No one wants to get hurt. That’s not why we put ourselves to the test and that’s not why we love it when others do. It’s not about enduring pain, it’s about escaping it, cheating the probabilities by relying on our physical skills and mental toughness. The human body’s a marvel and our job as Adrenalists is to push it farther than anyone’s ever pushed it before, to set new standards for what’s possible. Testing physical limits almost always means danger, but without the risk of it, there’d be no adrenaline pumping through our veins. Without that, what’s the point?
Check out five of the most dangerous extreme sports stunts ever undertaken.
Flaming Jet-Car Drag
Imagine being dragged by a car. Doesn’t sound too fun, does it? Now imagine being dragged by a car equipped with a 14,000 horsepower jet engine, while 698-degree-fahrenheit flames shoot out just inches from your head. For stuntman Reno Jaton, this horrific scenario was more than a hypothetical when he submitted himself to various types of stunt torture in an effort to nab the world record for being dragged. Jaton was pulled for a quarter of a mile at a top speed of 236 mph. Now that sounds fun, right?
We covered shockfighting back in February in our Adding Shock to Fighting feature. We were pretty surprised to find out then that a sport exists wherein competitors strap tasers to their gloves and box, and we still haven’t gotten over the shock (no pun intended). As if the notion of getting zapped with thousands of volts of electricity isn’t extreme enough, shockfighting seems even crazier when you consider the sport has no weight classes, rules, or referees. The only way to win is to cry “uncle” or defeat your opponent by “shock out.” We don’t know what that means exactly and, to be honest, we’re a little afraid to find out.
Strongest Abs Test
If you’re squeamish, you may want to skip this one. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. What you see in this video is not fake. Strongman Tom Owen actually endured seven trucks, each weighing in excess of 1,000 pounds, running over his bare abs. In doing so, Owen won the Guinness World Record for strongest abs. Owen is, beyond any shadow of a doubt, one of the most extreme dudes we’ve ever seen. While this stunt was deadly, his tireless preparation and confidence in his abilities allowed him to distinguish himself and prove to the world the human body is capable of so much more than we ever thought.
Everything mentioned so far has been extraordinarily intense beyond any shadow of a doubt but, for some reason, wingsuiter Gary Connery’s parachuteless jump out of a helicopter flying 2, 400 feet in the air evokes the most visceral reaction for us. The thought of Connery’s trusting his calculations enough (methodical as they were) to be the first person in history to both hurl himself out of an aircraft and land sans parachute (Travis Pastrana did the former here) is as impressive as it is mind boggling. Not only is Connery a daredevil and a pioneer, but he’s also something of a physics wiz. Truly spectacular and certainly not something to try on your own, ever, unless your name’s Gary Connery and this blurb was written about you.
Bungee cords? Who needs ‘em? Not Vanautu tribe members, that’s for sure. As a showing of respect toward the gods they worship, tribe members hurl themselves off 100-foot-high platforms, suspended by vines in a practice called land diving. But, as we learned in our Extreme Tribal Sports feature, vines used are not necessarily elastic enough to prevent land divers from crashing to their death. Village elders reportedly pick vines they believe to be sap-filled and elastic and, thus, more likely to prevent an adult from grave injury, but there’s certainly no scientific selection method. More, proper land diving tradition calls for divers to scrape the tops of their heads on the ground if they wish to make a fully valid showing of divine respect. You couldn’t cut it any closer if you tried.