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The Amazing History of Extreme Sports

bmx in czech republic

The Amazing History of Extreme Sports

Are you a daredevil?

Do you enjoy courting danger?

Perhaps you crave the adrenaline that comes from pushing yourself to extreme limits. If that’s you, then extreme sports might be a great way to feed your inner adrenaline junkie in an amusing and competitive way. 

What’s an extreme sport?

Activities or sports that involve a high degree of risk. Extreme sports got their start with a few brave teenagers in the 1970s who began experimenting with mountain biking and motocross. 

Since then, many different extreme sports have been invented and become increasingly popular. Want to learn more? Keep reading to hear all about the amazing history of extreme sports.

Kinds of Extreme Sports

Daredevils everywhere continue to participate in extreme sports and develop new ways to test the limits of the human body. Here are the most popular extreme sports:

  • BMX – This acronym stands for bicycle motocross, the extreme sport that started it all. This sport involves racing special bicycles on a rough cross country style course.
  • BASE Jumping – This sport is all about parachuting from a fixed structure. The word BASE is an acronym for the types of structures one can jump from: building, antenna, span, earth (read: cliff).
  • Bungee Jumping – This activity involves jumping from a height (like a bridge) while tethered to a long rubber band by your ankles.
  • Cave Diving – It’s an extreme form of scuba diving that involves diving into underwater caves.
  • Paraskiing – Think skiing with a parachute. Skiers are attached to a parachute before skiing off a cliff and sailing through the air. Generally, they jump out of a helicopter at the top of the mountain and “ski” down.
  • Volcano Surfing – It’s as dangerous as it sounds! Surfers hike up the side of a volcano and slide down on a thin piece of wood or metal.
  • Freediving – This extreme sport is essentially scuba diving without the gear. Divers rely on holding their breath rather than taking oxygen tanks. If you were the kid that always won breath-holding contests in the pool, this might be the sport for you!
  • Rooftop Parkour – Parkour is illegal in some places because it involves moving quickly by running, jumping, and climbing over obstacles. Rooftop parkour is all about jumping from one rooftop to another or around the edges of a building. 
  • Highlining – Extreme athletes traverse a rubber band type rope high above the ground with or without a safety harness.
  • Extreme Pogo – Riding and performing tricks on specially designed pogo sticks, usually high in the air.

What’s the Most Dangerous Extreme Sport?

After reading about all the extreme sports mentioned above, I bet you’re wondering which sport is the most extreme. Many people think paraskiing, freediving, and volcano surfing are the most dangerous extreme sports. I can’t think of anything more dangerous than surfing a volcano!

While the answer is somewhat subjective, many experts agree that BASE jumping is the most dangerous of all extreme sports. Athletes who participate in this sport have the most deaths per population with a death rate of 1 in 2,317 people. 

Famous Extreme Athletes

Athletes often enjoy fame and fortune. They are revered as heroes and role models in many modern societies. Extreme athletes are no different. Here are some extreme athletes you should know:

  • Ken Block – Co-creator of DC shoes, Ken is a famous motocross athlete. He has also earned a name for himself in skateboarding and snowboarding. He is also known for videoing his stunts on YouTube.
  • Ryan Doyle – Famous parkour athlete is known for his unique style of running and performing martial art stunts while jumping from obstacle to obstacle. He is also an official Red Bull Athlete, holding many awards.
  • Chris McDougall – He’s a popular base jumper with 167,000 YouTube fans with 3,500 base jumps and over 7,000 skydives under his belt.
  • Tony Hawk – Hawk is a well-known professional skateboarding pioneer. He was also a stuntman and is famous for pioneering his method of vertical skateboarding.

Are Extreme Sports Dangerous?

Yes! Extreme sports are inherently dangerous in some way. That’s usually why athletes pursue these types of sports. They crave the rush of adrenaline that comes from taking risks and makes them feel more alive. Putting the body in a stressful situation triggers a rush of adrenaline. Extreme sports are usually centered around pushing the body to the limits to trigger this rush.

How to Get an Adrenaline Rush

Are you an adrenaline junkie too? Perhaps you enjoy the rush but aren’t quite ready for base jumping or volcano surfing. There are other ways to get an adrenaline rush without participating in the extreme sports mentioned above:

  • Sprint at full speed. This activity is sure to get your heart pumping and give you the rush you crave.
  • Visit a haunted house. Some people love the thrill of being scared, especially when there’s no real danger. Netherworld Haunted House in Stone Mountain, GA is on the attraction that is sure to get your blood pumping!
  • Try an escape room game. If you like pushing yourself to the extreme, then you may want to try an escape room games. It will test your limits physically and mentally! Escape Room Rank is the best way to find a challenging escape room experience near you.
  • Step outside your comfort zone. Doing something you wouldn’t normally is a great way to give yourself an adrenaline rush!

Whether you’re looking for an extreme sport to try on the weekend or even if you want to make it a career, there are plenty of ways to find that coveted adrenaline rush! If you’re interested in a more cerebral activity that will still test your physical and mental limits without truly putting you in physical danger, try an escape room.

If you need to test your physical limits to achieve a rush, maybe freediving is more your speed. If you just like watching other athletes push themselves to the extreme, check out Ken Block and Chris McDougall on YouTube. Whatever you’re looking for, there’s an extreme sport for you.

Sean Lockwood

Sean is a programmer with a passion for extreme sports. Favourite extreme sports discipline is biathlon. Started this blog because of the great love for nature and adrenaline which results in something extreme like Extreme Sports Lab (ESL).

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