Skiing is rad. Paragliding is rad. What happens when you combine them? You get speed flying, one of the most insane sports to ever hit the scene. Sometimes, the evolution of a sport comes by spontaneous inspiration. At other times, like with speed flying, new sports arise when two old sports smash together. That’s what happened with these 5 adrenaline-pumping hybrid sports.
No waves, no problem. Wakesurfers create their own breaks. But unlike wakeboarders, they’re not strapped in. Wakesurfing riders are stuck by just friction to snub-nosed fiberglass boards. Also, they let go of the rope. Wakesurfing was thought up as far back as the ’50s when old school surfer bros played silly bro games in old school boat wakes. But the sport got serious in the ’90s when boat wakes became real, ridable waves. Watch some serious wakesurfing moves with Collin Harrington in the video above.
What makes a sport? No matter what you think, you probably don’t consider chess a sport. Kasparov and Deep Blue don’t think chess is a sport. If, however, you combine chess with boxing, well then you’ve created a high-intensity mental-physical fusion. That’s what comics artist Enki Bilal did in 1992, though it’s unclear if he has ever participated. He leaves the action up to brainy-brawny adrenaline chasers like Leonid “Granit” Chernobaev who won this Feb 2013 London chess boxing event by seventh round checkmate.
Polocrosse is played in Vanuatu, as well as several other rowdy horse countries, like Australia, where the sport was first taken seriously in the late 1930s. Polocrosse just makes sense. Instead of smacking a 3-inch hard plastic ball, players snatch and toss a 4 inch rubber ball… while riding a horse. Polocrosse players get unruly. Maybe it’s just that they’re Australian. Or maybe it’s just because it’s legal to smash buckets. Polocrosse is one of the few established hybrid sports that’s a definitive improvement upon the sports that birthed it.
Slamball is the brilliant fusion of 2 terrific sports: basketball and trampolining. This sport, however, is more physical than both those that came before, with players allowed to check each other and encouraged to take it to the hole. Dunks are worth 3 points. The highlights of this sport regularly beat out whatever you’ll find on your nightly TV top 10. Yahoo Answers says Dominique Wilkins is the greatest slamball player of all-time. Apparently there is no consensus on this.
This is the most dangerous hybrid sport on this list and one of the most dangerous sports ever conceived. Several speed flyers have perished while practicing speed flying, sometimes called speed riding. The sport is a daredevil’s cocktail of skiing, parachuting and paragliding. Speed flying was roughly conceived in the 70s and perfected in the 90s when technology enabled wings to be more responsive. Today there are 3,000 to 5,000 speed flyers, most of them in the Alps, where a number of dedicated speed flying resorts have been established. We previously showed you speed flyers skittering over Mont Blanc. See the video above for the first speed flying descent of the tallest mountain in the western hemisphere: Aconcagua.