Some people say extreme sports are dangerous – and they’re probably right – but hey, if you’re going to get injured you might as well do it with style! The top three causes of head injuries last year were cycling, football and basketball. So let’s not pretend that regular sports are safer than extreme ones – it’s just that most folks can’t handle the rush! Here’s my top five ways to spice up your sports life for 2013:
5) BASE Jumping
No, the capitalisation isn’t to indicate the extreme awesomeness of this activity – it stands for Buildings, Antennae, Spans, Earth. Spans tends to mean bridges and earth tends to mean cliffs, but then the beauty of BASE jumping is that it’s basically just launching yourself from anywhere possible with a parachute ready to go. Although BASE jumping dates back to 1978 and has been doing the rounds quite a lot recently thanks to viral Internet clips, it’s still making the “New” list because every jump is a new possibility. If BASE jumping’s getting stale then you are getting stale my friend.
4) Ostrich Racing
Again you might be questioning what this is doing on a “New” list. That is, if you’re from South Africa or Jacksonville, Florida, USA – the two homes of ostrich racing. For the rest of us this extreme sport is worth attending just for the show with sometimes five or even ten ostriches on the go at a time this is a seriously strange, potentially suicidal spectacle. For the pro there’s the chance to ride an ostrich, although if you’re not into all that biting, flapping and kicking head injury potential then there are carts available for racing chariot-style too!
3) Fly boarding
Now, I’m not really a water sports guy, so this is coming in at number three, but I’ve no doubt it’ll be topping out most people’s wish lists this year. Fly boarding is basically half way between parasailing and – every kid’s dream – a jetpack. Using a massively powerful water pump and some pretty sophisticated engineering the fly board will see you rocketing around lakes and coastlines at the back of a power boat. Already popular in Australia and the US, fly boarding’s on its way to the UK too.
2) Bird Man Suits
The bird man suit has a bunch of names: the flying squirrel suit, wing-suit, and bat-suit. From the names I can guess you know where I’m going… It’s a specially designed suit that lets you glide through the air at controlled speeds – adding a little extra to your usual skydiving experience. This is probably the closest we’re going to get to flying until someone invents an anti-gravity engine and sticks it to a fly board. For bonus points combine this with BASE jumping and you’ve got some serious death-defying thrills on your hands.
1) Pillow Fighting
Now, I started this list talking about head injuries and now I’m closing it with pillow fighting? Something of an anti-climax, you say? Not even slightly! The Pillow Fight League of Toronto, Canada is the newest thing in combat sports and incorporates all sorts of wrestling and martial arts moves into your standard pillow-fight set-up and these do some serious damage! Now, currently the League is women only and has never travelled to the UK – but I’m tipping this number one as I can feel 2013’s going to be the year the Brits take extreme pillow fighting to the next level!
Hopefully this rundown has got you in the mood to branch out from your standard sports routine and try something new. It might seem dangerous at first, but most of these extreme sports take place under professional supervision. So if you are unlucky enough to get injured – there’s always compensation!
Emily Starr is a blogger who fears even jumping from a swing, never mind off a bridge. However, if you are an extreme adrenaline junky and thrill seeker, then it is advisable that you check out research how to make an injury claim, just in case you suffer a back or head injury.