Do you love the feeling of pushing yourself to the limits? Do you enjoy physical challenges that make your heart race and palms sweat? If so, you are the perfect candidate for action sports. Action sports, better known as extreme sports, up the ante when it comes to undertaking thrill-seeking adventures. If traditional sports like basketball and football just won’t do, it’s time to try your hand at going extreme. Here are four extreme sports to satisfy the adventurist in you.
Canyoning (Gorge Walking)
Canyoning is an extreme outdoor sport whose popularity has grown exponentially since the 1980s. Its origins can be traced back to Edouard Alfred Martel, a French scientist who had a penchant for cave exploration. Today, canyoning is a modern test of athleticism that requires participants to intertwine rock climbing, cliff jumping, scrambling, and swimming skills to reach the end of mountainous courses.
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Snowkiting is an exhilarating winter sport that requires nothing more than a snowboard (or skis), a snow kite, wind and an open area filled with snow or ice. Snowkiters hold a handle that’s attached to a parachute-like kite. The tension from the wind then allows you the freedom to soar across the snow, while completing impressive spins and flips, adding more adventure to this adrenaline filled sport.
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Microlighting (also known as ultralight aviation) is defined as the operation of an extremely light, small-engined aircraft that can carry up to two people. You can also participate in microlighting by sitting in the passenger seat of the plane. Ultralight aviation is unique because it allows you to fly low, bringing you closer to beautiful scenes below. If you choose to fly solo, this sport is one of the few forms of aviation that doesn’t require the plane’s pilot to be licensed (although in-depth training is strongly advised). However, if you want to fly a two-seater ultra light, you will need a Sport Pilot Certificate to fly.
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Abseiling comes from the German term “abseilen,” which means to rope down. In the United States, this sport is better known as rappelling. Abseiling can be used to lower yourself down steep cliffs, mountains, buildings, bridges, and much more. It involves attaching a rope to an object, then binding yourself to the rope. After securing your rope, you lower yourself down the side of an object, while releasing rope to increase your distance from your starting point. This useful technique, turned sport, was created by an alpine guide named Jean Charlet-Straton, late in the 19th century.
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Obstacle Course Races (OCRs)
Modern obstacle course races range from traditional to outrageous. Over the past decade, the rise in big-market, annual obstacle course racing has surged dramatically. Currently, there are thousands of OCRs that span the globe. Some require participants to conquer their greatest phobias (ex: heights, tight spaces, fire, water and electricity), while others demand racers to slither through mud, carry partners on their backs and brave overnight challenges. The unique part of obstacle racing is, for many of them, participants don’t need to be hardcore athletes in order to qualify for entry.
For more information on the history of OCRs, click here.
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As with all physical activities, it’s important to use caution when participating in sports. However, when it comes to extreme sports, you need to be even more careful. Make sure to wear appropriate gear, advise weather conditions, applicable laws and any other safety rules put in place for your protection. And once you’ve taken care of those things, you’re free to have fun! Keep these four extreme sports in mind next time you are in need of a little adventure.