Extreme sports have been growing more and more popular in recent times, with people becoming more creative and more daring, pushing the proverbial envelope further than it’s ever been pushed before and testing the limits of what was thought to be humanly possible. In this article, we’ll be looking at some of the world’s most intense, most insane and most extreme sports and activities. Warning: not appropriate for couch potatoes!
1) Wingsuit Flying
Buzz Lightyear once said, “It’s not flying, it’s falling with style.” This could not be more true of wingsuit flying, where participants wear suits made from special materials that add surface area between your legs and arms. This allows air to carry you and enables you to ‘fly’ (or fall) in a controlled manner. Participants usually referred to as Wingsuiters, also wear parachute equipment so as to be able to land safely.
Obviously, this type of activity requires quite a bit of training, as things can go wrong very quickly and with very serious consequences. It grew in popularity as an extreme sport (or activity) in the late 1990s and remains one of the best ways to get your blood pumping and adrenaline through the roof.
2) Mountain Trekking
Perhaps a weird choice seeing as people wouldn’t consider mountain trekking to be very dynamic like most other extreme sports, but mountain trekking remains a great (and dangerous) activity for anyone seeking adrenaline highs. Trekking is very similar to hiking, but the difference lies in the fact that trekking usually involves more difficult and dangerous terrains, including the Manaslu Trek in Nepal.
These trekking trails are usually longer than hiking trails, as well as being in more remote locations. Obviously, mountain trekking requires quite a bit of practice as it can all too easily go wrong, but for those of you who want to try something new, exciting and incredibly fulfilling, mountain trekking could be the way to go.
3) Waterfall Kayaking
Some thrill seekers combine their love of the water with their love for falling from great heights and now partake in an activity very aptly named waterfall kayaking. And in case the name doesn’t shed enough light on the nature of this extreme sport, it entails someone in a lovely plastic kayak taking a dive face-first from a waterfall. That’s right - a waterfall.
As you can imagine, this is quite dangerous and, like most activities on this list, can end badly if one is not careful. However, it does achieve what it sets out to do, and that is pushing the limits of human (and little yellow plastic boat) bravery and sense of adventure, which is what extreme sports really are about.
4) Skiing and Snowboarding
Some guys just know how to make a good time out of some snow and long wooden boards, don’t they? For real, some people looked a giant, snow-covered mountain and decided that 1) they want to (for some reason) slide all the way to the bottom at exhilaratingly high speeds and 2) that the best way to do so would be using thin wooden boards strapped to your feet. Go figure.
This led to the creation of two of the most famous extreme sports out there - skiing and snowboarding. Although they are different, the fundamental skill sets required are pretty similar - balance, ability to handle high speeds and just a whole load of bravery. I mean, expert levels are traveling down the side of a mountain at speeds reaching 80 miles per hour, so you can imagine the thrill and pull in terms of adrenaline and excitement. Lots of mountainous areas base their entire tourism industry around these two extreme sports, and they can get quite busy, especially during snowy winter times.
5) Water Skiing
Some people substitute snow for water, in an extreme sport often referred to as ‘water skiing.’ It works by being pulled behind a motor-powered boat and skimming on a ski or a pair of skis. Part of the thrill comes from traveling on water at very high speeds, and maneuvering to maintain balance. Some people also step it up quite a few notches and launch themselves up in the air and perform fancy and intricate moves and tricks.
Water skiing is not the only water sport, and it would be unfair to single it out. There is also parasailing and wakeboarding, both of which are similar in that they use boats to tug people behind them at high speeds. Parasailing, as the name may suggest, involves a person being tugged with a parachute behind them, which adds an interesting dynamic. Wakeboarding is similar to skiing, but with a board instead of a pair of skis. All of these water sports are considered some of the most popular and sought-after water sports out there.
6) Cliff Diving
Cliff diving is one of the most exhilarating activities one can undertake. As you may have guessed, it entails jumping from a cliff into a body of water. But instead of that big rock that you and your ‘brave’ friends took a leap from one day, we’re talking cliffs that are 12 to 15 meters high, sometimes even 20 meters high.
On impact, the water can be as hard as concrete, so there is little room for error when it comes to landing in the water; unless you plan to be flattened like a human pancake. It takes an insane amount of courage to even look downwards and decide to jump, but the adrenaline rushing through your veins can be quite addictive, which is why anyone would even do it in the first place.
What have we learned from this article? The main takeaway is that adrenaline is one hell of a drug, inviting people to do the craziest things just for the thrills. But what is life without a bit of risk and fun? There are so many ‘extreme’ sports, so if you’re interested in adding a bit of spice and action to your life, you can take a look at what there is on offer and see what works best for you and what you can do in the area you live in.