Extreme sports are not for the faint of heart. Even so, participation has grown exponentially as more and more people get bitten by the extreme sports bug and want to experience the adrenaline high.
We can say that the present generation of kids that loves playing on jumping castles will further grow participation in extreme sporting activities described below.
Becoming More Extreme
In the good old days, bungee jumping, white water rafting, and mountain biking were considered risky and exotic, now they are viewed as relatively tame in the world of extreme sports. BASE jumping is one of the new sports that ups the danger ante. Instead of jumping out of a plane, like traditional sky diving, participants jump off structures including bridges, buildings, and cliffs and use a parachute to land. It is riskier because jumpers are falling shorter distances and need to react more quickly to stop. The probably of death is almost 100% percent if one’s parachute does not open. Another variation of sky diving that is great for adrenaline junkies is volcano diving. It works like it sounds; participants dive into a volcano and hopefully find a safe place to land, if such a thing exists in an active volcano. One of the most complicated parts of volcano diving is being able to get the diver out.
A further example of how extreme sports are becoming crazier applies to the evolution of endurance events. Marathons and triathlons used to be considered some of the most grueling sporting competitions. They may now seem like a walk in the park compared to races like the “Tough Guy” and “Tough Mudder.” These events are team obstacle courses and participants are faced with grueling challenges including swimming through small, dark tunnels in muddy water and running across broken glass and fire. If that’s not enough, they may also have to cross live electrical wires and get shocked in the process. To top it off, these races often take place in winter and the cold weather adds another layer of discomfort to the event.
Rise of Freestyle Scootering
Another new trend in extreme sports is the rise in popularity of freestyle scootering. Riders can perform their death defying jumps and tricks in skate parks specifically designed for scooter riding, or ride the street using structures including handrails, ledges, and stairs. The International Scooter Association (ISA) Championship is the top prize in park scooter competition.
Increase in Face to Face Events
The number of recognized face to face extreme sports events has been increasing. Four examples are Boardercross, Ski cross, Ice cross and BMX bike racing. These events are timed downhill races on obstacle courses made of snow, ice and dirt, respectively. Participants race each other in groups to see who will finish first.
More and More Are Recognized as Olympic Events
Even the Olympics are going extreme. Snowboarding and BMX racing were some of the first extreme sports recognized as Olympic events. At the 2014 Sochi Olympic, nine of the new sports originated from extreme sports. These events draw bigger television audiences and, wanting to capitalize on this trend; Olympic organizers are increasingly replacing some of the more traditional slower-paced (boring) events with newer extreme ones.
It is hard to predict what will be next for extreme sports. If the past is any indication, the future promises more danger and excitement.