Driving Positive Change Through Extreme and Adventure Sports
Extreme and Adventure Sports - also called Action Sports - are not like mainstream sports. There are no uniforms, no coaches nor scripts. It's all about your uniqueness, how you express yourself and facing the challenges, no matter your level, in these sports that is key.
Here at EXTREME we have a whole host of cutting edge data and insights that have been built up over the last 25 years as well as access to some of the world's most amazing extreme and adventure sports athletes. If you have a question or are looking for specific information, then please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to help if we can. As a starting point, we've put together a list of extreme and adventure sports across Earth, Water, Snow, Ice and Air for you to choose from.
Skateboarding, Longboarding, Mountain Boarding, Sandboarding, Mountain Karting, Drifting, BMX, Motocross, FMX, Aggressive Inline Skating, Mountain Biking, Cross Country Mountain Biking, Caving, Slacklining, Abseiling, Rock Climbing, Free Climbing, Bouldering, Mountaineering, Parkour, Land kiting, Zorbing, Obstacle Course Racing, Ziplining, Tyrolean Traverse, Via Ferrata, Heli Biking, Backcountry Horse Riding, ATV Off Roading, Tree Top Ropes Course, Mountain Coaster, Mountain Luge, Orienteering, Canyoning, Gorge Walking, Pump Track, Off Road E-Bikes, Pole Vaulting, Fierste Ljepper
Surfing, Waterskiing, Body Boarding, Wakeboarding, Kitesurfing, Kiteboarding, Windsurfing, Cave diving, Flowboarding, Paddle surfing / Stand up paddling, Kayaking, Cliff Jumping, Coasteering, Scuba Diving, Knee Boarding, White Water Rafting, Skim Boarding, Jet Skiing, Flyboarding/Jetboarding, Jet Boating, Free Diving, Sailing, Sub Wing
Snowboarding, Skiing, Ice Climbing, Snowmobiling, Snow Kiting, Monoskiing, Snowblading, Heli Skiing, Glacier Trekking, Ski Touring, Ice Driving, Sledding/Tobogganing, Snow Tubing, Winter Mountaineering, Luge, Cross Country Skiing, Snow Shoeing, Dog Sledding
Base Jumping, Sky Diving, Wing Suiting, Bungee Jumping, Highlining, Hang Gliding, Paragliding, Micro Lighting, Canyon Swing, Sling Shot, Giant Swing
Who would’ve thought that you could snowboard where there's no snow! Sandboarding is the sweaty & sandy alternative to skating, surfing and snowboarding and is guaranteed to be a blast! Just keep in mind, that you will probably pour half the desert out of your boots after sliding down those steep dunes.
AGGRESSIVE INLINE SKATING
For Aggressive Inline Skating the athletes use special equipment to get more air, rail time and dizzy spins. This sport is especially demanding and even more impressive to watch. Control is the key. Once you lose it, be prepared for some painful landing. Asphalt shows no mercy.
Caving is not for people with a claustrophobic tendency. Climbing through the dark abyss, moist air, gloomy shapes and echoes of falling rocks create an intensively intimidating atmosphere. Make sure to always keep track of your routes, otherwise you’ll get lost in the depths of these endless caves.
Slacklining requires the athlete to have balance and skill, which is the difference between life & death. The daredevils performing this extreme sport have found various different styles, from highlining between cliffs to performing impressive tricks and spins most people wouldn’t even be able to execute on the ground.
Thought that Rock Climbing is as extreme as it gets? Imagine climbing up these formations with your bare hands, without a rope, without a safety, knowing that any little mistake can be punished with a deep drop. Welcome to Free Climbing. The daredevils executing this sport have mastered their climbing skills to the fullest extent and need to stay focused constantly. It's not about speed, but control, concentration and ultimately survival
Bouldering is the version of rock climbing where the athletes challenge their skills on a pre-installed course. But don’t trick yourself, these courses do not make it easier and require as much control, strength and concentration as the outdoor courses do. Through numerous modifications, different levels of difficulty, vertical slopes and overhangs, bouldering courses test the athletes’ ability to the fullest.
Moutaineering is the activity of hiking and climbing the most difficult mountains, glaciers, cliffs or courses whilst adding a certain level of speed to the formula. Whilst some people define the difficulty by the height of the object to be climbed, mountaineers seek the ultimate challenge. Intense blizzards, strong storms, steep hills, bottomless abysses; the unfriendlier the conditions, the stronger the motivation to master the course.
Parkour is a relatively new member to the extreme sports family but is becoming quite popular all over the world. At its core, it is about overcoming obstacles in a fast, acrobatic and flawless manner. Mostly done in urban areas, Parkour artists climb and run building structures, rails and huge gaps trying to defy gravity and expectations of impressed bystanders.
Land Kiting, Kite Landboarding, Flyboarding or Kite Boarding is an extreme board sport whilst holding a kite handle. Blown by the wind never found such literal application and just like Wakeboarding, this sport allows you some incredible airtime that gives loads of time and room for impressive movements. Big heights, long jumps and the feeling of being taken away by the wind makes you feel like a superhero on wheels.
Zorbing comes in many ways and is ridiculously fun to watch and play. It pretty much describes any activity done in a giant, air-filled ball and ranges from football to rolling downhill to being towed by boats and jet skis. Due to the cushion effect of the ball you will feel no pain of falling, crashing or colliding, which enables you to go full power.
OBSTACLE COURSE RACING
Obstacle course events are set across a range of terrains from deserts to mountains. Being based in stunning locations and using the natural terrain to its advantage – the courses feature treacherous obstacle challenges including monkey bars, rope swings, ice pits and many more surprises. Throughout the course competitors must prepare to run, climb, haul, leap, slide and crawl as they stampede round the obstacle track.
Pole Vaulting may not jump (excuse the pun) out as an extreme sport but there are many factors that makes the activity very risky. There is the potential for the poles to snap or for one to overshoot the mat, making the sport extremely dangerous and unpredictable. Would you give it a go?
One long jumping stick, a steep slope to launch off and water creating the huge gap between banks, what could possibly go wrong? Fierste Ljepper is the oldest extreme sport in the Netherlands, where athletes have to jump onto the stick, and as they vault across the water they need to climb it, to reach the other side of the river. If you make it to the other side, you win!
Body boarding needs a special board which is smaller but wider in size, than a surf board. Contrary to surfing, you would lie flat on the board, trying to catch the right timing to swim with the wave. If you catch it in the right moment, it carries you away but if you miss it, you’re facing the full power of the wave crushing you.
Wakeboarding describes being towed behind a crane or boat whilst standing on a board. Shifting weight and building up pressure to gain great air time and the ability to impress with tricks and spins is the ultimate goal. The speed, the air and even some floating fun boxes increases the difficulty but also ability to perform.
The wind is your engine. Get ready for some huge airtime that gives you room for some incredible movements and makes you forget that gravity exists. But watch out, the higher you jump the harder the landing. Without an eye for the waves and a sense for the wind, it’s going to cost you a lot of patience. Kitesurfers are standing on a surfboard whilst holding the kite and it takes serious power to tame the kite.
Kiteboarding is comparable to Kite surfing, but makes use of a board the rider is attached to. The shorter and more edgy design of the board gives the athlete more control and aims for tricks and spins rather than riding waves. But don’t fool yourself, the wind will make you accelerate very quickly. Lose control and it is going to drag you along the coastline.
Image credit to Surf Gear Ltd
Windsurfing is the art of riding a surfboard with a sail attached, that allows the athlete to use the wind in order to gain speed and jump waves. The daredevil windsurfers not only ride the waves, but use them as ramps and aren't scared easily. Be cautious though as the wind doesn’t have breaks and knows no stop button.
As the name implies, cave diving is all about entering these dark abysses which only see the light of flashlights of those daring to enter them. The worlds unveiled by these lights seem like a different planet and are incredibly complex. Make sure to always keep up your sense of orientation. These caves are the last place on earth you want to get lost in.
Flow boarding is the surfing on “stationary” waves, that are either created artificially or are occurring all the time due to certain rock formations below. Many water parks make use of them and offer flow boarding as a way to ride them. These boards are mostly designed in a more simplistic manner that enables easy handling and fast access to the wave.
Kayaking can be all about paddling on a beautiful lake with a great panorama. And then there’s the extreme version. Incredible speed, sparky rocks, and deep drops leave no room for enjoying the view. A constant control of your Kayak is crucial as you take on unexplored river gorges and uncharted rapids
CLIFF DIVING / JUMPING
As the name implies, cliff jumpers take on tremendously high cliffs and jump down like it’s the spring board of your average kiddies’ pool. But as you can imagine, there’s more to it. Apart from ignoring any sort of vertigo one needs to prove some strong body tension, because if you hit that surface of the water you better be in the right position.
COASTEERING / CANYONING
Coasteering or Canyoning describes the movement along a course, cliff or coast that involves different obstacles to overcome. From waterfalls to raging rivers to slippy rocks and steep cliffs, this is an exciting way to discover a whole new side of the coast or gorge. Just don't lose your grip.
Scuba Diving is all about discovering the world beneath the surface of the sea, a place that most people only see through their TV Screens. Unveiling the secrets hidden in the depth and the fact, that only fractions are known about what lies deep down creates a desire to experience it by oneself. But beware of the ruthless animal kingdom down there. You are entering their habitat.
WHITE WATER RAFTING
White Water Rafting describes the riding of a boat or raft downstream. These rivers carry a huge amount of water and push the raft down the stream at an incredible pace. Constant concentration and a lot of rowing is required in order to avoid crashing into deadly obstacles like spiky rocks.
Skim Boarding is the “Freestyle”-focused version of surfing / waveriding, where a smaller and more agile board is being used in order to ride along or on a wave to the coast. The size of the board enables more flexibility and faster movements that lets its rider react to any turns of the wave. Rather used in the shallow waters, a skim board is used on lower waves that are not necessarily easier to ride. As they crash on the ground it is even harder to read them, so read carefully, the ground is not far from the surface.
Riding an engine powered Jet Ski is the ultimate adrenaline rush. With an incredible average top speed of 75 miles per hour, these beasts are nothing to joke with. Reckless races or even freestyle competitions make the riders face each other in impressive contests. But watch out, the faster you ride it, the further you fly.
Relatively new to the game, flyboarders use turbines that pump up water from the sea and push it out again in order to create a strong boost that vaults them in the air. It feels and looks like it's out of a sci-fi movie and allows you to do mind bending spins and flips. But make sure to learn how to handle it, otherwise you will fly around like a dropped showerhead.
A Subwing is two rotatable wings bolted together. The rider rotates the wings independently of each other to steer and manoeuvre the subwing. A boat tows you at a gentle speed and you can change direction by tilting the wings. If you tilt the wings downwards you will dive and vice versa. If you tilt the wings in opposite directions the subwing will roll allowing you to create some spins.
SNOW AND ICE
One of the essentials in the extreme sports family, Snowboarding. Attached to the board the rider is able to gain great control over the movements, slide down snowy mountains and fill out air time with some impressive stunts. Snowboarding has become so popular, that it is represented in the Olympics and many other competitions, where the athletes compete in races or freestyle contests. Whether it is downhill, slalom courses, half pipes or fun parks, it seems like there is nothing that can stop the riders from taking on a challenge.
Skiing describes the riding on two skis, downhill on snow. The fact, that the rider is on two separate skis allows for agile movements and a seamless downhill ride. This, however, does not make skiing less extreme. The true daredevils of this sport challenge steep falls, deadly cliffs and ride on avalanches that leave bystanders speechless. From slalom to freestyle, there are multiple ways to compete against each other.
Armed with an ice pick, spike boots and a fair amount of guts, ice climbers take on glaciers and icy cliffs seeking the ultimate challenge. With tools designed to get a hold of the slippy ice, it takes some serious strength, concentration and an appreciation of the constant danger you are exposed to, to take on this sport. Ice climbing has become increasingly popular and the climbers are competing against each other, aiming for the fastest climb on the most difficult courses.
These engine-powered snowmobiles have some serious potential and allow riders to reach up to 110 miles per hour and more. Given this incredible speed, the athletes compete in races and freestyle competitions against each other. With the size of these vehicles, the stunts are mind-bending and definitely ought to impress.
Snowkiting, as the name implies, describes the use of a kite as an additional way of accelerating. Whether you are on a snowboard or ski, this kite uses the wind to transport you wherever you want at some incredible speed . The majority of us would stick to flat areas, but some daredevils make use of it going downhill, using weight shifting to gain additional airtime and to defy gravity. Make sure to be able to read the wind, otherwise it may carry you into the crowns of the next fir forest.
Monoskiing is a mix between snowboarding and skiing, but existed even before snowboarding was a thing. Placing two feet behind each other on a single ski while sliding down the mountain has been more popular in the past than it is today, and is, to be honest, quite rare to see. However, that does not take away the impressive skills it needs to balance on quite a slender board. Nowadays, reviving the past's iconic sport, monoskis are designed a little wider but are ridden more like skis than like a snowboard.
Glacier's are home to many unknowns. You never know what you might expect with this unpredictable landscape. With many crevasses and slippery terrain, you will need professional equipment before making your first step into the abyss. Make sure you equip yourself with crampons, ice axes, helmets, ropes, harnesses etc. because you are going to need it!
There is nothing better than cruising up a mountain with skin covered planks, reaching the summit using ropes and harnesses, taking in the view and then sending it down some backcountry powder. After a long day of walking up the mountain, exerting blood, sweat and sometimes tears to reach the top is an amazing feeling. Just remember, when you drop in, enjoy the ride down the mountain because you have earned it!
Skids and drifts just got easier! Ice driving will definitely put some hairs on your chest. Choose your chariot, belt up and hoon it around an ice track. As you drift around the hairpin expect big puffs of snow being projected into the air. With specialised tyres the vehicles are able to cope with the slippery terrain giving you some traction so let your hair down, and go for it!
SLEDDING / TOBOGGANING
Sledding has been around for years, however toboggan technology has developed massively and now people are going faster than ever before. With the Alps offering groomed sledge runs, hang up the skis and board for a moment, grab your tray and see the mountain from a whole new perspective.
A group of you going fast down a steep, icy slope on inflatable rings! What could possibly go wrong? Snow tubing moves away from water for a whole different experience in the mountains. Battle against your friends to see who can go the fastest and reach the bottom of the slope first. Make things even more interesting by playing a game of Jenga as you fly down the piste.
Sometimes it's good to push your body in conditions that test not only your physical ability but also your mental strength. Climbing mountains with ice axes, crampons, ropes, harnesses etc. is extremely challenging and exhausting. Weather conditions change quickly in the mountains, in a blink of an eye it will go from warm to cold, blue bird to blizzards, so make sure you look out for a clear weather window and hit the mountain for an adventure of a lifetime.
Sometimes it's good to try something different in the mountains. The snow luge is definitely one of those rides that is unique and moves away from the norm. Strap into your shuttle, sit back and let your rocket send you down the course. Take in the beautiful scenery as you shoot down the track and finish with a dance at Apres at the bottom!
CROSS COUNTRY SKIING
Skiing is not all about committing to big airs on 90ft kickers or jumping off a cliff in the backcountry pow, it is also sometimes about expressing the diagonal stride to find new spots and locations across the snow landscape. Cross country skiing requires strength, endurance and stamina so if you think you are up for it, clip in and give it a go.
Snow shoeing, is probably not what you expected to see on this list but even though it isn't fast paced, it does require one to be strong-minded and physically resilient. You will need to be able to cope with tough terrain, unpredictable weather conditions and have the stamina to manage steep elevations and long distances.
Base Jumping describes a parachute equipped jump from a fixed formation, be a cliff or a high building. These adrenaline junkies are constantly looking for a more breathtaking challenge which sometimes even implies the absolute limit - jumping from as close to the ground as possible. If you open your parachute too late, you might be incredibly fast when reaching the ground but most likely it does not end well. This thin margin is what keeps base jumpers on the move and their adrenaline level high.
Equipped with a parachute, skydivers mostly jump out of helicopters or planes, that go as high as they can in order to allow the skydiver as much free fall time as possible. Stepping over the edge is the most challenging moment but the free fall after makes you forget about any fear that might have straightened your back hair before. Once your chute opens, you may be gliding over some astonishingly beautiful and breathtaking landscapes.
Wing suiting is relatively new to the world of extreme sports but has been making great impact ever since. Equipped with an extra wing suit, the athletes jump down cliffs and steep hills reaching some breaking speed. Their suit allows them control on the area of the suit they expose to the upwinds which ultimately functions as a break. With movements of the body, spins and turns they may determine the direction to take and often shoot past close obstacles like rocks, trees or cliff formations. Wing Suiting is as close as it gets to imitating an eagle on a nosedive. Whilst Wing Suiting offers some great fun and the ultimate adrenaline rush, it requires some tough skills and may lead to fatal accidents if not executed properly.
Bungee Jumpers are attached to a fixed object, such as a bridge, tower or building, with a flexible rope. When overstepping the edge, the adrenaline starts rushing through your body as you free fall towards the ground. But in the moment when you think that you are about to hit it, the rope drags you up and bounces you towards the sky. This short but intense moment inspires many people around the world and is one of the most popular extreme activities, people dare to do.
Highlining describes the balancing on a rope / slackline, which spans between two objects at high altitude. The key is control, balance and concentration, which is hard to maintain seeing the deep fall one might be facing when running out of either of the three. .................................................................................................................................................
Hang Gliders make use of a big Gliding chute with a construction attached, that they may lie in horizontally in order to control the glider. Starting from mountains, the athletes take a long run-up in order to catch the upwinds, which carry them into the skies. The width and size of the glider enables long flying distances, providing the ultimate panorama of the landscape.
Paragliders are sitting in a harness belt attached to a paragliding chute, which they are able to glide over a long period of time with. Mostly launched by foot, similar to the hang glider, the athlete needs to take a long run-up in order catch the winds which carry them. With specific movements and lines that lead directly to the glider, the direction can easily be altered to take in the beautiful surroundings.
There have been so many videos of people going on sling shot rides that have gone viral, a true reflection of an experience that needs to be on the bucket list. You and your pal are buckled into a ball shaped cage and catapulted into the sky. Two bungee cords are attached to either side of the cage, preventing you from heading off beyond the earth's atmosphere but makes you bounce up and down, flip upside down a number of times before coming back to a halt. Are you ready?