Biggest Extreme Sports Tournaments in the World


Extreme sports are becoming more and more popular among people or athletes who are not afraid of taking more risks. Extreme sports or alternative sports are sports activities usually characterized by high risk and high speed and this category generally include mountain biking, BMX biking, freestyle skiing, snowboarding, and skateboarding. Skateboarding is one of the most popular extreme sports followed by snowboarding, trail running, rock climbing, and BMX cycling.

The extreme sports term encompasses many different sports that in addition to including a high dosage of speed and risk, also include various natural challenges. Popularized back in the early 90s, the extreme sports industry has grown massively in the past couple of years especially with the introduction of extreme sports tournaments. Some of the biggest extreme sports tournaments are:

  • Crankworx Rotorua Gravity Down Under, New Zealand
  • Red Bull Defiance, New Zealand
  • Barkley Marathon, Tennessee
  • Hell’s Gate, Italy
  • Race Across America
  • The X Games

Crankworx Rotorua Gravity Down Under, New Zealand

Mountain biking as one of the most popular extreme sports has its big tournament held in New Zealand, the Crankworx Rotorua Gravity Down Under tournament, and this year, the event starts on the 1st of November and lasts until the 7th of November. The event gathers the biggest legends of mountain biking alongside innovators, and very young and promising new mountain biking stars. Crankworx Rotorua is also complete with various concerts and various competitions including speed & style, slopestyle, pump track challenge, and probably the most attractive, downhill mountain biking competitions.

The popular mountain biking event is held at picturesque Skyline Rotorua and for seven days, visitors and competitors enjoy seeing the biggest bike riders doing what they do the best. Some sports betting sites in New Zealand and other parts of the globe, cover the biggest extreme sports tournaments and competitions including the biggest mountain biking event in New Zealand.

Red Bull Defiance, New Zealand

New Zealand is home to several big extreme sports tournaments besides Crankworx Rotorua and one of these is the Red Bull Defiance event. This is one of the most famous endurance races that combines mountain biking, kayaking, and running. In addition, competitors do clay bird shooting and rappelling which adds an interesting twist. Every Red Bull Defiance tournament includes two categories, mountain bike races, and transverse runs. The event lasts for two days with teams completing seventy-one kilometers on their mountain bikes, running thirty-nine kilometers, kayaking for forty kilometers, on top of sixty long kilometers of abseiling.

Barkley Marathon, Tennessee

The popular Barkley Marathon extreme sports tournament held in the USA, the state of Tennessee is one of the most challenging races. The event was created by Gary Cantrell. The ultramarathon is inspired by the route James Earl Ray who assassinated Martin Luther King Jr. took after escaping prison. Following his escape, one of the biggest manhunts took place. As of 2020, only fourteen competitors completed the course in sixty hours. This does not come as a surprise considering the course is extremely ruthless with numerous natural challenges and barriers on the way.

Hell’s Gate, Italy

The Hell’s Gate extreme sports tournament held in Tuscany Italy is also one of the most challenging enduro competitions. The very first Hell’s Gate tournament was held back in 2006. Fabio Fasola created the event with the main intention to separate the good from the amazing enduro race and he most certainly has done so. Back in 2010, only two from one hundred and three contestants finished the course. Every Hell’s Gate tournament starts with a qualifier race and thirty most successful riders advance to the next stage. The final Hell’s Gate race is an eleven-mile course over extremely steep, rocky hills.

Race Across America

The Race Across America extreme sports tournaments is extreme as it can get since in a very short period, contestants cycle across three thousand miles. The Race Across America gathers both professional and amateur cyclers as well as teams and the goal is to cycle from California to Maryland in less than nine days. The very first Race Across America event was held back in 1982. Unlike the Tour de France, the Race Across America events always include the same route, from the west to the east coast which is around three hundred miles or over four thousand and eight hundred kilometers. When compared to the Tour de France, the Race Across America is much more challenging.

The X Games

The X Games tournament combines various extreme sports including skateboarding, BMX cycling, rally car racing, and even motocross. The X Games events are held in many different locations. This annual extreme sports tournament is also live broadcasted by ESPN.  It has been held every year since 1994. Since 1998, the X Games events have been held on the Asian continent.

In 203, the X Games Global Championship was also held in Whistler, British Colombia, and San Antonia, Texas. Over the years, the X Games events were held in Norway, Australia, Spain, Brazil, Germany, and China. Some of the major X Games competitions include street skateboarding, BMX cycling, moto X, moto X freestyle, men’s and women’s skateboarding, street skateboarding, skateboarding big air, ski slopestyle, and ski big air among many others.