As the World gets more and more chaotic, and our lives feel more and more insane, so it seems do peoples desires for adventure. Maybe it’s the idea of an impending world war that makes people forget putting things off to a later date and think “I might die tomorrow”. People feel compelled to remove the shackles of everyday life, and throw themselves into something completely different.
It doesn’t get much more ‘different’ and ‘out there’ than extreme sports. Long gone are the days of mundane activities. You may need to have your Back and Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers on speed dial, but people want to push themselves further and further towards the limit. TV channels like MTV and Extreme Sports TV have picked up on this trend with shows like Jackass receiving a cult following across the world.
Wingsuit flying – You may have seen some of these guys on your television. They basically dress up in a special suit, that makes them look like a flying squirrel, and then leap off a mountainside into hundreds of metres of fresh air. Sounds crazy doesn’t it? But currently this is the closest thing that humans have to flying without assistance. And for that reason, it’s high on many people’s ‘must do’ list.
Volcano Surfing – Riders hike up the volcano and slide down, sitting or standing, on a thin plywood or metal board. The most popular location for this is Cerro Negro near Leon in western Nicaragua. It might seem a breeze in comparison to Wingsuit flying, but remember, Cerro Negro is an active volcano, and could explode at any moment.
Cliff/BASE jumping – Similar to skydiving, the idea is to free fall for as long as possible, before pulling your parachute. However, due to the lower altitudes of the jumps, BASE jumping is significantly more dangerous than skydiving from a plane. In the U.S., BASE jumping is currently regarded by many as a fringe extreme sport or stunt. In some jurisdictions or locations, BASE jumping is prohibited or illegal; however, in some places it is permitted such as Perrine Bridge in Twin Falls, Idaho.
Wing Walking – Wing walking has been around since the 1920s, when stunt pilots would climb out on to the wings of their plane during stunt shows and air displays. Now it’s open to everyone and for around $500, you too can take a walk across the wings of an aeroplane while flying high above the fields below.
Paraskiing – To some people, Skiing would be considered quite an extreme sport. To most people parasailing would certainly fit into that bracket. Paraskiing takes it to a whole new level, by combining the two. The skier has a parasail attached to their back, and when they gather enough speed and momentum on the slope, they can simply decide to take off and rise far above the snow, and into the clouds.
Bungee Jumping – Probably the most popular of all these extreme sports. Much like BASE jumping and Wingsuit flying, the thrill comes from the free-falling aspect. However with bungee jumping, when the person jumps, the cord stretches and the jumper flies upwards again as the cord recoils. You can bungee jump all over the planet off bridges, damns, and even skyscrapers.
You maybe asking the same question I am. How on Earth do people get into these insane pastimes? Having spoken to extreme sportsmen and women, it seems to be an addiction. Once you have tried it, and felt the sheer exhilaration, you are hooked. There is no turning back.
Whichever one of these extreme activities takes your fancy, be sure to pack your big boy pants, These sports aren’t for the feint hearted.