I had so much fun coming up with my original list of outlandish and cutting-edge extreme sports, that I realized it was time for another installment. Here's a list of 5 more odd-ball sports to get the adrenaline flowing through your veins.
Via ferrata, which translates into "Iron Way" in Italian, is either really cool or really lame depending upon how you frame it. If you're a hiker, via ferrata routes allow you to navigate sheer, vertical and otherwise unnavigable terrain with a series of rungs, cables and ladders. If you're a climber, via ferrata routes are basically the cheater's way out, opening up your turf to a new generation of unskilled tourists.
Love them or hate them, via ferrata open up new possibilities for exploring alpine terrain. While they don't stack up to actual climbing, there's definitely something exhilerating about the idea of climbing up sheer rock on small metal rungs. Via ferrata are most popular in Europe, where they were invented, and there are only a handful here in the U.S. Below, watch some video of Mt. Kinablu in Malaysia, known as the world's highest via ferrata, and decide if the activity = tame climbing or extreme hiking.
Joining the multitude of vessels designed to navigate a river, the Riverbug is a cross between a personal raft, tube and river board. Straight out of New Zealand, the Riverbug is a sit-on-top inflatable that lets your legs dangle over the front while your waist is held in only by a Velcro lap belt. Riverbugs come in two different models: a larger, more stable version for beginners and a sleeker, more responsive version for 'buggin pros. Unlike rafts and kayaks, the only paddles are webbed gloves and swim fins, making for a truly immersive experience. Check out some stag-weekend river bugging set to the tunes of The Strokes:
In a recent episode of Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory, the world got a behind-the-scenes look at what it's like to invent one's very own wacked-out adrenaline sport. In a simple phrase: it's as epic as you'd think. Dyrdek's sport was a hybrid combining two of the most notorious sports of modern times (and two favorites of his sponsor DC): rally car racing and skateboarding.
When you're rich and paid to do crazy, spontaneous things on television, you have a team that can build you a one-off Mustang skateboard on a whim. And that's what Rob did. Watch below as he takes the 'Stang to an oversized skate park, performing all kinds of tomfoolery with his latest toy.
Thought volcano boarding was extreme? Most volcano diving happens under water, but on a partly cloudy day last winter, Russian extreme sports dynamo Valery Rozov brought the sport out into the open. He wing-suited out of a helicopter and into the waiting mouth of Mutnovsk--an active volcano on Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula.
This little excerpt provides a telling look at the experience: "After the Russian made the safe landing in the crater, there was no time
to celebrate because it was vital to quickly get back out on account
of the poisonous gases contained in the volcano's steam. Rozov was
quickly pulled out of the crater with the help of a rope. Only later
after returning safely to the base camp did the Russian celebrate the
successful landing with his team in the hotel's own geyser."
I don't think there's a whole lot of room for an entire sport here, but it sure makes for a helluva' YouTube clip.
Take an activity that is already one of the most difficult in the world out of its flat, smooth comfort zone and throw it into the forest where there are rocks, roots, drops and all kinds of other sharp, ominous nastiness and it's bound to be extreme. That's the long story short of mountain unicycling--often shortened into muni. You just have to sit back and admire these guys. I once saw one out on Mary's Loop in Fruita and his lack of a second wheel wasn't stopping him at all. In fact, I'm embarrassed to say, he blew right by me at one point. Much respect. More Strokes, more action:
And some even more extreme, freeride muni action: