What is an Extreme sport? Well, extreme sports are activities that are thrilling usually because they involve a high level of risk. This includes speed, height and physical exertion, there is always an element of danger present which adds to the thrill.
With major sponsors often from energy drink companies, extreme sports is also fast becoming a huge spectator sport, with many people enjoy watching extreme sports, rather than participating themselves. Among young people the popularity of extreme sports has increased in recent years. Maybe it the sedimentary lifestyle so lack of thrill in everyday life.
Ten Popular Extreme Sports
Skydiving, or parachuting has become much more accessible over recent years. It involves jumping from a height supported by a parachute. Freefalling where the participant does not use their parachute for the majority of the fall has also grown in popularity. Originally jumping from planes was common, recently BASE jumping has grown in popularity which involves jumping from land based structures. Skydiving falls into both extreme sport and extreme adventure categories. It is now popular both as a recreation and as a sport.
Paragliding is a newer evolution handgliding, the paraglider does not have any solid structures and is more similar to a parachute. Pockets are created in the wing so that when air passes over it it provides lift just like a birds wing. As there are no solid structures it can pack down fairly small making it very transportable. Participants launch off of hillsides and mountain, then use heat convection and upswell to gain height. Flying techniques are similar to handgliding.
A hang glider is an aircraft which you can launch yourself, and which you then guide in the air by means of shifting your weight. You can also steer them by means of aircraft control technology. Modern hang gliders can perform aerobatic stunts and can fly long distances and at significant height.
Hot Air Ballooning
Ballooning has been a form of transport since the early days. Only recently has it become popular as an extreme adventure. The balloon is designed of fireproof material and then a large burner is used to fill it with hot air, as the hot air is lighter than cold air the balloon provides lift. Passengers are carried in a wicker basket which hangs under the balloon.
Bungee jumping has grown quickly since the 90’s. Bungy jumping involves jumping from a high structure (natural or man made) while attached by a long elastic rope. Commercial ventures within cities often use something as simple as a crane or a tall building, but outside the city it is more common to find bungy jumping done from bridges. The jumper falls free until caught and bounced up and down by the cord, and this provides lots of thrill.
Surfing has been around for as long as can be remembered, but gained popularity in the 60’s. Surfers use a board to ride along a breaking wave. There are two main surfing styles one uses short boards and is more energetic and dynamic with lots of twists and turns, then there are long boards which provide a much more stable ride allowing for long relaxing rides.
Windsurfing is an extension to surfing. It is essentially a surf board with a sail. The rider is harnessed into the windsurfer and shoots across the surface of the water using wind as the driving force without the need for waves. Waves add another dimension allowing the rider to get some huge air.
This has grown in popularity over recent years due to its easy of entry, the rider rides over rough ground on a specially designed mountain bike. There are four classifications in mountain biking: downhill, free ride cross country and street ride. Mountain biking has now developed as an extreme sport, and there is now a hall of fame to celebrate the achievements of early mountain bikers.
This sport is enjoyed as a recreational activity as well as a sport, and combines elements of hiking, trekking and walking. The original intention was to reach high places, where no one had trekked previously. It then developed into a physically demanding sport. Some people enjoy mountaineering in the snow, others prefer rocky climbs.
Ice climbing involves climbing up ice covered rock face and icefalls. There are a couple variations, alpine ice climbing where the participants head up into the mountains and water ice climbing which takes place on cliffs or under waterfalls. The equipment used is generally the same but includes slight variation based on the type of slope and ice texture.