The Adrenalist

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The Historical Side of Extreme Sports




Professional jousting isn’t about recreating history. It’s about creating pain.

Riders in 130 pounds of armor gallop toward eachother at 30 miles per hour, balancing 11-foot hemlock lances in their grip. When knights collide, a lance tip can generate 50,000 pounds of pressure per square inch — more than enough force to decapitate a rider, or if properly aimed, throw an opponent from his steed. In the Ultimate Jousting Championship (UJC), dismounting a rider is worth 10 points, shattering a lance is worth 5, and a direct hit is worth 3.

Charlie Andrews, a 6-foot-4 former Navy seal and bull rider is the sport’s greatest competitor. He heads the Knights of Mayhem, a group of burly jousters now under the limelight in a new show on National Geographic Channel named after the crew. Knights of Mayhem premiered Tuesday, November 15.

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