Summer’s just around the corner, encouraging some to dust off the tennis racket or rummage round the cupboard for the cricket bat. But for some in Britain traditional outdoor pursuits are just not enough. So how do extreme sports devotees get their kicks?
Extreme sports are about exhilaration, skill and danger. They do not normally involve teams and there are very few rules. People who take part use their skills and experience to control the risks. That control is what makes them sports and not just dangerous behaviour.
Here are just some of the extreme sports which are popular in Britain:
Kitesurfing: a growing band of enthusiasts have been discovering the thrilling combination of kite, board and waves. These kites can be up to 17 metres long. Catch a gust and you’re motoring – up, down and across the surf.
British Ladies kitesurfing champion Jo Wilson says: “It’s always an adrenalin rush. It’s unpredictable. You could jump 5ft or 35ft. You never know if you’re going to go up in the air, and your heart is just going boom, boom, boom all the time.”
Coasteering: this is exploring the coastline without worrying about a coastal path or finding a rocky cliffy cove blocking your route. You climb, dive, swim and clamber from A to B. There are about 15 operators in the UK offering coasteering.
Sky diving: traditional parachuting just doesn’t sound risky enough, does it? So now skydiving is the name for jumping from a plane and listening to your heart pounding as youhurtle towards earth before you open your parachute at the last moment. Once you’ve got a few jumps under your parachute you can throw in some extra risks, for example try a ‘hook turn’. Dean Dunbar is a participant of extremedreams.com and his first sky dive was in 1998. Since then he’s been hooked on the buzz of the extreme, saying: “Every so often I have to go out and do something scary.”
Mountain biking: it’s been around so long that bikers are no longer satisfied with just going up and down a mountain. Nowadays thrill seeking mountain bikers want a big slope to go down very, very fast. “It’s pure mad, downhill,” according to Dean Dunbar. “People go to old ski resorts, take the chair lift to the top then bomb down – amazingly not killing themselves.”
Learn the lingo with our brief guide on the vocabulary used
get their kicks
get a strong feeling of excitement or pleasure
a paper- or cloth-covered frame flown in the air at the end of a long string using the power of the wind
the foam formed by waves on the sea when they come in towards a shore
an adrenalin rush
a strong feeling of excitement mixed with fear
the shape of the land on the edge of the sea
a small sheltered opening in the coastline, a bay
climb with difficulty, using both the feet and hands
move very fast
a fast turn close to the ground used to land at high speed
hooked on the buzz of the extreme
addicted to the excitement of doing extreme sports
looking for excitement
go down with great speed
Sam Reynolds’ beastly Superman over the 72′ canyon gap might be one of the gnarliest things ever witnessed at Red Bull Rampage. Rightfully so, it earned him best trick at Rampage 2015.
As the old saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and trials rider Adam Raga and hard enduro star Alfredo Gomez found themselves some trials riding gold in the scrapyard – perfect terrain for an all-out offroad adventure.
But not every dirt track is open to the public, so when Adam and Alfredo’s semi-legal freeride came to an abrupt halt, they had to make a break for freedom through the scrapyard and to the outskirts of town.
Surf Without Waves! Wouldn’t you love to surf without waves? Well here’s your chance with the Onean electric Jet Board!
Strapping engines to things that weren’t originally designed to have engines is something of an American pastime, but a little company based in the Basque Country of the western Pyrenees has taken it to a new level with their jet boards. Rather than the more traditional wave power surfers use for propulsion, Onean’s Carver electric jet board uses a 4400W dual-core brushless electric motor and a high-efficiency axial water pump for promotion. The board itself is made with sandwich construction and a CNC-shaped EPS core, but when compared to surfing with a jet below your feet, that seems far less important. If, for whatever reason, you want to take things a little easy, Onean is also taking pre-orders on a wider, more relaxed cruiser called the Manta.
After taking a little punishment himself, Conor Mcgregor knocks out Chad Mendes.
LAS VEGAS – Conor McGregor backed up all the talk, but just barely.
The trash-talking Irishman sent thousands of his countrymen home deliriously happy by scoring an improbable knockout victory over Chad Mendes after enduring a ton of abuse Saturday at the MGM Grand in their bout for the interim featherweight title in the main event of UFC 189.
Mendes was a late replacement for champion Jose Aldo, who pulled out of the bout with a rib injury. Mendes is a wrestler, a totally different style of fighter than Aldo, and gave McGregor fits.
He opened a big cut outside of McGregor’s right eye in the first and spent most of the second round on top of the Irishman firing elbows..
Conor McGregor punches Chad Mendes during their UFC interim featherweight title fight. (Getty)
It looked bleak for McGregor, but when Mendes went for a choke, McGregor spun out. With time in the second round running down, McGregor fired a hard right and then followed it with a blistering left that dropped Mendes near the cage.
McGregor followed him to the floor and landed a couple of shots before referee Herb Dean jumped in to stop it at 4:57 of the round.
The place, which was filled with McGregor’s loyal Irish fans, erupted with an ear-splitting roar as Dean waved his hands over his head, officially ending the bout and giving McGregor the belt.
As Mendes was tended to by the officials, McGregor raced to the opposite side of the cage, grabbed the Irish flag and fell to his knees. He kissed the flag and appeared to be in tears. Later, his parents, his girlfriend and other family members entered the cage to embrace him.
“I can’t say the words to express how grateful I am for the support of these fans,” said McGregor, whose trash talk built the show into a mega-event. There were 11,000 people at Friday’s weigh-in and Saturday’s crowd was overflowing.
Chad Mendes (top) punches Conor McGregor during their UFC interim featherweight title fight. (Getty)
But it appeared for much of the fight he’d have to eat his words. Mendes won the first round on all three judges’ cards by landing his overhand right and using his wrestling.
His wrestling was even more dominant in the second, as he put McGregor on his back and dropped a series of crunching elbows on him.
But the wily McGregor, who had been criticized by some for being moved up too quickly by the UFC, showed the courage of a champion by not only getting up, but by finishing the fight.
Mendes was angry at the numerous insults McGregor hurled, but they embraced several times after the battle.
“He was training for Aldo and got a completely different match, a guy with a different style, on two weeks notice,” Mendes said. “The guy is tough. He talked, but he backed it up.”
The win sets up a champion-versus-champion fight with Aldo once the Brazilian is healed in what figures to be a massive event.
Until Aldo was injured, interest in the fight was intense and it only figures to build after this night.
Mendes’ wrestling put McGregor to the test but the Irishman survived and stopped Mendes in the second round.