EXTREME SPORTS FOR THE NOT-SO-EXTREME

  • MAR 15, 2011
  • CATEGORY:
  • WRITTEN BY: Evie Stacey

It’s thrilling to watch those extreme-sports athletes hurl themselves off high things, hurtle down hills at enormous speeds, and get amazing height on their dirt bikes, skis, skateboards, and snowboards. Most of us love to watch, but
wouldn’t dream of participating ourselves. However, if you think all extreme sports are off-limits to you, you’re missing out! There are several extreme sports that can give you an adrenaline rush like no other-but are also relatively safe and ideal for all skill levels.

If you’re an armchair extreme-sports fan-or just looking for the perfect birthday present for your thrill-seeking teen, or the most memorable first-date idea ever-read on! We’ll tell you the perfect extreme sports for anyone who wants to take a step outside of their comfort zone.

Tandem skydiving

Jumping out of a plane at 10,000 feet? Absolutely!Tandem skydiving is one of the easiest, most stress-free ways
possible to experience extreme sports.Throughout the ride, you’re securely strapped to an experienced skydiving instructor, who’ll ensure you’ll have a safe, fun and unforgettable time. You’ll be in freefall for under a minute, and
then you’ll experience a slow, peaceful drift among the clouds and back down to earth, where you’ll get to enjoy spectacular views-and let your heart rate slow down a bit!

Static line

Parachute jumping This is very similar to skydiving.You’ll do this one without a tandem instructor, but no worries-the
chute opens automatically! At most static-line parachuting schools, you’ll go through 8 to 10 hours of basic training first-just so you’ll know what to do in an emergency. You’ll be outfitted with a round or square parachute, and you’ll
jump from a plane at around 3,000 feet. You’ll barely experience freefall-the chute opens by itself as you leave the aircraft. If you’d like the floating experience of skydiving but aren’t sure you’re quite up for the big jump, static line parachuting is a great way to get your feet wet.

Bungee jumping

Who was the first guy to decide it’d be a good idea to attach a rubber cord to his ankles and jump off something high? Whoever he was, you’ll want to thank him after your first bungee jump. This sport is a real adrenaline rush, but done under proper conditions, it’s as safe as skydiving. It’s a perfect extreme-sports experience for anyone who’s always
wanted to jump off a high bridge or tower and escape unscathed.

Zorbing and hydro-zorbing

Have you ever thought it’d be fun to hurtle down a hill inside a big plastic bubble? That’s exactly what zorbing involves-you’ll be strapped inside a huge PVC ball, suspended within an even larger one with thousands of nylon strands. Then you’ll be pushed down a hill! It’s a bizarre sport, to say the least-but there will be no bumps or bruises involved. The ball-within-a-ball suspension system keeps you cushioned and protected from the hard ground the whole way. With hydro-zorbing, there’s water added inside so you’ll feel like you’re inside a waterfall as you speed down the hill. Perfect for those who want to try something a little different!

Paintball

Get in touch with your inner warrior. It’s great exercise, and it’s a lot of fun. At a paintball facility, you’ll be furnished with guns that shoot paint pellets, safety equipment, and goggles. Most facilities have extensive outdoor fields full of manmade and natural shelters and obstacles, as well as smaller obstacle-course fields. Each is perfect for a different kind of play, and you’ll have time to experience both-the best paintball outings last all day. It’s great for birthday parties, office outings, and family reunions. Just try paintball once, and you’ll be hooked.

Kite surfing

It takes a bit of practice, but kite surfing is a great way to have fun on the water. Kite surfing involves using a large kite to pull a small surfboard or wakeboard over the surface of the water. Some describe it as a cross between water-skiing and windsurfing. The sport is considerably safer and more accessible to beginners now than it was in the past due to advances in technology, with over 200,000 practitioners worldwide.

White-water rafting

Are you nervous on the water? Never fear-you can navigate waves and whirlpools, hurtle down raging rivers, and handle strong currents in confidence and safety with an experienced white-water rafting guide. At most white-water rafting companies, you’ll be with a group of people and a guide in a large, heavy-duty inflatable raft.Most companies will give you a flotation device to wear, and won’t put you in a boat without a guide. It’s a great introduction to
water sports, even for those with no prior experience.

There’s no reason extreme sports should be limited to extreme athletes. With all the options out there for safe, fun and accessible extreme sports, there’s nothing keeping you from getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new. Give just one of these exciting activities a try-and you’ll have stories to impress your friends and family with for a long time afterwards!


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