#3. Red Bull Crashed Ice
Crashed Ice is the crazier version of not one but three crazy sports: It's the bastard child of speed skating, ski cross and hockey, and like so many other children, it is a hyperactive whirlwind of pushing, slamming into walls and falling down. It's currently sponsored by Red Bull, and we wouldn't be surprised if that's all the players were allowed to drink for a week before the race.
Skating downhill through a frozen course filled with sharp turns, padded walls and steep drops, competitors from 30 nations race in heats of four toward the finish line. To get there, they bounce off of punching bags, slap into the walls and usually fall all over each other, hoping not to get a skate to the face as they all pile down a jump. So for the most part it's like hockey, but without the pretense of scoring points.
Points just get in the way of watching people cripple themselves.
In fact, the racers are usually hockey players, since they're the ones used to getting bashed up by large men at speeds approaching 40 mph. The most common injuries are bruising and twisted limbs -- six-time champion Jasper Felder says he once tore his leg muscle all the way from the knee up just from running through the course (and then won anyway). Another player wasn't so lucky and swore off the game.
"Fuck this, I'm going back to gladiatoring."
Crashed Ice has been played since 2001, with a women's division added in 2011, which is probably a lot less fun, given the lack of gonads to smash and protect. They'll just have to settle for the typical contusions and fractures, we guess.
#2. Roller Limbo
Most of you probably didn't even know that limbo is played competitively. If you're lucky, limbo dancing is a thing that only happens at wedding receptions and in Hawaii-themed episodes of '90s sitcoms. And yet there are people for whom limbo has become so commonplace that they have to make it more difficult by, say, doing it in roller skates, or putting the bar so low that you have to literally throw yourself on the ground. Or rolling under cars.
Which is exactly where children were meant to play.
Above is 11-year-old Rohan Ajit Kokane, a kid from India who in 2011 set the Guinness World Record for distance limbo skating, rolling a badass 126 feet while hovering with his face millimeters off the floor. Honestly, he deserved a world record just for staying in that position for that long. Oh, and to make sure he didn't break the rules by raising his head above the height limit, he did it under a row of 20 cars:
And they weren't parked in a straight line, just to make him work for it.
Apparently, Indian children dominate this field of groin-tearingly impressive feats of strength, as demonstrated by Aniket Chindak, who, in 2007 and at age 6, reportedly skated under 57 cars in 45 seconds (unfortunately, his parents neglected to invite the Guinness people that day). Chindak had been skating since he was 18 months old, which brings up a mental image of babies in roller skates cruising the Indian streets, and a few years ago said that he planned to break his record by skating under 100 cars.
Meanwhile, in China, a girl named Wu Xue set the Guinness World Record for fastest limbo skating by rolling 164 feet in under eight seconds. Here's a video, but try not to be creeped out by the crowd of enthusiastic older guys staring at her and clapping.
We can't help but assume that these kids are training to be either superspies or art thieves, the only two professions where being able to navigate a field of laser beams would be useful.
#1. Deadly Kite Flying
Kite flying is a serious sport with world championships, complex rules and zero yearly fatalities ... unless you count the Basant Kite Festival in Pakistan, which kills about 10 people a year. For flying kites. Or it did, before they finally banned it a few years ago.
Unlike regular kite flying, which consists of getting your kite up in the air and ... watching it for awhile until you get bored, we guess, this deadlier version is all about cutting your neighbors' kite strings with your own, which are specially made of razor wire and bits of broken glass. Just picking up the string can turn your hands into a bloody mess if you don't take precautions.
In normal kite flying, everyone's a winner; here, nobody is.
Basant is a huge festival, too, so basically once a year the whole sky is filled with near-invisible razor blades, all zooming around, trying to cut other razor blades or whoever crosses their path. Multiple people have died almost every year of the festival, either by having their throats slashed by the strings, accidentally cutting through a power line and getting electrocuted or simply falling off a rooftop while flying a kite. It doesn't help that some kite enthusiasts also enjoy shooting their guns into the air at this time of the year.
Bikers are the most affected, which is why they've even started attaching string-stopping bamboo bows to their vehicles. Check it out:
But what fun is riding a motorcycle without a decent chance of decapitation?
The Pakistani Supreme Court tried to ban the practice in 2005, but were protested so heavily that the ban was lifted in 2007 -- and 10 more people died. Then they banned it again, but since this is such a long-standing tradition, people still want to do it. Apparently 10 deaths a year is considered an acceptable sacrifice to the gods of kiting.
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