What constitutes extreme sports is different for everyone. Some people feel a trip to the hairdresser is like playing a game of Russian Roulette with their social lives, for others, hurling themselves off skyscrapers is just another day in paradise. I think we can all agree that extreme sport is anything you may not come back from. True, you may always be known as the person who had that wardrobe malfunction that one time, and you may never claw your way back from that, but unlike these sports, a bad cut or dodgy dye job probably won’t kill you.
Big Wave Surfing
Some people consider surfing to be the most extreme of extreme sports, especially if you have a fear of sharks. For the big boys however, a surf isn’t worth it if you aren’t riding down the face of a monster wave. By monster, I mean six to thirty meter big waves and there are surfers who have claimed to surf 100 ft. waves. These bad boys are too big to paddle into and require a tow with a jet ski. Dangerous for both surfer and jet skier, these waves can dump you a good 20 to 30 feet under the water. That’s enough water pressure to burst your eardrums, and only if there is that much depth below the surface. The painful dumps drop you onto shallow reefs. Like the Banzai Pipeline in Oahu.
Wingsuit Base Jumping
Who hasn’t dreamed of flying? Arguably the deadliest of the extreme sports, this one had a reported death toll of 37 last year. The suits used in Wingsuit Base jumping have been developed to create extra lift by adding fabric between the legs and under the jumper’s arms. Originally used to extend the freefall time and acrobatics for skydiving, it wasn’t long before base jumpers saw the potential. The skilled pilots have made an art form of flying just meters off the ground. Extreme? Absolutely. Fun? That depends on you!
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Just like the tight rope walking acts we all love to see. Highlining could get confused with rope walking but only because they both involve, you know, rope. Highlining is like extreme slacklining. Using a slacker line to give it some movement and flexibility, high liners string slacklines between any high points like two cliff faces, or skyscrapers. Yes, you can wear a harness linking you to the line, but it’s the guys that don’t that really make this sport extreme. Not to mention that a gust of wind can blow you off your perch.
It seems the most extreme sports involve height, but what about depth? Freediving or breath-hold diving is the practice of diving to depth unassisted by equipment and with no breathing apparatus. Sounds easy enough, you run out of air, turn around and come back to the surface, right? Wrong. Free divers will typically hyperventilate at the surface to rid their bodies of as much Carbon Dioxide as possible. Contrary to widespread belief, it is a build-up of Carbon Dioxide that triggers us to breathe, not a lack of oxygen. The simple explanation. You pass out before you realise you need to breathe. Under the sea. Enough said.
For some, living is just not living if they aren’t pushing their bodies to the limit, overcoming fear or living from adrenalin rush to adrenalin rush. And it takes commitment, but there are far safer ways to spend your time!