Sports are an important part of everyday life. They teach us about teamwork, determination, self-growth and personal drive. However, many of these sports introduce an element of danger that keeps our hearts pumping and adrenaline going. These sports are known as extreme sports and entertain and frighten the spectators all across the globe.
But, how do we determine what an extreme sport is? Basically, these sports are any that introduce activities that have the ability to be perceived as being dangerous or that have the ability to cause harm to participants. Many sports fall into this category, but some are more extreme than others. Below is a description of the top 10 extreme sports that are currently being practiced around the world today.
1. Base Jumping
Since 1981, base jumping has been proven responsible for at least 230 deaths. This extreme sport features participants who jump from a fixed base, such as a cliff or a building and use a parachute in order to break their fall. This sport may become dangerous if shoots fail to open or if the participant falls into the base that they are jumping from.
2. Cliff Jumping
Cliff jumping is extremely popular and is often performed by children and adults alike. This sport involves participants jumping into bodies of water from great heights. This can be extremely dangerous for those who are unaware of rocks and other debris that may lie in the waters below. Others have found issues when they crash into the cliff from which they are jumping.
3. Extreme Biking
Although traditional biking is not considered dangerous many people have found ways to create a danger that many have found fulfilling. By performing tricks and jumps from areas such as cliff ledges and tops of buildings, participants in this extreme sport have showcased some extraordinary death defying stunts and an obvious bravery for heights and danger.
4. Extreme Canoeing
Canoeing has long been a past time amongst water lovers, but extreme canoeing can be an adrenaline rush for even the most avid canoers. This method of navigating water rapids while in a canoe can be extremely dangerous, especially for those who lack experience. While traditional canoeing in itself is dangerous to some, extreme canoeing introduces an entirely new amount of danger.
5. Extreme Motorsport
Motorsports encompasses many different types of races that are performed in or on a vehicle. These races can be completed by a number of devices such as cars, motorcycles, boats, airplanes and even lawn mowers. Speed is a constant factor for the danger that these races hold and also the source of the excitement that is held by the crowd of onlookers.
6. Free Running: Parkour
The main focus of this sport is transporting one’s body from one point to another by using your surroundings to propel you quickly into the next section. Although this may not seem dangerous, many hours are spent training and participants often train using military obstacle courses. Some of the main aspects of this sport are climbing, swinging, vaulting and rolling through areas to finish the course as quickly as possible.
7. Ice Climbing
Ice climbing is similar to rock climbing except that participants climb areas that are covered with ice. The dangers come in the form of equipment failure, dangers of ice falling and avalanches and deaths related to extreme cold circumstances which are often caused from unexpected winter storms.
8. Hang Gliding
This non-motorized sport relies solely on the performance of the hang glider to be successful. Participants in this sport launch themselves from a high area and glide to the ground with the aid of a device known as a wing. Throughout the flight, participants are in a constant state of decline and some are even capable of flying for several hours before landing. This sport is known as the most dangerous of all air related sports.
Paragliding is closely related to hang gliding with a few distinct differences. This sport features the participants in a seated position throughout the descent, which is controlled by a lightweight aircraft that relies on the pressure of the air to keep its descent regulated. Currently, an average of 7 out of every 10,000 gliders are killed each year when participating in this sport.
10. Wing Suit Sky Diving
Essentially, this sport is a cross between skydiving and hang gliding. Participants launch themselves either from a base or out of an airplane and use a specialized suit to propel them through the air, similar to a superhero. Due to the extreme speeds at which the ground is approached, parachutes are eventually used to allow the divers to float gently to the ground.
Sports have a way of raising our heart rate like no other event. In any extreme sport, many years of training are involved and participants spend many waking hours developing their skills and learning from their mistakes. It is important that inexperienced participants in any of these sports consult with a professional before beginning any training regimen.
People who participate in extreme sports do so for a number of reasons. Many love the thrill…others love the challenge, but whatever their reason you cannot deny the skill that is involved with each of these sports. For those who participate in these sports, the thrill of success greatly outweighs the dangers that they are placing themselves throughout the competition.