Paragliding

people paragliding over some scenic hills It’s back to the skies with this extreme sport. Paragliding is an extreme sport that doesn’t have the “rush” that most others have, but more of a relaxing feel; if you aren’t afraid of heights! Like base jumping and bungee jumping, paragliding is an extreme sport that I have yet to try, but it’s right up there on my list of what I want to do next.

What is it?

Paragliding is a motorless extreme sport that uses an inflatable wing and a harness. The rider sits in the harness and launches the glider by running off inclines, hills, or mountains. To steer while you’re in the air, the glider adjusts their weight back and forth to make it go left or right. It is made to use the power of wind currents. A lot of people get paragliding and hang gliding mixed up but they are two totally different sports. While skydiving and base jumping involve jumping off of high objects and free falling, paragliding has the chute open straight from the beginning so there is no free fall. This sport can be enjoyed by anyone of any age.

There is also a more advanced version of paragliding called powered paragliding. This version involves a small engine that keeps the glide going on faster speeds and doesn’t make it rely on the winds as much as traditional paragliding.

Materials need

Like most other extreme sports, paragliding takes some practice and certification before you can go out and do. It also has a list of materials needed to have a successful flight. Eagleparagliding is a great website that has all the equipment needed for beginner paragliders. It also tells you have to get trained and what the certifications are to be able to paraglide on your own. Here’s a quick look at what materials you’ll need to start off.

1. Parachute

2. Harness

3. Helmet

4. Carabiners

5. Leg holsters

Best places to paraglide 

One cool thing about paragliding, there are places all over the world that are great spots for it. According to Aviacamp, here are the 10 most scenic places around the world to go paragliding.

1. Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

2. Dune Du Pyla, France

3. The Alps

4. Byron Bay, Australia

5. Oludeniz, Turkey

6. England

7. Norway

8. Nepal

9. Cape Town, South Africa

10. Tuscany, Italy

Your Stories

1. Do you think paragliding is a good start to your extreme sports adventure? Or would you rather start with something with more of a rush?

2. Out of the 10 places listed above, what would be your first choice for paragliding and why?

3. Have you ever been paragliding or hang gliding? What was your experience like?

Advertisements

Bungee Jumping

someone bungee jumping off a bridge I’m starting to see a trend with a lot of these extreme sports; that they all involve jumping off something crazy, and this week is no different. Last week we had base jumping, and a few before that we had skydiving, so now what possibly could we jump off of? A giant bridge with your ankles attached to a cord. This week’s extreme sport is the very well-known sport of bungee jumping.

What is it?

Bungee jumping is an extreme sport that involves a person jumping from a high surface while their feet and ankles are attached to an elastic cord. One end of the cord is attached to the stationary object that is being jumped from (a lot of times it’s a bridge) while the other end is attached to the person. The person then shifts their body weight from the edge of the stationary object and lets their weight take them over the edge. You then experience a few seconds of total free fall before the elastic cord catches you and rushes you back up.

Highest places to bungee jump from around the world 

According to Lastbash, a great extreme sports blog, here are the top 5 highest places you can bungee jump from

1. Royal Gorge Bridge, 1053 ft (321 m) – Cañon City, Colorado, USA

2. Macau Tower, 760 ft (233 m) – Macau, China

3. Verzasca Dam, 721 ft (220 m) – Val Verzasca, Ticino, Switzerland

4. Bloukrans Bridge, 710 ft (216 m) – Western Cape, South Africa

5. Europabrucke, 630 feet (192 m) – Innsbruck, Tyrol, Austria

Your stories

1. Have you ever bungee jumped? If so, where at?

2. With this being one of the most common extreme sports out there, would you work up the courage to do it? Or do you know anyone that has and loved it?

Bungee jumping blogs

See these people’s experiences and what all they have to say about bungee jumping!

1. Tony the Traveler

2. Destination Travel Blog

 

bungee jumping

bungee jumping 1

bungee jumping 2


Base Jumping

a man base jumping in the mountains Up to this point, every extreme sport I’ve written about is something I’ve already done. However, with being a college student and working multiple jobs, I’ve had to put my adrenaline rushes on pause. From here on out, I will write about extreme sports that I want to do the most after graduation, starting with base jumping.

What is base jumping?

Base jumping is an extreme sport that takes a lot of guts. With skydiving, you are with an instructor that has been trained, base jumping is something you train for yourself and do yourself. Personally, base jumping to me is way more scary than skydiving, and that’s why it’s next on my list!

The term BASE is an acronym for buildings, antennas, spans, and earth. These are referring to all the objects that base jumpers jump off of. It’s a lot different than skydiving because it happens a lot lower altitude and it happens off of a jump platform. A lot of base jumps occur at altitudes less than 2,000 feet. These short altitudes give adrenaline junkies a rush of knowing they only have a mere few seconds to successfully jump and get their suit or parachute open. The first base jump was done by a man who jumped off of the Statue of Liberty in 1912.

How do I train to base jump?

The first main step you need to take is getting certified to skydive. Skydiving is a crucial step in the learning process because it gets you comfortable with being in the air and learning how to control your body. Most importantly, it teaches you how to land correctly, which is a huge part of base jumping. After that, find a first jump course. These are courses designated to beginning base jumpers who want to learn all the ropes and basics. After that, you’ll want to find a mentor who has a lot of experience. Base jumping takes a lot of patience and time. Finally, after much training and help from other people who have done, it’s time to jump! Find a place near you, work up that courage, and take the first leap of faith!

 

What materials will I need?

Like rock climbing, base jumping requires a lot of specific gear to do. Apexbase.com is a great website to learn all about the sport and what you need, but here’s an overall look at the basics.

1. Wingsuit

2. Helmet

3. Parachute

4. Safety equipment

5. Carry bags

 

Best places to base jump in the world 

According to adventure.com, here are the best places to jump off of across the globe

5. Yosemite National Park, California

4. Troll Wall, Norway

3. Eiffel Tower, Paris

2. Tianmen Mountain, China

1. Burj Khalifa, United Arab Emirates

 

Tell me your story!

1. Do you ever think you would have the guts to base jump?

2. If so, where would you most want to do it at?

 

Other base jumping blogs

1. Adventure Rocket

2. Moabbaseadventures


Rock Climbing

A man rock climbing on a cliffSo far we’ve jumped out of an airplane, soared through the treetops and plunged into the rivers, but now we will be testing our strength and endurance with another extreme sport called rock climbing. Unlike the other sports, this one involves some training and a lot of knowledge of equipment. I’ll tell you how to begin your journey into becoming an experienced rock climber and where the best places to rock climb at in the U.S.

My Personal Story

Even though I haven’t done the extreme rock climbing that you have probably seen in the movies or on TV,  I have done plenty of rock walls and even some very beginner outdoor climbing down in Florida. From experience, rock walls are a great start. These are usually located indoors where you have a partner anchoring you down while you try to climb to the top. This gets you familiar with what your limits are and how to go about climbing up and down rocks.

When my family traveled down to Florida, I got the chance to actually climb outdoors using what I learned in the training class and using real rock climbing equipment. There are a lot of terms and lingo associated with rock climbing, so I suggest getting familiar with those. I probably climbed for about 2 hours when my time was up. Even though I didn’t get very high, (because I was still pretty young and afraid of heights), I still remember doing it like it was yesterday. Every step you took was a new rush of excitement and it was cool using real equipment with no help.

Where to start

According to active.com, before you get to the big leagues, rock climbing takes a lot of practice. Like I said before, starting on indoor rock walls is a great way to learn. It takes years of experience and guts to get up to the level of climbing up cliffs. Acquiring the right equipment is essential too for becoming a rock climber. Unlike the other extreme sports I’ve covered so far where you can just show up and go, rock climbing takes a lot more practice and time and a lot of people look at it like a lifestyle. If you decide you want to become a dedicated rock climber, make sure you know you have the right amount of time to do it.

Best places in the U.S. to rock climb 

Accroding to thetravel-guide.com, here are the best places to rock climb in the U.S.

1. Yosemite National Park, CA

2. Joshua Tree National Park, CA

3. Black Canyon on the Gunnison National Park, CO

4. Acadia National Park, Maine

5. Zion National Park, Utah

Equipment

Here’s a broad overview of what kind of materials you are looking at getting and how much they cost. This is can also be found on active.com, where there are tons of guides for beginning rock climbers.

Start-up costs? Here are some approximations:

Shoes: $125
Harness: $50
Chalk and chalkbag: $20
Belay device and locking carabiner: $25
Helmet: $7

Your Stories

Have you ever been rock climbing?

Where did you go and how was your experience?

How much beginning experience did you have before you went out on your first climb?

Check out these rock climbing blogs!

1. http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/climbing/1-Climbing-Narc.html

2. http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/climbing/2-Evening-Sends.html

3. http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/climbing/3-High-Places.html


White Water Rafting

A group of people white water rafting down the New River in West Virginia So while my first two posts dealt with jumping out of planes and trees, this 3rd extreme sport is all about the water. White water rafting is another extreme sport, like zip lining, that isn’t too crazy for them and actually want to try. This will tell you all about my personal experience with white water rafting and where the best places in the U.S. are to go.

My Personal Story

Back was I was 14 years old, my parents wanted to do something that my older brother and I would actually find exciting. Before this trip, we had been every where kid-friendly in America, but my mom and dad could tell my brother and I were getting bored, so they decided to take us all white water rafting.

We drove down to West Virginia to go rafting on their most popular river called The New River. This river was known for its crazy level 5 sections all the way down to the easy level 1’s. When you go white water rafting, the rapids are ranked in order from least dangerous to most dangerous. 1 being a very simple rapid and 5 being a very rough rapid.

After our mini training course on helmet use and how to sit properly in the raft, we were off. The guide asked for 2 volunteers to sit in the front because these two people were the ones the had the best chance of getting thrown out. Of course my brother and I instantly raised our hands and made our way to the front.

For the next 4 hours, we were all out on the river. Sometimes the guides would let us jump in and swim through the easy rapids and then the big rapids started to come. Before we could even see the level 5, we could hear it. Our guide started getting very serious and told us strict directions. As we were approaching, the boats in front of us were going and I just saw people flying out left and right. I started to get really nervous. Then it was our turn. We lined up right and down we went. It felt like a roller coaster except this time, we had no seat belt. Before I knew it, we were hitting a rapid and I was in the air.

Obviously the whole thing turned out alright. Even though I didn’t stay in the boat the whole time, I was alright. I think my mom was way more scared than I was of my brother and I sitting in the front. The next few hours were a blast. They took us on different parts of the river and we experience all sorts of rapids. Definitely a family trip I won’t forget anytime soon.

Surfing

One cool thing they did that I really remember was their version of surfing. Basically, after you go down a good sized rapid, they would turn the boat around and you would go head first into the rapid. This caused tons of water to flood into your boat and a lot of the time, the boat would flip. I thought it was awesome, but the grown-ups in the group thought doing it once was more than enough.

Word of warning

Even though I had a great time, this sport isn’t for everyone. Families with younger children really need to think about it before going. Even though it can be a lot of fun, people have died going rafting. However, with the guides having as much experience as they do, if you listen to directions, it can be a trip you’ll never forget.

The top 5 places to go white water rafting in the U.S. according to news.discovery.com

1. Deschutes River, Oregon

2. Salmon River’s Middle Fork, Idaho

3. New River, West Virginia

4. Gauley River, West Virginia

5. Colorado River, Colorado

Tell me your story!

Have you ever been white water rafting? If so, where?

Any other New River stories or “surfing” stories?

Check out some other sports blogs!

http://adventuresportblog.com/

http://www.krush.com/blog/who-are-the-toughest-action-sports-athletes-infographic/


Zip Lining

Me and friends zip lining in Hocking Hills!So once you check skydiving off your list, another cool extreme sport that is can be done all over the nation is zip lining. There are all sorts of zip lining places from the casual to the extreme. No matter where you’re from, somewhere nearby is bound to offer this extreme sport.

Skydiving? Check. Zip lining? Next!

So what exactly is zip lining? It’s going from one place to another using a rope, harness, and a karabiner. On the scale of extreme to starter, this extreme sport is definitely on the more causal end. Even though it still takes some guts getting up in the trees and jumping from them, it’s a good starter to build up your braveness to getting even crazier.

Unlike skydiving, zip lining takes a lot more equipment. Here’s a look of what all you need if you want to become your own successful zip liner!

My Zip Lining Experience 

Two years ago, a few friends and I went to Hocking Hills in southern Ohio and went on its zip lining experience. Even though it’s not as a big of adrenaline rush as skydiving, it was still an awesome time with a good group of friends. I definitely recommend it for families too since younger kids would enjoy it as well.

When we arrived, just like skydiving, I had to sign a lot of papers. I guess all these places have a lot of legal action they have to take to cover all the things that could go wrong. After that, we got fitted for our harnesses and ropes and went over to a little practice station where we learned how to properly take our karabiners on and off. (Karabiner is a just a fancy term for the metal clip thing that keeps you on the rope). There were also a few easy commands we had to learn from the instructor so when we were up in the canopy we knew how and when to move from rope to rope.

From there we took a long jeep ride way back into the hills. This is where we all started getting pretty excited. We finally reached the start of it and climbed up a huge tree. I mean this thing was massive. Once we all got our karabiners on correctly, we were able to jump off the tree one-by-one. The rush of the wind as your going through the trees and hearing other people yell for you as your soaring was such a cool feeling.

Where to go?

So where are the best places across the nation to zip line? Here’s what USA Today thought! And Hocking Hills just made the cut!

  1. Hocking Hills, OH
  2. Lahaina, HI
  3. Salida, CO
  4. Occidental, CA
  5. Charlemont, MA
  6. Spicewood, TX
  7. Tamarack, ID
  8. Barnardsville, NC
  9. Lansing, W.V.
  10. Fayetteville, NC

So there it is! Another extreme sport that you can work on accomplishing soon. Hopefully this was helpful in giving you hints on where to go and what all you need. Have fun!


Skydiving

Connor Griffith skydiving for the first timeSkydiving is probably one of the most popular bucket list items out there. While most people always say that want to do it, a lot of them never get the chance. I knew when I got the idea to skydive that it actually had to happen, and it did.

I’ve always been a roller coaster junkie but when that didn’t scare me anymore, I wanted to do the biggest adrenaline rush I could think of and I thought graduating high school was the perfect excuse to do it. Mainly because I was finally 18 and could sign the abundance of papers they make you sign basically saying if the chute doesn’t open my family can’t sue them. Also because I knew I needed a legit reason for my parents to want me to do it and go down with me and I was right, they agreed and off we went.  A buddy of mine also got his parents to agree and followed us down that day.

As we are driving down there, I was doing anything a normal first time skydiver would do, texting every friend I had saying what they can have of mine if I die. It was a good laugh to keep my mind off of what was about to happen. We pull up to the place and it was just a small building in the middle of the open field. Everyone that worked there was really cool and after signing papers for 20 minutes, it was time to suit up and go. They asked if I wanted to go first and of course I said yes. Whenever you go skydiving for the first time, you  have to do what’s called a tandem skydive, which is with someone on your back. After so many jumps and taking a class, you can become a certified skydiver. So prepare to get very snug with the instructor your going with when they put the suits on.

As I’m walking to the plane in the field, I wave my goodbyes to by parents and think about what is to come. I’m so pumped and to be honest, not scared at all. The plane goes up around 10,000 feet, which takes about 20 minutes, and that’s when it all goes down. We get up there, all the fields looking like different colored squares, and that’s when they say “are you ready?” Before I know what to even think, the door to the plane is flying open and all I can hear is the loudness of the wind going by. That’s when it hits me, HOLY CRAP I’M ABOUT TO JUMP OUT OF A PLANE!

Most of the thoughts running through my head at that time probably aren’t appropriate for here so I’ll just keep it short. The door opened, we jumped, I screamed, we free feel for about 22 seconds, I screamed, the chute opened, I had a huge sigh of relief, I was probably still screaming, then finally I got to enjoy the scenic part of nicely coming down with a nice big parachute above as I waved to my parents. My landing was perfect, my friend had the same experience, and because you can’t skydive and not have proof, I was suckered into buying the extremely cheap DVD for $100.00.

My biggest piece of advice about skydiving: just do it! It was the experience of a lifetime and I can’t wait to be able to do it again. There are so many cool places to skydive around the world so I really hope you are able to pick one and finally be able to cross the biggest adrenaline rush off your bucket list.