Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or a couch potato like us, we challenge you to try out any of these extreme sports that you may not know existed.
The perfect test of brains and brawn, chess boxing is an unusual sport that’s popular in, where else, Russia. Competitors first make their moves on a chessboard that’s set in the middle of a boxing ring. After a certain time, the boards are moved aside and the opponents go at it in a fist brawl, before the cycle repeats itself. Victory comes either through checkmate or knockout, so if you can’t outwit your opponent, you better be able to outfight him.
Requiring great balls of steel, ski flying is the bigger brother to the usual skiing seen during sports events like the Olympics. Participants build up speed and ski off a ramp, enjoying over five seconds of airtime over distances of over 200 meters, before making a landing. How these skiers keep their cool is a mystery.
Make momma proud by ironing your clothes, not from the comforts of home, but at any crazy location you can think of. Ingenious practitioners of this hilariously entertaining sport have done the chore at a mountainside, in a forest, on a canoe and even while skydiving. We think this is one of the few extreme sports that offer an exercise in creativity as well.
Turn up the heat by sliding down a steaming hot volcano with only a board and jumpsuit for protection. Apparently, the foothills of Nicaragua’s Cerro Negro mountain is the go-to spot for this activity, and participants are known to reach speeds of up to 80 km/h. Taking a tumble is not an option here.
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Jumping out of a plane while strapped in a kayak sure sounds sketchy, but that’s exactly what skyaking’s all about. With little use of the lower limbs, it takes more effort to steer the parachute to the safety of waters. As one YouTuber puts it, “when your mate asks you to go kayaking, make sure it’s on water before you say yes.”
If you thought canoeing was tough, wait till you see what these guys get up to. Pushing canoes in sub-zero temperatures and paddling through cold, icy waters is all in a day’s work for these rugged athletes. A bizarre but extreme sport indeed.
As its name implies, train surfing is really about climbing onto the roof of a moving train and “surfing” on it while it zips from station to station. Train surfing requires excellent balance, and we can’t imagine it happening in places like Singapore, where a large portion of stations are located underground.
A much more thrilling version of skydiving, BASE jumping takes place in the urban landscapes, usually on the roofs of record-breaking tall structures. The changing winds and neighboring buildings make the jump more challenging, but also more rewarding.
Think skateboarding, except that the rider is in a lying down position on a luge board, and the terrain is a down-sloped paved road with twists and turns. It takes real skills to navigate bends without crashing, not to mention that the only way to brake is using your feet. We won’t be wearing our prized sneakers for this.
Even mountain bikers are in awe of their unicycling counterparts, who are somehow adept at tackling the mountainous terrain while keeping their balance on the unicycle. We’ll probably just fumble and fall if we had to try this out.
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