From surfing to skydiving, there are more ways than ever for every type of adrenaline junky to get their blood pumping, and they vary greatly in danger and difficulty. Whether your idea of the perfect sport involves heights, wicked environments, or pushing your body to the limit, these demanding activities require tons of confidence and are only for the biggest adrenaline junkies out there.
While the average person may see a path of ledges, fences, and walls as impenetrable, the parkour practitioner called a “traceur”, has a skillset of vaults, leaps, and ridiculous climbing skills that allow them to push through every thing in their way. Parkour skills can be learned safely in a gym, and it would be wise to get good before you hit the streets and end up with a brutal wipeout. Mats are forgiving, 15 ft drops onto concrete are not. Not many traceurs wear sunglasses while doing Parkour, however, a pair of polarized sunnies may benefit you during free running. Polarized sunglasses can help tone down glare off street signs and other metal objects that you may be jumping off of or onto. Polarized sunglasses enhance your vision and will not alter your depth perception like some sunglasses have been known to do. Precision matters with Parkour, so get yourself a pair of sweet polarized shades to keep you safe while you’re out running the streets.
Just earlier this month, Brad Domke did what everyone thought was impossible, when he conquered the vicious waves of Teahupoo on his skimboard. Another fun advantage of skimboarding is that you can go fast and do tricks on the shoreline, so unlike surfing, your fun isn’t dependent on big waves. However, if you’re like Domke and love to test the limits of what’s possible, then feel free to take your skimboard out to where the big waves are. If you catch a huge wave and get it on video, perhaps you can get a nomination for “Ride of the Year” from the World Surf League just like Brad.
Formerly called spelunking or potholing, caving involves the climbing, navigation, and exploration of caves. Dangers associated with caving are very real, and include hypothermia, falling, slipping, and getting stuck in flooding areas. That said, the experience is sure to be unique and rewarding, since you're exploring areas that few others have ever dared to venture. Another reward of caving is that skilled cavers will often take panoramic videos that detail previously unexplored areas, like this easily navigable panoramic of Armedia Cave in France. If braving real danger to explore the Earth’s underground natural mazes sounds like a blast, then caving might be ideal for you.
How Much are You Willing to Handle?
While serious courage is required to drop down into a pitch-black cave with only a rope, or ride a massive wave on just a skimboard, you can dominate these extreme sports with practice and preparation. With that said, there are other extreme sports where you don’t have such a wide margin of error. For example, sports like basejumping, rock climbing, and street luge can get really dicey in a short amount of time. Whatever the activity, bringing the right gear, dressing comfortably, and understanding the factors that are within your control are key elements to staying safe.