Want to introduce a bit more excitement into your life? We’ve put together a two-speed guide to the most extreme sports out there. It’ll give you the chance to go on an adrenaline-fueled walk, before you take on an adrenaline-fueled run.
You know the story of Jekyll and Hyde? The rational doctor who by night transforms into a base and dangerous maniac? Well here’s the story of Hyde and super-Hyde.
We’ve picked out a few exciting sports and their snarling, even crazier, alter egos. Read ’em through and see what kind of extreme sports are out there – and just how extreme they can get.
There’s something really fulfilling about getting in a canoe on a nice day and taking to a river or lake. People have been doing it for thousands of years to get around and get out fishing. So far, so tame but add in a little white water and you’ve got a bit of excitement. Add in a lot of white water and you start to get extreme.
- Creek-ing: Developments in the materials that make canoes have made them more durable which has led to river-borne daredevils taking on steadily more impressive challenges. Nowadays the most extreme river riders take on big waterfalls, feeling the rush as they go over the edge and hit the churning pool below.
- Dangers: Flying down sheer drops surrounded by jagged rocks and ferocious currents has the potential to introduce your body to all manner of painful injuries. And if the rocks don’t worry you then perhaps the danger of getting sucked under at the point where the waterfall lands is enough to have you appreciate the risks on offer.
This tried and tested sport is already pretty extreme and if the black run at your nearest ski slope isn’t enough for you then there are plenty of locations around the world where you can test yourself against some epic mountain territory. It’s an easy sport to get involved in and you’ll find plenty of training available at resorts around the world.
- Volcano boarding: Sure, mountains are great fun and all but wouldn’t it be great if they were burning hot, lava filled pressure cookers which could turn into a blazing inferno at any moment? If you find yourself asking that question then maybe volcano boarding is the answer. Boarders hit speeds of up to 50 mph tearing down the rock-strewn faces of young volcanoes in Central America.
- Dangers: The organisers of volcano boarding tours reckon that the only thing you’ll have to worry about is picking up some scratches from sharp little rocks on the slope. Sure, that is probably a worry but I can think of a slightly more pressing concern. Can you guess what that is? Hmm – yeah, it’s not so much the sharp little rocks I’d be worried about. More the molten ones that get thrown out during the frequent eruptions that plague these volcanoes.
Surfing is one of the most popular extreme sports and you can understand why. It’s done at the beach and who doesn’t love the beach!? Furthermore, it’s pretty easy to pick up and can be done all over the place – and you don’t even need to go to the beach. Plus there is the laid-back lifestyle, the fashion, and the movies. Who doesn’t love Point Break?!
- Big wave surfing: Now it’s time to get serious. As with any sport there are surfers who constantly push the boundaries looking for the biggest, heaviest waves out there – waves that are so big you can’t paddle to catch them; you have to be towed in on a jet ski. Spots like Jaws off the coast of Hawaii and Teahupoo off Tahiti have become legendary for the terrifying waves that they throw up. Imagine surfing down the face of a mountain, except the face keeps on changing and the mountain is chasing you. And the mountain may well smash you below the water where you could be held under on a spin cycle that lasts minutes. Yeah, fun.
- Dangers: There are a couple of real risks if you find yourself on the end of a bad wipe out – and they have claimed lives in the past. First up is the danger of being held under water as successive waves come crashing down onto the spot you have wiped-out. If you’re in the impact zone and the waves keep coming, the risk of drowning is all too real. Secondly, a lot of the real big waves break onto really shallow jagged reefs. You can have a forty-foot wave breaking in water that’s only a few feet deep. If the water drives you onto that reef it’s going to hurt a lot.
These are just a flavour of the sports that are out there and it’s just the tip of the iceberg – which, coincidentally, some people climb as an extreme sport. If you feel like you want to get some of this adrenaline filled excitement in your life then you should understand the risks, and be prepared for them.
It’s essential that you get the appropriate training before you take up an extreme sport – and make sure that you get the proper experience that you need before you attempt anything more risky. In the event that something does go wrong, be realistic and ensure you are both covered in case of medical emergency and are aware of your legal rights in relation to processes such as spinal injury claims.
Most extreme sportspeople will have a battle scar or two, many wearing them like badges of pride. Decide how much you want to feel the rush of excitement that accompanies an extreme sport before strapping on that equipment and facing down danger.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia
Colin Specs is a freelance writer who covers a number of topics
What’s the most extreme sport you’ve done?