What are extreme sports?

By John Anderson
Info Guru,

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man kite surfing
Extreme sports are growing in popularity, especially among young people
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Extreme sports will quench your thirst for excitement

You've probably seen the term "extreme sports" in magazines, heard about it on the evening news, and seen it advertised in sporting goods stores. The term is becoming more and more common as the concept of extreme sports gains popularity. So, what exactly are extreme sports? Read on to learn about this latest trend in sports.

Definition of Extreme Sports

The definition of extreme sports is not very clear. Generally speaking, extreme sports are activities that are associated with an adrenaline rush that is felt by the participant. These activities are often dangerous and any mistake could result in injury or even death. Extreme sports are usually done by individuals rather than teams.

During the 1970's and 1980's, the term "extreme sports" was almost exclusively used for sports that had high risks involved and often resulted in death. The history of extreme sports is a very interesting topic and shows how it developed into the huge craze that it is. Today, however, extreme sports also include activities that give a feeling of an adrenaline rush not necessarily putting the participant's life in harms way.

Examples of Extreme Sports

Extreme sports cover a vast assortment of activities. A few of the more common types include; mountain biking, climbing and drag racing. Other kinds of extreme sports have developed from a familiar activity. For every extreme sport there is equipment and safety gear that has been developed to protect your body, enhance performance and give you an edge in the competition. For example, water sports have evolved into the rush of adrenalin and skill that requires wakeskates, helmets and bindings.

For example, skiing is a common sport. More aggressive versions of skiing, such as barefoot skiing and extreme skiing, have developed over the years. Bycling is a relatively tame recreational activity. Riding and racing BMX bikes, on the other hand, is an extreme sport activity that is not intended for children under the age of twelve or for the faint-of-heart.

Some kinds of extreme sports may not be as well known. Kite landboarding involves a mountain board or landboard, which is similar to a large skateboard with foot straps. An attached kite pulls the skater along the ground. Bouldering is a type of rock climbing in which no rope is used. It usually takes place in an area with large boulders or in climbing centers. BASE jumping involves jumping from fixed objects with the use of a parachute. BASE stands for the objects that a participant can use to launch from: a building, antenna, span (such as a bridge), or the Earth (such as a cliff). There are many other variations of extreme sports.

Growing in Popularity

Extreme sports are growing in popularity, especially among young people. New types of extreme activities continue to be developed. Some argue that the popularity is due to marketing trends. They state that marketing strategies give some extreme sports a dangerous image, even though they do not involve high risks of danger. Regardless, these sports are gaining a large audience and growing in popularity and participation. Magazines, websites, equipment and gear for extreme sports continue to abound.

Now that the question "what are extreme sports?" has been answered, you may be interested in trying some of them out. Certain versions of extreme sports require proper training, while other types, such as mountain biking, can be performed without professional guidance. Whatever you decide to do, be sure to use the appropriate equipment and the proper safety precautions. The necessary equipment can be purchased at different sports catalogs and will help ensure your safety

As people, young and old, continue to develop these activities, more will understand what extreme sports are. While the trend continues, you can expect to see a greater variety of sports available, each one more unique than the last. You may even invent an extreme sport of your own.

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