2012 has come to a close and, if you’ve been reading The Adrenalist all year, that means you’ve been exposed to some of the most intense extreme sports videos that the Internet has to offer. Whether it was completely viral, barely mainstream, or totally underground, chances are you’ve stumbled across it on our pages. The publication of all that awesome content naturally begs the question: which video was the most awesome? We couldn’t pick one, so we grabbed five that, for various reasons which we’ll expound upon, best represented our values. Reflect with us, and toast to a very adventurous year.
Hot Wheels Twist
Who could forget this image of stunt driver Brent Fletcher breaking the world record for longest corkscrew jump? Clearly not us. We’ve written about it in our Hot Wheels Corckscrew Jump Sets Record feature and would do so a hundred more if we could. In a feat that shattered the previous benchmark of 74 feet, Fletcher hopped his 2,600 pound off-road buggy across a 92-foot gap as part of a Hot Wheels-sponsored stunt that wows us as much today as the first time we saw it. Aside from looking fantastic, Fletcher’s video is included because of his pioneering accomplishment and because he was bold enough to take the risks necessary to venture into territory where no person had ventured before. That’s truly The Adrenalist way.
When we first heard about this piece, we figured it was some advertising stunt and made up our minds that the whole thing was CGI before we even took a look. Though pro slackliner Faith Dickey did perform this stunt for a Volvo ad, her moves were the farthest thing from computer-generated. All alone on a Croatian highway, with few safety guards in place should she fail to complete her mission, Dickey did something that, to our knowledge, no one had ever done before. There was no record to beat, no hurdle to clear. She was first, and that takes incredible courage.
If Fletcher and Dickey were courageous, then this unnamed kite surfer is just plain nuts but, as we’ve seen, there’s certainly a place for that kind of behavior in the world of extreme sport. In fact, this sort of controlled recklessness is what motors many pros who meld big time skills with the fearless pursuit of danger in any and all forms. The key elements to remember here are, first, anything – even the most unthinkable stunt – is achievable with the proper skills and the risk tolerance and, second, the craziest tricks should be left to the most seasoned Adrenalists. To be crystal clear, kite surfing during a tropical storm certainly qualifies as a crazy trick. We can only hope that this daredevil had done this sort of thing before. It sure looks like it.
Perseverance. Perseverance. Perseverance. Tired of hearing that’s what it takes to succeed? Tough, because it’s the purest truth you will ever know. Anything that’s worth achieving requires tireless, thankless, sometimes hopeless work. It makes you want to give up, get angry, abandon your dreams for easier pursuits. Anytime you feel like you’re at the end of your rope, think about the determination shown by Paul Basagoitia as he nails one of the craziest backflips in this video and remember that every uphill climb has a peak. It all depends on how hard you want to fight to see it.
We captured a lot of fantastic moments this year, but we know there are some out there we missed. That’s why we’re capping off our ode to 2012 with this incredible “People Are Crazy” montage. We’re ardent supporters of the People Are Awesome compilations and we feature this piece because we want to broaden “awesome’s” definition to include all things weird, unique, one-of-a-kind, brave, innovative–all the qualities that we champion on a daily basis. As another year begins, let weirdness be your guide. No one ever accomplished anything great by conforming. It’s your year, it’s your life, it’s your chance to make your mark on the world. Godspeed, Adrenalists. We have every confidence you’ll make 2013′s montage even more breathtaking than this one.
Cover Photo Credit: Gabriella Insuratelu / Shutterstock