Most extreme sports were created in the last 50-60 years. Surfers in California began experimenting with riding down snow-covered hills on their surfboards in the 1960s and 70s, and that’s how snowboarding came about. But the creativity and ingenuity of extreme sports enthusiasts didn’t stop there.
If you’re ready to step out of your comfort zone, let’s explore seven extreme sports and activities that are sure to take your travels to the next level.
Bungee jumping involves jumping from a tall structure while attached to a cord. When you jump, the cord stretches and recoils, creating a thrilling free-fall sensation.
The sport was invented in the late 1970s by New Zealand adventurer A.J. Hackett. And now, there are operators all over the world offering jumps from bridges, cranes, and even hot air balloons. If you’re interested in the highest commercial bungee jump in the world, it’s 216 meters (709 feet) tall on the Bloukrans Bridge in South Africa.
Some people also call it breath-hold diving or apnea diving, but these terms aren’t as popular as just freediving. This activity involves diving underwater without the use of any breathing equipment like scuba gear.
It is physically challenging, but it offers a unique opportunity to explore the underwater world in a more intimate and immersive way. You can swim alongside dolphins, whales, sea turtles, and even sharks (which isn’t as scary as it sounds).
Downhill mountain biking
Downhill mountain biking is exactly what it sounds like – riding a mountain bike downhill. The extreme part comes in when you do it on rough terrain and at high speeds. You can ride through forests, mountains, and rugged terrain that would be difficult to access on foot or by car.
As an added perk, you’ll be able to explore some of the most beautiful and remote parts of the world in a unique and exciting way.
Canyoning, or canyoneering, involves traveling through canyons and gorges by a variety of means – you can choose from walking, climbing, swimming, and rappelling.
It requires a high level of physical fitness, mental toughness, and technical skill. But if you’re up to it, you’ll be rewarded by the awe-inspiring scenery of narrow gorges, deep ravines, and cascading waterfalls. Plus, you’ll increase your cardiovascular endurance and build strength.
As for kitesurfing, you’ll be riding a board while being pulled by a kite across water. You can ride over oceans, lakes, rivers, and even artificial water bodies that are big enough. But you’ll need the wind to generate the necessary power to kitesurf.
This sport allows you to experience the thrill of flying while being pulled by the wind, but it also requires bravery to ride over waves, perform tricks, and navigate strong winds.
Rallying is a thrilling and challenging motorsport. If you’re traveling to a country that has a rally course, you can practice advanced driving techniques in a fairly safe environment, like drifting, handbrake turns, and high-speed cornering.
Or you can take it a step further – drive on unpaved roads and encounter unpredictable terrain. As a result, you’ll be able to visit remote areas that are often inaccessible by traditional means of transportation.
Many snowmobile rental companies offer guided tours or rentals of snowmobiles. These tours often take place on designated trails so that you can learn the basics of snowmobile riding.
The more you practice, the more tricks and stunts you can learn, like kicking one leg out to the side while jumping or turning the snowmobile in mid-air. Overall, it’s an exciting adventure during the winter months.
Hopefully, this article has inspired you to explore the world of extreme sports and activities on your travels. One important note, though: always research and choose reputable operators.
20 unmissable extreme sports (and where to try them), Lonely Planet
41 extreme sports you need to see to believe, Nomad Paradise