In a world where adrenaline junkies seek new thrills, extreme sports have evolved far beyond the realms of traditional activities.
While well-known sports like skydiving and rock climbing continue to capture the spotlight, there exists a realm of lesser-known extreme sports that will make you question: ‘is that real?’, ‘why would anyone do that?’, and ‘how can I do that?’
Let's dive into the extraordinary world of extreme sports and the communities that thrive on the unconventional.
Underwater Hockey: The Subaquatic Showdown
Have you ever watched a film and held your breath when the characters go underwater, just to see if you’d survive? If so, this sport is probably not for you…
Played at the bottom of a swimming pool, teams equipped with fins, masks, and small sticks aim to score goals on the opposing team's tray.
It's a test of endurance and skill, requiring players to navigate the water's depths while outmanoeuvring their opponents - imagine trying to move those heavy sticks through the water!
This unusual game is a lot more popular than you might think, with 2023 marking the 21st World Championships.
Unfortunately, like with most sports, Great Britain isn’t very good at it!
Volcano Boarding: Racing Down the Inferno
For those seeking the thrill of descending an active volcano, volcano boarding is the answer.
Although… I don’t know why you would want to!
Originating in Nicaragua, thrill-seekers don protective gear and surf down the ashy slopes of an active volcano on specially designed boards.
The intense rush of flying down the side of a smouldering volcano creates an unforgettable experience for participants in this daring sport. Especially for amateurs, it’s certainly a once in a lifetime opportunity!
Morbidly curious, I decided to research the sport on YouTube, and came across this video. The ashy residue left on the sides of the volcanoes makes this similar to sand-boarding, just a lot more dangerous.
The video shows a few participants crashing and burning (no pun intended) as they come away from their sleds, but it’s all smiles for these thrill seekers.
Still, I don’t think it’s anything I’ll be trying soon…
Zorbing: Inside the Giant Human Hamster Ball
Here’s one I have tried!
Participants enter giant transparent spheres, often referred to as human hamster balls, and hurtle down hills or across water.
The sport originated in New Zealand and has gained popularity worldwide, attracting enthusiasts who revel in the unique sensation of being inside a rolling orb.
The zorbing community is diverse, drawing in individuals seeking a novel and exhilarating experience that defies gravity, and can sometimes be seen at community events in West Cumbria!
Also known as bubble football, this is an incredible sport to take part in with friends and family, as part of a special occasion, or just for a laugh on the weekend!
As someone who needs to be enveloped in bubble wrap to play sport safely, this one might be my favourite of this list…
Wingsuit BASE Jumping: Soaring with the Birds
WARNING: Not suitable for those with a fear of heights…
Wingsuit BASE jumping combines skydiving and gliding, as participants don specially designed suits that allow them to soar through the air like human birds.
Jumping off cliffs or other elevated structures, wingsuit flyers experience an unmatched sense of freedom and speed.
As incredible as this sounds to the average person, I’d imagine there’s no man (living or dead) that could love this sport as much as the infamous Franz Reichelt…
In the vibrant world of extreme sports, these lesser-known activities showcase the limitless creativity and audacity of thrill-seekers.
From the depths of underwater hockey competitions to the fiery slopes of volcano boarding adventures, these sports offer an escape from the ordinary and a chance to embrace the extraordinary.
The communities built around these activities share a common thread of passion, camaraderie, and the pursuit of experiences that defy the conventional boundaries of sport and adventure.