a giant ramp at 95 km/hr, and fly through the air for the length of nine school buses.
You’ll probably get an answer along the lines of “No way! That’s crazy!”
Ski jumpers are a little crazy. That’s why we love watching their gravity-defying feats flying off the ramp.
Bookmakers are offering odds on the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup for those of us who want a stake in this sport’s outcomes without putting our bodies in peril.
Alpine skiing is always a favorite sport at the Winter Olympic Games. Spectators get a rush watching the fastest downhill skiers in the world navigate the slopes with blinding speed and precision.
It’s also a thrill to wager on Alpine events. Bookmakers now offer bets on the sport’s big competitions, like the men’s and women’s World Cup and Olympic events.
The tradition of combining cross country skiing with rifle marksmanship dates back to ancient Scandinavia. Early inhabitants considered the Norse deity, Ullr as the god of skiing and hunting.
It’s an unlikely pairing, but one that has stood the test of time. Biathlon was added to the Winter Olympics in 1920. At that time, the sport included a ski mountaineering component. Biathlon, as we know it today first, appeared at the 1960 Winter Games in Squaw Valley, California.
Punters today can find odds for the men’s and women’s World Cups competitions.