Monday, 1 October 2012

The 10 Most Popular Extreme Sports

Extreme sports are those which are characteristically thrilling, owing to the high level of risk involved. They often include extremes of physical exertion or speed, or height. Danger is always present, and this adds to the thrills experienced. Many people enjoy watching extreme sports, rather than participating themselves. The popularity of extreme sports has increased in recent years, especially amongst young people.

One reason behind the evolution of extreme sports is the technological development which has made them possible. Most people do not experience much risk in everyday life, and this too adds to their attraction. People seek the thrill, and enjoy the attention it receives as well.

The Ten Most Popular Extreme Sports


The surfer uses a board to glide along on a breaking wave. There are now two classifications of surfing, based on the design of the board and riding style. These are short and long boarding. Surfing is said to have been developed long ago in Polynesia, and came to the rest of the world when Europeans first observed it.


This sport uses a surfboard with a sail, by means of which the rider can skim across the surface of the water. Thus it combines elements of surfing and sailing. The sport developed in the latter part of the twentieth century.

Hot Air Ballooning

This technology was the first form of human air transport. The balloon contains a bag which holds the hot air, and the passengers are carried in a wicker basket which hangs underneath. Hot air ballooning is now a sport, and modern structure includes fire resistant materials for the mouth of the balloon.

Mountain Biking

In this sport the bike rider rides over rough ground on a mountain bike or hybrid road bike. There are four classifications in mountain biking: street riding, downhill, freeride and cross country. Mountain biking has now developed as an extreme sport, and there is now a hall of fame to celebrate the achievements of early mountain bikers.

Hang Gliding

A hang glider is an aircraft which you can launch yourself, and which you then guide in the air by means of shifting your weight. You can also steer them by means of aircraft control technology. Modern hang gliders can perform aerobatic stunts and can fly long distances and at significant height.


The techniques of flying and launching a paraglider are similar to those in hang gliding. There are no solid supports in a paraglider. The paraglider pilot needs to possess understanding of relevant engineering technology and aircraft design, as well as weather conditions. Rough weather can cause a high degree of risk in this sport.


Skydiving, or parachuting, is when a person falls (on purpose) from a height, supported by a parachute. Early jumps were from hot air balloons in the eighteenth century, and it became an international sport in the mid twentieth century. It is now popular both as a recreation and as a sport.


This sport is enjoyed as a recreational activity as well as a sport, and combines elements of hiking, trekking and walking. The original intention was to reach high places, where no one had trekked previously. It then developed into a physically demanding sport. Some people enjoy mountaineering in the snow, others prefer rocky climbs.

Ice Climbing

This sport means climbing up icefalls and ice covered rock faces. There are two variations, water ice climbing (on cliffs or under waterfalls), and alpine ice climbing (in the mountains). The equipment used varies according to things such as the type of slope and ice texture.

Bungee Jumping

This extreme sport involves jumping from a height, whilst attached from above by a long elastic cord. The jumper usually jumps from a structure such as a crane, bridge or high building. The jumper falls free until caught and bounced up and down by the cord, and this provides lots of thrill.

By: → Seomul Evans

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