As humans, we like to push our limits constantly. It’s just what we do; something that seems ingrained in our genetic makeup. Even sports deemed as mainstream can be shockingly dangerous—just take big wave surfing, for example.
But there are some wild ass sports that are so extreme and so out there that they deserve special mention. These sports remain niche for a reason—life-threatening occurrences aren’t exactly the “exception” here. As such, before consuming this list, bear in mind that none of these activities should be attempted without proper training and safety equipment. And even then, you should think twice… or even three times.
Oh, and before we begin, a quick honorable mention for the “sport” of cheese rolling. We couldn’t not mention it.
Anyone up for a mostly unregulated hybrid of skiing and paragliding?
Yup, anytime you hear “unregulated,” you know you’re in for something seriously adrenaline-inducing, and speedriding is as fitting a sport as any to kick things off. The activity entails having a rider shred down a slope on skis before activating a small wing to catch air and leave the ground. As acceleration occurs, the wing inflates into a parachute that can be steered via strings. Later, the speedrider lands and continues down the ski slope to reach the finish line. Riders often sail as high as 5,000 feet and hit speeds of 40 MPH.
Not surprisingly, speedriding has resulted in a number of deaths and some resorts have banned the sport.
2. Cave Diving
Ocean scuba not quite doing it for ya anymore? Guess it’s time for some super chill cave diving.
In case you somehow don’t pick up on our sarcasm, there is nothing chill about cave diving, unless you think descending into a hole in earth’s crust while risking either claustrophobia, hypothermia, asphyxiation, or any combination of the aforementioned is a casual, lazy Sunday activity. Of course, the sheer beauty of these cave systems more than makes up for the danger for many thrill-seekers. Honestly, we can’t blame ‘em—the sinkholes of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, in particular, are an explorer’s paradise.
3. Volcano Boarding
Yup, somehow, this one’s exactly what it sounds like—sliding down the huge slope of an active volcano on a diminutive board. Specifically, in the video below you’ll find the Cerro Negro, the youngest volcano in Central America and part of the Nicaragua’s Cordillera de los Maribios mountain range. It’s the world’s most active cinder cone volcano with 23 eruptions in 160 years. Watch as these daredevils brave its 1,600-foot slope! (2:15 mark is when the action starts.)
4. Wingsuit Flying
Ever wanted your superpower to be flying? Well, this is the closest you’re going to come, fam. Wingsuit flying is a sky diving variant in which the jumper is outfitted with a “flying squirrel” suit that sports side-body wings with air pockets that slow descent and allow for greater control. The participant leaps either from a base or a helicopter and then free falls to their heart’s content before deploying a parachute prior to landing. Needless to say, it doesn’t get much more “extreme” than this.
5. Street Luge
Like skateboarding? You’ll love street luge!
OK, we’re being a little facetious here in making that assumption, because while skateboarding has an extreme element to it, street luge is just flat-out crazy. Don’t get us wrong, there are plenty of similarities—participants wear protective leather and helmets while utilizing a specially-designed skateboard (or “sled”) to take to the road. The huge difference? The Southern California-born sport, also known as “laydown skateboarding,” has its competitors lie in a supine position (face upward) on the board as it zips down the paved course at ridiculously high speeds. In fact, participants often hit 100 miles per hour.
Yeah, this not-so-street legal sport is not for the faint of heart.