Extreme sports can be defined as activities that require competitors or participants to use a combination of athletic skills. These activities normally involve a considerable amount of risk of sustaining an injury.
There have been outdoor sports for millennia, but national and international extreme sports competitions only made an appearance around the 1970s. Sports like rock climbing and skiing gained an international reputation.
Many reasons have been attributed to this rise in popularity, one of which involves the increased safety and security that modern life provides. Safety ropes, gear, and equipment became more reliable and reduced the risk of death and injury. Safety gear finally allowed athletes to attempt extreme feats that were previously thought to be impossible.
Another technological advancement in technology that most people take for granted is the ability of rubber-soled shoes to help mountain climbers and endurance runners to traverse difficult terrain. Advanced sports equipment and gear meant that adrenaline junkies could pursue any number of ‘’extreme’’ sports without sustaining an injury.
The global coverage of sports competitions and events has also fueled athletes to compete at higher levels of fitness and endurance. Outdoor sports like skateboarding were popularised by professionals like Tony Hawk, whose influence led to the development of computer games and the establishment of skateboarding clubs around the world.
Towards the end of the 21st century, professional athletes showed an ever-growing interest in participating in challenging and daring activities that presented them with new ways to test their skills.
The incredible thing about extreme sports is that it is always evolving, and athletes are always developing new and exciting ways to challenge others and themselves. Extreme sports can use a combination of two or more sports.
Sky surfing combines sky diving with the skill of snowboarding. The parachutist aims to perform a series of aerobatic stunts before and after landing on a slope. In the same way, wind sailing combines the skill of surfing with sailing.
Other extreme sports that were popularised in the late 20th century include mountain biking, white-water kayaking, and in-line skating. The point of extreme sports is to challenge traditional safety precautions and limitations.
Challenging the limitations of safety has led to the development of sports like extreme rock climbing (rock climbing without ropes). Extreme sports enthusiasts are constantly finding more ways to challenge the traditional norms.
Athletes who participate in extreme sports love to push the boundaries of the impossible, and it seems to be in their nature to take risks for the thrill. The feeling of adrenaline and the unlikely achievement that these sports bring continues to attract the masses.
Spectators seem to find more excitement in watching these sports, as the risk of failure or even death is so much greater for athletes. Learn more about Rockclimbing and the fascinating history of extreme sports on this site.