6 Extreme Sports You Won't Believe Anyone Survives
You have to kind of feel sorry for "extreme sport" practitioners. For one thing, you can't even say the name of their sport without an eye roll and a smirk, and for another, the '90s are over. If you haven't put away the Rollerblades and floppy hair by now, buddy, consider yourself the modern day version of a hippie.
But the guys in this article aren't your run-of-the-mill Mountain Dew swiggers. These guys are SO EXTREME that they just Mad Libbed random dangers together, almost like they were suicidal, but wanted to go out in the most Rube-Goldbergian way possible. That's how we wound up with ...
MMA ... With Tasers
Have you ever been so pissed off that you wanted to punch a dude with a taser? Of course not. That's not even possible. Well, don't tell Michael Alexander, who decided that mixed martial arts, the current king of the fighting hill, was for pussies. So he upped the ante of a sport that already consists of two guys punching, kicking and grappling the hell out of each other by adding 3-million-volt tasers sewn into their gloves. It's called Shockfighting, and it looks like this:
If you watch that video without sound, it looks like one of the saddest MMA fights in history. The guys are just lazily jabbing at each other, occasionally throwing a kick when they get too ashamed of themselves. Ah, but then you turn the sound up and start to hear the crackles of electricity every time a hand connects.
Michael Alexander describes the sport as being the ultimate art of extreme fighting, where you "put true warriors in a ring, against each other with three million volts of electricity charging out. Winner takes all."
We're not sure what the "all" the winner takes is, as the sport is wildly illegal and there's no way guys who are willing to beat each other up with tasers are making huge profits on any road life may take them down, since society has not completely collapsed just yet.
It's kinda hard to believe that's not right around the corner, though.
Parkour ... With Huge Springs on Your Feet
No matter who you ask, it is a rare soul who will not, upon questioning, admit that parkour is kind of cool. Free running has featured prominently in movies such as Casino Royale and enough other slivers of pop culture to gain a foothold as the go-to cool urban thing. That's when the hardcore practitioners knew it was time to take it to another level. Of stupid.
How? Well, someone decided to bring equipment into a sport noted for its lack of need for any, and that is how powerbocking was born. They decided that what parkour clearly needed was freaking stilts. Actually, while we're at it, let's make them spring-heeled.
Concussions: The Sport
Now, we're the first to admit that on paper, the concept seems pretty cool. Who wouldn't want to be able to somersault over cars like Spider-Man?
"My testicles recede for days at a time after each practice."
Hell, there are even bocking pros out there who are able to make the sport seem really awesome:
Holy crap! Those guys are doing Mario jumps!
But then reality and physics kick in, and you realize that the actual sport is a lot more like this:
That is, a lot of scrotum-ripping splits.
Holy shit, did that guy just kick himself on the top of the head with his stilts?
There's no way he still knows math after a hit like that.
What we're trying to say is that there's a fine line between awesome and insane, and turning a graceful urban sport into duckwalking with $500 giant springs that amplify every little false move you make into a complete and utter full body failure, while you repeatedly attempt to backflip, is crapping all over said line.
Skateboarding ... With Mini Motorbikes on Your Feet
Oh, come on. Is that a skateboard? A motorbike? A prop from an extremely low-budget apocalypse movie? A double Segway for the permanently splayed?
That bikini top has us convinced of this product's safety and utility.
The apparatus in question is called, honestly, the Wheelman Bushpig (Wheelman Bushpig!), and it's a skateboard motorbike. And while it sounds like the exact thing your 12-year-old self would have a happiness-prolapse over, take a moment and watch this promotional video before reaching for your credit card:
At first, it seems like everything is dandy in the world of these happy models, riding their Bushpigs on the beach like they were auditioning for a Mad Max/Baywatch crossover. And then you start to see the little signs. The way they all wobble on the bike and strain to smile while maintaining their bodies at unnatural right angles.
It's almost as fun as falling down the stairs.
Check out the look in their eyes as they realize they are driving a motorized vehicle that has no protection whatsoever and a blind spot of, oh, roughly 270 degrees because good luck looking around while trying to balance on that thing.
And that's the promotional video. Here's a guy attempting to perform tricks with the thing, in a video that should be titled "So Your Ankles Stole Your Woman -- A Practical Guide to Retribution."
Should you actually watch the videos and decide that this is exactly what the doctor ordered for your humdrum life, and if that doctor wasn't the deceased Dr. Kevorkian, you should be glad to know the company behind the Bushpig is a legit one. They even give their product a warranty. Of two months.
Related: How To Not Roast Alive This Summer
Swimming Jumps ... With a Human Catapult
Maybe it's been a while since you've cannonballed into a pool on a hot summer day, but one whiff of chlorine and coconut sunscreen can usually bring it all back. It wasn't enough to sit on the hot concrete and daintily lower yourself into the water feet first -- at least not if you wanted to be respected by those punks you called your friends. If you were serious about summertime fun, you had to jump. And if you were dead serious, you had to make a splash so big all the grownups would go home on account of rain.
In other words, how you got into the pool has always been serious business. Today it just got seriouser.
Allow us to introduce you to the bone-breaker of your dreams. It's called the AirKick, and it's exactly what it sounds like: a giant commercial catapult designed for the sole purpose of launching you 26 feet into the air. Its driving force is about six buckets' worth of water, shooting through a rocket nozzle with enough pressure to fling a fully grown human.
Or a man-child.
Of course, where you land is your own business -- the manufacturer names swimming pools and foam pits as potential landing sites, but if you're the sort of person who purchases a goddamn human catapult for recreational purposes, chances are you can afford to get a lot more creative about your destination. (Vanilla pudding.)
Or a carpet of floating strippers.
Freestyle Jumping ... With a Giant Kite
For people who want to get in the air but aren't coordinated enough to attempt hang gliding or the process of buying plane tickets, kite jumping is probably the best start. Because anyone can jump, right? Sure. But jumping is the easy part.
The recipe for kite jumping is as simple as the recipe for disaster: A comically oversized kite and you, trying not to die when it inevitably snatches you up into the sky.
This is the final picture of at least one of these kids.
It is considered one of the riskier forms of kiting, an achievement that may seem comparable to being the most hardcore knitter in the Woolly Sock Club ... until you actually see it in action.
Like we said, you are by no means in for a smooth ride: you are at the mercy of the wind, which can fling you to the ground in a screeching, crushing arc.
"I'm beginning to regret several specific life choices."
And of course, while you're up there, you do tricks. Because how else would it be extreme?
Could there be a stupider way to get airborne?
Surfing, Snowboarding/Skiing ... While Hang Gliding
Aviation is never a simple thing. Perhaps nowhere is this more evident than with hang gliding, which is basically just a dude leaping off cliffs wearing a giant wing thong and trying not to die. Yet the sport of hang gliding somehow manages to have some of the strictest safety standards around, with more controls, harnesses and safety measures than a moderately equipped bondage dungeon.
But then there's the Kitewing, which is an unholy cross between a hang glider and a kite that's stripped of every single conceivable safety feature. What it has instead is a handle, for you to better hang-on-for-dear-life with.
"I like a morning glider shark hunt before my afternoon volcano skiing."
Technically, the Kitewing can be used safely, as a sail-like propeller to extreme sports vehicles such as roller skates, surfboards and snowboards. But Kitewing is also specifically designed to provide lift, in order to gain the extra element of uncontrollable flight to sports that are strictly surface-based.
And so we have these guys snow skiing with Kitewings ...
... and using them to fly right the hell off the side of the mountain:
"The handles count as a safety feature, so I don't really need a helmet."
And then we have this guy ...
... using it to kite himself right across a frozen lake at breakneck speed:
"I'll take imminent, gory death over coffee any morning."
Damn it, people. If God wanted people to fly via kite, he would have given us kite heads.