The Adrenalist

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Extreme Sports We Want In X-Games



For Adrenalists, the X-Games are the holy grail, a biannual Olympiad-style face off among some of the most talented pros in extreme sport. Some of the best moments of our year happen when we’re watching superpipe action or BMX freestyle street insanity. There are, however, a couple of sports we’d really love the X-Games committee to add to the event roster. Some choices on our list used to be featured and have gone away. Others are more…pipe dreams. Or are they? We’re talking to you, X-Games sport selection peeps! Check out the extreme sports we want in the X-Games below!


To bring back skysurfing would be pretty retro, yes, but what’s so wrong with that? Besides, skysurfing has been an X-Games sport before. In fact, it was so until only twelve years ago. We know it’s very dangerous and we know the increasing lack of trained instructors makes teaching new generations of skysurfers nearly impossible. We guess there was just something sort of insane and cool about competitors taping their arms to prevent blood clotting and blackouts during high-altitude spins. Is it just us? Okay, so let’s just say, hypothetically, that we created an online petition. Would you e-sign it? Check out this video of Russel Calkins, the first- ever ESPN Skysurfing demo champion, if you’re still not convinced.

Free Soloing

It would be simple: one 45-story building, three competitors, no safety harnesses or ropes of any kind and one stopwatch. Whoever free solos to the top the quickest wins. Alain Robert, seen above, would surely add some golds to his trophy case, but we bet, as the years got on, free solo upstart Alex Honnold would give him a run for his money. Some foreseeable barriers: finding a building whose owners would ever, in a million years, allow this to happen, and… well, actually we guess that’s really the main hurdle. There are always mountains, though. No permission needed to scale the great outdoors, right? One non-negotiable element would be headcams, worn by all athletes. Wouldn’t it be incredible to be in Honnold’s grill as he sweated it out thousands of feet above ground, checking constantly to see who was on his tail?


It seems like a no-brainer that wakeboarding would be an X-Games sport and, once upon a time it was. No longer. We have heard rumblings about the ticketing committee having difficulty filling seats for wakeboard competitions. To that we say: really? Come on, people. Whether you know wakeboarding’s nuances or not, watching wakeboarding means watching people do flips and 360s while being pulled by a speedboat, wondering at any moment whether they’re going to end their run triumphantly or in a soaking wet ball of coulda-woulda-shoulda. Oh, yeah, that sounds so boring. We get why skysurfing might be a tough sell, but cut us a break here. Unlike skysurfing, there’s no shortage of fantastic wakeboarders out there. X-Games committee, please. Can we please bring this one back?


You think we’re joking about this pick, don’t you? Look at yourself, smirking. Well we’ve got some news for you, old pals. We’re dead serious. No, jousting has never before made an X-Games appearance and no, there aren’t many pro-level jousters kicking around for qualifying rounds. Duly noted. But, as long as there are Medieval Times restaurants on the planet, there’s a pool, albeit a small one, of pretty skilled jousters out there. As for the, “it’s too bizarre,” argument, you may have a point, but it’s cool and we can almost guarantee high viewership. We might even have a modernizing addition. Ok, here it is. Three words: “all terrain vehicle.”  Tell us you wouldn’t watch every single second if they had ATVs.

Wall Trampolining

We covered wall trampolining way back in February and mentioned then how practitioners of the emerging phenomenon were hoping hard for an X-Games birth. It looks like it may come one day soon. Some little things do need to be taken care of first, as it’s tough to have a pro sport with no official rule book. While the Parkour-esque take on a childhood activity we all know and love is still comprised of “amateurs” looking toward the bright horizon ahead, one look at the acrobatics in this video gives us confidence that, before the decade’s out, wall trampolining will make at least one  appearance on the “potential additions” list. Just think, if wall trampolining were adopted as an official X-Games event, any kid bouncing around in the backyard could get out of doing homework by telling his parents he was training for the pros.

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