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Extreme Sports & Exhilarating Experiences

By Ryan Merrifield

Posted: 6th March 2015 11:35

Few experiences can provoke quite so much of an adrenaline rush as extreme sports. Humans have always looked for ways to push boundaries, and extreme sports are nothing new – it is thought the term (wrongly attributed to Ernest Hemingway) was coined in the 1950s, referring to “bullfighting, motor racing, and mountaineering” – in short, the three ‘sports’ that came with a high risk of death. After Oxford University’s ‘Dangerous Sports Club’ “invented” the modern day bungee jump in 1979, extreme sports exploded onto the social consciousness, allowing the adrenaline-charged to seek new and unbelievable ways to conquer mind over matter. The Luxury Travel Guide brings you the definitive list of the most exhilarating extreme sports for those who crave constant excitement and adventure.

Heli Skiing

Revelstoke, Canada

Skiing is a fantastic sport, and every year thousands flock to the best ski locations around the world. But for some these crowded resorts are not enough and they take to the skies in the search for pristine snow and the adventure of off-piste skiing. Off-piste skiing gives you the feeling that you are truly the only person on the mountain and the feeling of complete serenity is unrivalled. Combine that with the deep undisturbed snow and the fantastic views and it’s easy to see why Heli-Skiing is so popular. Revelstoke in British Columbia is renowned for providing both the best helicopter skiing and is home to Bighorn Luxury Ski Chalet, a truly world-class experience. 

Cave Diving

Eagles Nest, USA

Bordering on the insane, cave diving offers an experience unlike any other. Initially cave diving looks like a peaceful and relaxing pastime as you explore underground cave complexes filled with unique structures and sometimes animals. But as the timer on your oxygen supply counts down divers must drag themselves away from this fascinating underground world. There is always the risk that divers might get lost or run out of oxygen; at depths of up to 7,000 feet, cave divers must ensure they work as a team and rely on their fellow divers. These amazing underwater worlds are often accessed through seemingly humble entrances, like those at Eagle’s Nest, Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area, Florida, described as the ‘Mount Everest of cave diving.’

Isle of Man TT

Isle of Man

Motor racing has many dangerous events, from the exhausting Dakar Rally to the high speed Formula One, but none are quite as spectacular as the Isle of Man TT. The is nearly 40 miles long, speeding through residential areas, tight corners and cliff top roads and is known for being one of the most deadly circuits in the world.  But what earns the TT its place on this list is an event knows as ‘Mad Sunday’ when the race track is opened up to amateurs. Unbelievably, all you need to enter is a motorbike, a licence and a willingness to put your personal safety at risk. Mad Sunday is probably the closest many can ever get to a professional motorsport experience, and it’s unbelievably authentic .

White Water Rafting

Zambezi River, Zimbabwe/Zambia

White water rafting is an adrenaline pumping experience, as you come face to face with the immense power of the raging waters. Zambezi River is best known for its magnificent Victoria Falls, but this monster of a river offers incredible white water rapids, said to be the best one day rafting experience anywhere on earth. Starting at the base of the falls this river trip offers plenty of challenging rapids including ‘Stairway to Heaven’, ‘The Mother’ and ‘Oblivion’, all contrasted by moments of complete calm in which to enjoy the spectacular scenery. Trips can be as short as half a day or mammoth week long adventures, complete with helicopter transport back upstream once your thrilling experience is over. 

Rock Climbing

Waterval Boven, South Africa

Rock climbing is one of the most physical rewarding and primal pursuits; it is hard to imagine a time in human history when we were not fascinated with ascending great and lofty peaks. At the highest levels rock climbing requires spectacular strength and skill, but one of its greatest attributes is its accessibility; even beginners can traverse some fantastic routes in complete safety with the help of a professional instructor. For those that enjoy the risk there are always new challenges and the satisfaction from completing a hard climb is one of the best feelings in the world. Climbing can be done almost anywhere, but the stunning locations make it truly spectacular and few places can out do Waterval Boven in South Africa in this respect.

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