Rad, dude! Like, totally awesome... or something. Your guide to going wild and letting that adrenalin flow - all in the name of getting fit.
What is it?
- Extreme sports is a loose term to describe any kind of physical activity which has some risk of danger attached to it - from skateboarding to white water rafting, and freefall parachuting to steep-skiing. It also has to work well with a nu-metal soundtrack.
- Chuck in rock-climbing, surfing, wakeboarding, mountain biking and hang gliding, and you begin to realise these are also sports that require guts and reward you with a major adrenalin buzz.
- Extreme sports enthusiasts aren't simply on a suicide mission. All such activities demand a high level of skill and control to bring out the best performance. If you wind up in hospital, you're not doing it right.
What is it good for?
Different extreme sports require different skills, as well as placing varying demands on your body. Activities such as skateboarding and mountain biking are going to shape up your legs, as well as your heart and lungs, unlike, say, parachuting, which will mostly test your sphincter-control. In every case, however, you'll benefit from the adrenalin buzz - your body's natural high. Regular extreme sports thrills can result in improved well being, less stress and more confidence. It can also result in death, at worst, so be prepared!
What do I need?
Much depends on the sport, but in most cases you're going to need some safety equipment. Your local sports shop can advise you on the best way to protect yourself. You may also require some training, especially if you're planning on throwing yourself off the top of a scraper with a parachute no bigger than a hankie strapped to your back. Cost is another factor. A skateboard can be relatively cheap to pick up, unlike a hang glider or powerboat. You'll find clubs devoted to individual extreme sports, often providing equipment hire/lessons, which is always the best way to begin. Before you sign up, however, ask what insurance cover is provided should you be unlucky enough to hurt yourself.
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