Ever since ESPN began giving the X-Games airtime in the 1990s, extreme sports have hit the mainstream—skating, surfing, skiing, and rock climbing have all crept into our public consciousness as legitimate, sanctioned sports. And with the rise of the GoPro, public participation in said sports has only increased. And there are even better videos from the pros. And while you might be quite the extreme sports connoisseur, there's probably plenty of baller sports you don't even know about. Below are 10 that fit the bill.
You can surf the streets, the sea, an empty pool, and the Internet. So why not the sky? Invented in the 1980s (obviously), skysurfing was actually in the X-Games in the 1990s.
It still remains the most badass form of surfing—except for 70+ foot actual waves with sharks.
You know of road biking and mountain biking, but do you know its angry lovechild, cyclocross? A hybrid of the two—check out a cyclocross bike—these races around a short circuit are filled with pavement, sand, mud, barriers, and other obstacles. Bike handling skills, dismounting and running skills are key, as is riding with five pounds of extra mud.
You're going for an hour with all cylinders firing, and sometimes people figure out a way to get a leg up on the competition.
It's currently 'cross season now, so you should probably get out there too.
3. Street Luge
Unlike the safer, colder version that involves a custom track and another dude under you, the street version is just a little more intense.
While you don't usually go faster, the wipeouts are a little worse, considering the surface isn't slick ice but rather paved asphalt. Also, the sides aren't sloped up so you can carve into those turns—they're hay bales.
If you lose your legs playing rugby, you might stop. Or you could just realize you can't really lose them again and keep going. That's the basic philosophy behind murderball—now called wheelchair rugby—which was created because wheelchair basketball just wasn't cool enough.
You may remember how hardcore this sport is from the documentary a few years back.
5. Jai Alai
Called the "fastest sport in the world," this Spanish (and now Philippine) sport uses a cradle to fling a ball incredibly fast around a court, bouncing it off the wall. The jai alai ball has been clocked at 188 mph, and it's kind of like wall-ball, from the school yard.
6. Chess Boxing
Chess players are not traditionally good at boxing, and most boxers don't seem like they would be any good at chess. This majestic mutual exclusivity makes for a very interesting hybrid—chess boxing.
The ultimate test of brains and brawn, this sport was invented by a performance artist in 2003, and unsurprisingly is big in Russia. You can win via checkmate or knockout. The rules alternate chess and boxing, but since the rounds are so short you have to be good at speed chess, not necessarily classical chess.
7. Ski Flying
You know about ski jumping, but have you ever heard of ski flying? It's essentially the same, expect for one big difference—a really big difference. While Olympic ski jumps top out at 120 meter hills, these hills routinely toss ski flyers over 200 meters. Watch this stuff.
They go really, really far. This is the longest ever standing jump. It's 246.5 meters.
8. Extreme Ironing
This bizarre sport just involves one thing—ironing in the most extreme locations possible. On a cliff, on top of a car, the list goes on.
Of course, they made a sky surfing version of extreme ironing.
9. Ice Canoeing
This extremely Canadian sport harks back to the days of yore when people needed to get across the St. Lawrence river quickly—in canoes. Using a combination of paddling and bobsled-style pushing, this bizarre hybrid is actually pretty useful.
Plus giant crampons are involved. Better than hockey skates.
If you never grow out of your childhood hobbies, you get insanely good at them. Xpogo—extreme pogosticking—sends people 10 feet in the air, giving them ample space to do all kinds of tricks.
It also has an urban flavor, similar to Parkour and skateboarding, allowing you to shred the city. Maybe it's time to dust off your old stick.