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Getting Started with Extreme Sports

Extreme sports are more popular than ever before. Here are some key things to consider before you join the craze.
John M
Since the 1990s, extreme sports have gained popularity throughout the world and are without doubt now part of the mainstream. But they are not for everyone and getting started with many extreme activities requires more careful consideration compared with traditional sports.

What are Extreme Sports?

Extreme sports are also commonly referred to as adventure sports or action sports. Whatever you call them, each of these terms refer to sporting activities which are considered to involve a high element of risk.

This may involve high-speed pursuits, activities performed at a significant height or ones which require intense levels of physical exertion.

Examples of Extreme Sports

There are hundreds of examples of extreme sports to choose from. Many sports have several different variations as well.

For example, skiing can be considered as an extreme sport but there are many different ways in which one can ski. Cross-country skiing, alpine skiing, free skiing are just a few examples.

For those who are looking for adventure in the sky rather than the snow, activities such as skydiving, paragliding and base jumping are just a few examples of extreme sports that could be considered.

Canoeing, jet skiing and surfing are all examples of water-based extreme sports, but there also many more that fit in this category.

As you can see, there is a huge variation in the different types of extreme activities that can be pursued.

Things to Consider Before Getting Started with Extreme Sports

There are numerous things to consider before getting started with extreme sports. Risk, cost and access are some of the most obvious factors.

A lot will depend on the particular sport and the individual’s own personal circumstances.


By their very nature, extreme sports have a certain degree of risk associated with them.

With traditional activities, such as soccer and running there is also an element of risk in terms of injury, but the risk is generally far higher when it comes to extreme sports.

Accidents can happen at anytime, even when participating in a very low risk activity such as jogging.

But if a particular sport is fundamentally based on a high speed, potentially dangerous experience, the chance of an accident occurring is obviously much greater.

A severe spinal injury or traumatic brain injury are two life-changing outcomes which are commonly associated with extreme sports, when considering the health risks involved.

In fact, avoiding high-risk sports altogether is one of the main precautions to consider, when trying to prevent spinal cord injuries, according to sciprogress.com.


The financial cost of getting involved with extreme sports is another thing that needs to be considered. For many traditional sports, such as tennis and soccer, the cost of getting started is very low.

Perhaps just a small piece of equipment needs to be purchased, such as a ball, before you can begin to play.
For most extreme sports, specialist equipment is required and this will obviously come at a cost.

On one end of the scale, using motor racing as an example, several thousands of dollars will likely need to be spent before an individual can get started even at the most basic level.
Even more basic pursuits such as rock climbing will require some specialist equipment to get started, to ensure that the activity can be performed safely and effectively.


Some extreme sports may not be accessible to all people, depending on where you live. Most people who want to get involved with sky-diving, for example, will approach a sky-diving company which will get them up in the clouds and take them on their first jump.

But you may find that there is no option for this close to where you live.

There may be other reasons that prevent certain activities being accessible to you.

A pre-existing health condition may mean that you are advised by medical professionals to avoid certain extreme activities.

Generally speaking though, access to extreme sports will depend on individual circumstances and will vary from sport to sport. But the things mentioned above are a just a few things to consider.

Thankfully, as many extreme sports grow in popularity, more opportunities become available to more people to get started with them in the first place.

Risk vs Reward

Of course there are several things to think about before deciding to get involved with extreme sports of any kind, but for many people, the thrill experienced when participating in these types of activity far outweigh any of the risks associated with them.