Sports have a way of pumping up one’s adrenaline. They are a great source of entertainment, some are relaxing, while others are challenging. There is always a level of danger involved in majority of the physical sports, but in some, the danger level can bring the athlete close enough to death.
Let us take a look at the 10 most extreme sports of the world:
This is whitewater kayaking taken to the limit. In the 1980s, as more durable kayaks were built, extreme kayakers thought of using their ride to plunge off high waterfalls. The adrenalin rush brought about by the plunge is further increased by the thought of hitting into jagged rocks or being sucked down below the water.
This is the most dangerous recreational sport in the world, with one death recorded for every 2,317 jumps. Jumpers throw themselves off one of the BASE structures, meaning from a building, antenna, span or bridge, and earth or cliffs. Parachutes are then deployed for a safe landing. It is sort of similar to skydiving, only you will have a much shorter time of reacting in case a parachute fails. If the parachute does fail, death is almost a certainty.
Surfers love to drop off from the highest of waves, some of which are as tall as skyscrapers. The problem is how to get and latch onto the waves in time, as the waves move so quickly that it is extremely difficult to paddle into them. With the invention of the Jet Ski, however, the problem seems to have been solved. Surfing stars like Laird Hamilton and Dave Kalama can attest to the rush brought about by this technique. Of course, now that they are able to reach the top of the wave, they now face another problem of being thrown into sharp reefs or being held down underwater in case of a wipeout.
Rock climbing in itself is already a difficult sport. Imagine removing all the safety ropes, harnesses and other equipment that can aid you in case you slip up. That is what free soloing is all about. They need to be able to support their entire weight using just their fingertips and toe tips, while maintaining intense concentration lest they fall off. One tiny mistake and that’s it.
It is not too hard to pick out from the name of the sport itself that heli-skiing has something to do with helicopters. Well, it is off-trail, downhill snowboarding or skiing, accessed by a helicopter. Passionate patrons of the sport even book a year in advance to leap onto snow on peaks far away from human inhabitation, and then ski down. They ignore completely the possibility of being stranded by weather change, or being killed by avalanche. The helicopter rides, too, are perilous.
Cave diving is an unusual sport which involves underwater diving in caves with at least partial water content. Besides the use of regular scuba equipment in specialized configurations, it uses a varied range of equipment, depending on the circumstances. Major hazards of this sport are caused my lighting failure and low visibility, which can lead to separation from the partner. Air loss is another peril, especially because one can’t just rise to the surface to catch air, or he might smash his head.
Bull riding is a rodeo sport, in which the rider mounts a large bull and tries to stay atop the bull, while it attempts to buck off the rider. This sport is considered a great favourite with the extremely macho men who like to boast about their high testosterone level and are ready to take on any pain for the sake of it. While the fall can cause severe injuries and concussions, the bull, which can weigh up to 1800 pounds, may trample the fallen rider. But, for some, beyond the pain and fear lies an art.
Those who live in areas where the winter is fierce can try out ice climbing. It involves scaling formations of vertical ice, like frozen waterfalls and cliffs covered with ice. The old method used for the sport is step cutting, which entails chipping out ice with an ice-pick to create your own foothold. The British was able to invent in the early 20th century a device called the cramp-on, which allowed the fastening of toothed claw to the climbing boots. This has since been the basis of all advancements made in the sport. Of course, the aim is to speed up the climbing time and minimize the chance of getting numb because of the cold.
This sport entails climbing up a volcano, then surfing down its side by sliding using plywood boards. The boards are reinforced by steel, metal or Formica. You can do it while sitting down, though veterans of the sport can do it upright. It sounds easy enough, until you start hitting sharp volcano rocks.
Despite of so much of danger involved, a large number of people are drawn to these dangerous sports, just for the adrenaline rush and the kick they get from it. These sports are not for the faint-hearted. If someone loves to live on the edge, these are the sports are just meant for them.