In the world, there are typical sports, like baseball, basketball, hockey, football, and soccer. But there are also some sports that stretch beyond the limits of “normal”.
Imagine snowboarding down a steep slope of freshly-fallen snow in a chilly environment. Now, imagine, taking the same board and riding it down an active volcano. Volcano boarding has become a thrilling sport for those who want a little more than snowboarding. Thousands of travelers head to the foothills of Nicaragua’s Cerro Negro mountain every year to take part in this new sporting trend. With specially-made plywood boards and protective jumpsuits, helmets, and kneepads, surfers race down the active volcano, reaching speeds of up to 50 miles per hour. Since the sport’s creation in 2005, the volcano has attracted not only tourists, but thrillseekers as well.
Take the party game of limbo and cross it with roller skating, and you’ve got the newest sporting trend in your hands. Limbo-skating is all the rage and involves people skating underneath cars. While it may seem mind boggling, hundreds of citizens in India take part in this sport, which requires extreme coordination, flexibility, strength, the balance of a gymnast, and a great amount of bravery. Native Indian Aniket Chindak holds the unofficial world record for limbo-skating after he successfully skated under 57 vehicles.
When most people think of surfing, they think of salty water, sandy beaches, and riding huge waves. But another kind of surfing requires a little bit more bravery. Usually an illegal sport, train surfing requires riders to climb and “surf” on the tops or sides of moving trains or subways. The practice has become a serious issue in South Africa, where many people have been injured or killed trying. Train surfing gained popularity in Germany in the 1980s, where it was called “S-Bahn Surfing”. It drifted out of popularity for a while, but was brought back again in 2005 by a gang from Germany. In fact, the leader of the gang famously surfed the InterCityExpress, which is the fastest train in Germany.
Crocodile Bungee Jumping
For those who like to add a little wildlife to their sports, crocodile bungee jumping is the way to go. The sport was started in Australia by jumpers who wanted a little more thrill than just jumping off a cliff. Instead, they chose to jump straight over a body of water containing live crocodiles. While it’s not recommended for the squeamish, it certainly would give quite a thrill.
Along with crocodile bungee jumping, cliff diving is another sport the requires jumping from great heights into the water. But while crocodile bungee jumpers have bungee cords, cliff divers only have themselves, no cords or wires to help them. Because of this, cliff diving has become one of the most dangerous sports out there and extreme caution should be taken. In fact, cliff diving is so dangerous that certain limits have been set to minimize the risk. The height of the jump has been set (23-28 meters for men and 18-23 meters for women), a free fall time of 3 seconds, and an ideal entering speed of 75-100 km/h.
If you’ve ever been to the circus or a fair and seen people walking around on stilts, know that there’s a sport for that. It’s an odd one, but it’s still a sport. Freestyle powerisers stilts are contraptions that are worn on the feet and are a cross between low stilts and pogo stilts. Using these can send you to great heights and also pose a few dangers. If you don’t have good balance or coordination, it’s recommended that you sit this one out.
For all the hockey fans out there who mourn the end of hockey season, there’s a new trend that will put you in your favorite sport – and in the water. Underwater hockey was invented in the 1950’s when British divers wanted to train in the winter, but couldn’t because the outside water was too cold to swim in. Underwater hockey involves using nothing but snorkeling equipment, the stick, and protective gear. Unlike regular hockey, underwater hockey players must manage their oxygen intake, which might mean sacrificing a goal to get a breath of air. The game is usually played at the bottom of a pool using a weighted puck, and it trains divers to hold their breaths for longer amounts of time.
In the strange extreme sport known as AirKick, a human catapult launches people almost 30 feet in the air and into a swimming pool or foam pit. AirKick uses a pre-calculated parabolic trajectory system, using a special combination of air pressure and water recoil technology. The participant sits back on a seat and is flung into the air to land in a refreshing swimming pool or pit of foam.
If you think you have the balance of a gymnast, try Slacklining. Slacklining is a sport that uses nylon webbing and stretches it tight between two anchor points. Some might relate it to tightroping, but the line used is not held rigidly taut. The material used in the line is dynamic and stretchy, like a large rubber band. The line’s tension can be adjusted according to the participant and different kinds of webbing can be used to achieve a series of frightening feats. The line itself is typically flat, therefore keeping the participant’s footing from rolling, as would be the case with an ordinary rope. In the Guinness World Record book, Christian Schou holds the title for highest slackine after crossing a Norwegian fjord in Norway at 3,280 feet.
If you’ve ever owned a pet hamster and wonder what it would be like to ride around in a plastic ball, Zorbing is the sport for you. Invented in 2000 in New Zealand, Zorbing involves throwing yourself down a slope in a giant plastic ball, which has two skins, one inside the other. The person inside is in the area between the skins, which is pumped with air. The middle ball suspends the participant on air and the ball is rolled down a hill.
If you’re brave at heart or simply looking for something new to try, one of these sports might catch your interest.