Jan 13, 2013 03:13PM
Volcano Boarding. Picture from plunderguide.com
Extreme International Sports
By: Kristin Close
Street luging, heli-skiing, big-wave surfing, bull riding and bull running, motorcycle racing, cheerleading, high-altitude climbing, base jumping and cave diving -- 10 incredibly dangerous sports. You may not remember it, but there was a time when sports had a purpose greater than entertainment and advertising. Later, sports refocused to improve physical fitness and impress women. But the following list shows places where modern sport has devolved into novel death wishes. Here are 20 of the craziest extreme sports:
Volcano boarding Thousands of travelers head to Nicaragua's Cerro Negro mountain every year to take part in this steamy sport. Surfers, dressed in protective jump suits, knee-pads and helmets, can reach speeds of up to 50 mph on their specially-constructed plywood boards. Volcano boarding has attracted more than 10,000 participants. Racing down an active 2,380 ft. volcano at speeds of 50 mph with only a board for protection is considered the “coolest” sport around.
Train Surfing Train surfing involves riders climbing or "surfing" on the outside of a moving train or subway. The sport is a serious issue in South Africa, where many young people have been killed or injured. In 2005, train surfing was rediscovered in Frankfurt, Germany. In other areas, sometimes it's just called, commuting!
Crocodile Bungee Aussies spice up traditional bungee jumping by bungee jumping into a body of water containing live crocodiles. Not as easy or "safe" as it sounds!
Cliff Diving Braving the rough rocks, divers take a plunge in the hard-hitting water beneath.This dangerous sport originated from the Hawaiian Island of Lana´i in 1770. To the benefit of divers, certain standards have been set to minimize the risk factor. Some of these include determining the height of the jump (23 – 28 meters for men, 18 – 23 meters for women), an ideal entering speed of 75 – 100 km/h, and a free-fall time of three seconds.
Freestyle Powerisers Stilts This is an up-and-coming extreme sport where you wear these things on your feet that are a cross between low stilts and pogo sticks. The idea is to do stunts with them.
Underwater Hockey Underwater hockey, which was invented in Great Britain, is what some divers like to do during the winter months when the outside water is too cold for diving. The game is played using nothing more than snorkeling equipment, protective gear and gloves and the stick. The game is played at the bottom of the pool using a puck weighing over one kilogram.
AirKicking In this strange, extreme sport, a human catapult launches individuals over 26 feet in the air into a swimming pool or foam pit. The participant sits in a specially constructed seat at the back end of the catapult arm and three-two-one, liftoff! The participant sets the device in motion by pushing a button.
Slacklining A balance sport, Slacklining uses nylon webbing stretched tight between two anchor points. It is distinct from tightrope walking in that the line is not held taut; it is instead stretching and bouncing like a large rubber band.
Zorbing Ball Throwing yourself down a slope in a giant ball, or “zorbing,” is one of the latest extreme sport crazes to sweep the world. This bizarre sport involves a giant plastic ball, which has two skins, one inside the other. The person zorbing is in the area between the skins, which is pumped up with air. The middle ball effectively suspends them on a cushion of air and the ball is then rolled down a hill. Like a number of other extreme sports, such as bungee jumping, zorbing originated in New Zealand. There are two different ways to zorb -- either harnessed inside the ball, or "hydrozorbing," which involves putting water in the ball, allowing zorbers to slide around on as it rolls.