It's easy to invent an extreme sport. All you need to do is take one sport (say, bungee jumping), recklessly add another sport (motocross) and BOOM, you're the goddamn Thomas Edison of BUNGOCROSS.
As for getting folks to play your sport, well, that's more difficult. So while no patent office will answer our calls regarding Gunby (rugby plus, uh, use your imagination), here are six real sports that mix the best of other sports with an unhealthy dollop of extreme.
Remember the final scene of Over The Top in which Sylvester Stallone won back his estranged son by arm-wrestling a sausage-necked roustabout? Wouldn't that scene have been a million times better had Sly been simultaneously punching the fat dude in the throat?
If the idea of such wanton violence gets you off, then may we recommend XARM, a new combat sport that is equal parts every Stallone movie ever made. It combines the arm-wrestling of Over The Top and the pugilism of Rocky with the futuristic spandex of Judge Dredd.
XARM contains elements of arm wrestling, kickboxing and jiu jitsu. A fighter's waist is chained to a 28" by 16" table and his left hand his taped to his opponent's. Contestants have three one-minute bouts to pin their opponent's arm or pummel him into a coma--whichever happens first.
Here's footage of an XARM match. Notice how the fighters immediately eschew the whole arm-wrestling thing for the alternative tactic of smashing each other's solar plexuses.
Referees award points for clean hits, successful grapples and standard arm wrestling pins. Points are deducted for a "failure to fight aggressively," which is a sort of redundant rule--after all, a sissy defense is kind of impossible when you're handcuffed to the guy who wants to eat your aorta.
But you can hide under the table.
In sum, XARM is the modern update of an old-timey saloon brawl. It begins as a sportingly macho test of strength on a bar table and ends with a very large man giving you punch-induced renal failure. That being said, we'd hate to see which arm German pro arm-wrestler Matthias "Hellboy" Schlitte would choose to wrestle with.
That's a pile driver or a wrecking ball. Your choice.
If the idea of screaming down an icy crevasse on a thin fiberglass snowboard sounds too wussy for you, snowkiting may be your huckleberry. Snowkiting instead involves flying up a mountainside strapped to a giant fucking parachute and allowing the laws of physics to have sex with your face.
"Hey baby, it's me, inertia. Sorry I didn't call back. Been working late."
Snowkiting's origins cannot be traced to one individual, but rather a consortium of snowboarders and kite-builders who brought these two pastimes suicidally together. And as this two-minute tribute to ragdoll physics demonstrates, it's an extreme sport tailor made for blooper reels:
An ancillary benefit of snowkiting is never having to wait for a ski lift. Then again, an ancillary benefit of a ski lift is that it doesn't fire you off the mountain once you reach the top.
Remember the previews for Mission: Impossible 2, in which Tom Cruise scaled a sheer cliff face to the rocking riffs of, uh, Limp Bizkit? Well, there are actually adrenaline junkies out there who get their jollies hanging from precipices weighed down by nothing but small bags of chalk and their own mammoth testicles.
They're called free soloists, and those who free solo over ocean cliffs practice the sport of psicobloc:
On one hand, psicobloc is safer than free soloing. The deep-water soloist has the ocean to cushion him should he fall, whereas the free soloist will end up as a bloody splat for coyotes to lick up and unsuspecting birdwatchers to discover weeks later.
This site would be 100 percent Stallone allusions if we had our druthers.
On the other hand, if a regular soloist loses his grip, he gets the luxury of dying on impact. The deep-water soloist falls several stories into the roiling high tide, where he must swim, winded and stunned, against a current to safety. And yes, people have drowned deep-water soloing.
In the end, comparing the dangers of free and deep-water soloing is like comparing granite-hard apples and tidal waves of orange juice: both will kill you in their own special way.