There’s no arguing that surfing, skateboarding and rock climbing are pretty intense. As modern-day technology is developed, however, so are the possibilities for extreme sports to reach the next level of difficulty and exhilaration. Amazing, adrenaline-fueled feats are being achieved every day with the help of machines and cutting-edge equipment. Rest assured though, as these activities will be taken to new heights in the years to come.
Here are five space-age extreme sports.
We’ve watched dozens of wingsuiting videos, but they never cease to amaze us. Athletes dressing in full-body suits equipped with fold-out wings use their space-age equipment to jump off enormous cliffs, gliding along on the air current like birds. This is not something one can get to get bored of seeing let alone doing. It’s hard to tell what’s more impressive about wingsuiting: the speed with which the flyers fall through the air or the control that they maintain over themselves despite lacking any form of personal propulsion. It isn’t as if they can just activate their boosters if the wingsuit heads toward the ground. They need to be conscious the entire time of staying level and using the wind and their own momentum to their advantage. If they lose control of those things, they could end up in serious trouble.
Many extreme sports can be boiled down to one human quest: get as close to flying with as little encumbering equipment as possible. Paramotoring is a part of this journey. Just strap a large fan-like motor to your back and take off, flying with the power of the propulsive system on your back. There is paramotor racing and similar competitions, but other than that, there’s just the thrill of the flight and the activity. There’s a reason human beings have been trying to fly for so long, and that’s because, to a generally grounded species, it’s one of the most thrilling things you can do. Unlike parachuting and similar jumping sports, with a paramotor, you can go up as well as down, which does wonders for your sense of control over the situation. We have high hopes for the future of this speedy sport.
Extreme High-Altitude Jumping
A few weeks ago, Felix Baumgartner jumped from space, literally. The technology and equipment required to survive a jump like this, much less set it up, is mind-boggling, and none of it existed until very recently. Even now, it’s an incredibly delicate process: Baumgartner’s jump was postponed multiple times due to improper conditions. Though an endeavor like this seems like science or space exploration, it really is an extreme sport above everything else. The primary effect of Baumgartner’s jump was to inspire us and all other Adrenalists out there, and we can’t help but thinking that the space jump was just the beginning.
Surfing is great, but we wouldn’t fault you for thinking it can be a little slow. Why can’t surfboards have motors so that between waves you could still get a thrill out of zooming across the ocean? Well, you’re in luck, because now there’s jet boarding, which is essentially riding surfboard-like boards that are equipped with powerful motors. No longer are you at the mercy of the surf and the ocean’s momentum. Get ready for some big wave jet boarding in the near future.
Speed Hill Climbing
People have basically found every possible way they can to use cars for extreme-sports purposes. This includes racing, downhill driving and cross-country driving, to name a few. Driving as fast as you can up one of the biggest mountains in the world, however, is a new concept. In the video above, the goal is to get to the top of Mt. Washington as fast as humanly possible, and that requires an insane series of bursts around incredibly sharp roads and thin turns. The thing about going uphill is that, at first, it seems like a bad scenario for extreme sports, as it limits speed, but it’s actually quite the opposite. If you can create speed while going up a hill, you’ve essentially multiplied the thrill and difficulty, because you’re creating a situation that rarely exists.