Adrenaline junkies around the world are always on the hunt for new and more extreme ways to feed their thrill habit. Today’s hottest extreme sports span everything from zorbing to volcano surfing and are not for the faint of heart. But what exactly is zorbing and how does one surf down a volcano? To find out the answers to these questions, keep reading. Here are the top five extreme sports and pasttimes currently being practiced.
Surfing, that activity first made popular in 1950’s California, has graduated from the waves to the sides of live volcanoes. Volcano boarders balance precariously on wooden planks and surf down the side of the Cerro Negro mountain, an active volcano in Nicaragua. While the activity itself resembles snowboarding, the surfers must take a number of precautions to protect themselves from the rock hard mountain. Protective gear includes helmets and knee pads as well as a specially designed jumpsuit.
This is a perennial favorite among extreme sportsmen. After all, there are few activities as purely extreme as flinging yourself off a cliff and hoping for the best. Expert cliff jumpers have the skills of Olympic divers, performing elaborate flips, turns and choreographed displays in mid air. While a number of regulations have been put in place limiting cliff heights, dive speeds and the amount of freefall time, there is no doubt that this sport is ideal for those who hunger for adrenaline.
Zorbing is one of the newest extreme sports to hit the scene, but it is hitting in a big way. Those who practice zorbing strap themselves into the center of a giant plastic ball. This ball is suspended within a larger ball, which forms the outer zorbing structure. Once the rider is strapped in, the ball is pushed from the top of a steep hill, rolling at great speed until it reaches level ground. Many extreme athletes consider zorbing the perfect sport because the protective coating of the ball makes it relatively safe, while the high speeds achieved churn up plenty of adrenaline.
Downhill Ice Skating
Unlike zorbing, the activity practiced by downhill ice skaters is obvious from the name of the sport. Participants strap skates to their feet and race down steep, icy tracks. In many cases, the tracks are laden with additional obstacles such as jumps and sharp turns.
As it sounds, this sport is, literally, hockey played underwater. Competitors dressed in snorkeling gear use shortened, hand-held sticks to slap the puck around the bottom of a swimming pool. Most players find that the biggest challenge is getting up for air, as their snorkeling gear does not include an air tank.
So now you know what zorbing is, along with a number of other sports. Whether you decide to strap yourself into a ball, a volcano-proof jumpsuit or a set of snorkeling gear, there is no lack of methods for gaining that coveted adrenaline rush. From surfing, to diving, to zorbing, the world is an exciting place indeed.
Guest post by Zorbing South Ltd – pioneers of zorbing in the UK. For more information on zorbing, please visit the Zorbing South Ltd website.
Citations: Images by iragazzidiredbull; misterbisson