Extreme Sports Facts
Extreme Sports Facts

33 Extreme Sports Facts

Karin Lehnardt
By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published May 11, 2020

Buckle up. It's going to be a wild ride as we adventure through the most exciting extreme sports facts on the Web. We'll learn what the most extreme sport is, which sport has the most deaths, and what the most dangerous sport is of all time. Let's do it!

  • Skateboarding was the first extreme sport invented in the United States.[8]
  • Between the 1960s and 1980s, extreme sports were seen as rebellious and disruptive. They became more popular in 1995 when ESPN hosted the first X Games, which gave extreme athletes a place to show their talents .[15]
  • The autopsy of BMX legend Dave Mirra showed signs of the degenerative brain condition called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. He died of suicide.[9]
  • While surfing may seem like a modern extreme sport, it is actually a central part of ancient Polynesian culture that predates European contact.[15]
  • Extreme Sports Weird Fact
    Would you try crocodile bungee jumping?
  • In Australia, crocodile bungee jumping is popular. As the name implies, it involves bungee jumping over crocodile-infested waters.[3]
  • Over 72% of BASE jumpers have witnessed a death or serious injury. Jumping with a wingsuit is one of the most deadly forms of BASE jumping.[9]
  • Free climbing, or soloing, is consistently ranked as the most dangerous extreme sport. There are usually no injuries when free climbers fall—just death.[12]
  • BASE jumping is one of the most dangerous extreme sports. BASE jumping (which stands for the objects from which you can jump: building, antenna, span, and earth) has a fatality rate of about 1 in 60 jumps.[9]
  • In 2013, a man from Russia set the record for the world's highest BASE jump when he jumped from Mt. Everest. Mt. Everest is 23,000 feet or 7,200 meters above sea level.[9]
  • While there is no agreed upon definition of "extreme sport," generally, the term extreme sport refers to an activity in which someone is subjected to extreme physical and mental challenges, such as height, speed, depth, or natural forces.[4]
  • Plunge boldly into the thick of life, and seize it where you will, it is always interesting.

    - Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

  • Adrenaline junkies have invented a sport called "creeking," which is a mix of canoeing and kayaking. Creeking is when kayakers ride very steep and low volume whitewater, including steep rivers and waterfalls.[9]
  • Known as the "most dangerous eight seconds in sport," bull riding has the highest injury rate of any rodeo event. Even if a bull rider survives the fall, they also need to survive 600–900 kilograms of bull.[9]
  • Extreme sports have younger-than-average participants. Extreme sports also tend to be more solitary than other sports.[6]
  • Rock climbing can positively impact mental health, depression, ADHD, and anxiety. This is due to feelings of accomplishment, being outdoors, living in the present, and practicing mindfulness.[5]
  • Rock Climbing Facts
    The health benefits of rock climbing

  • Extreme sports have been linked to 40,000 head and neck injuries per year.[10]
  • Jay Stokes set the record for the most skydives in 24 hours. On his 50th birthday, he jumped 640 times, and he raised money for the Special Olympics and Special Operations Warrior Foundation at the same time.[14]
  • Georgia "Tiny" Broadwick was the first female skydiver. At a petite 4'1", Broadwick was just 15 when, on June 21, 1913, she became the first woman to skydive over Los Angeles' Griffith Park.[14]
  • Kathe Paulus helped invent the "reserve" parachute for skydiving. When Paulus jumped from a balloon, she cut away her main parachute and then opened another. She was also the primary advisor for ballon reconnaissance troops for Germany during World War One.[13]
  • Street Luge is an extreme sport created in Southern California. Also known as land luge or road luge, the first professional race was held in 1975. The world street-luge speed record is 101.98 mph (164.12 km/h) and was set in 2016.[15]
  • In 1799, Jeanne Genevieve Labrosse-Garnerin was the first woman to make a parachute jump from the gondola of a hot air balloon. She and her husband also filed a patent application for the first frameless parachute.[13]
  • Limbo skating is a popular extreme sport in India. This sport involves roller skating underneath cars, which, not surprisingly, requires intense flexibility.[3]
  • Limbo Skating Fact
    How low can you go?

  • When Felix Baumgartner reached speeds of 834 mphd during his famous Red Bull Stratos jump, he not only broke the freefall speed record, he also broke the sound barrier (with just his body).[14]
  • Ashley Fiolek is a professional American motocross racer, and she’s also deaf.[11]
  • Artwork from 200 BC shows Chinese men rock climbing.[7]
  • Tony Stadler is the youngest person to ever have skydived. He was just 4 years old when he completed his jump in South Africa.[15]
  • The twelfth-century, cliff-dwelling Anasazi of the American Southwest are thought to have been exceptional rock climbers.[7]
  • Rock climbing can improve emotional or attention problems, such as anxiety and ADHD.[5]
  • The fastest motorcycle handlebar wheelie was completed by Irishman Enda Wright. On July 11, 2006, he reached a speed of 108 mph (173.81 km/h) while doing his amazing trick.[1]
  • Strange Extreme Sport Facts
    How extreme would you go for a well-pressed shirt? (Theredrocket / Creative Commons)
  • Extreme Ironing (EI) is an extreme sport in which people take ironing boards to remote locations and iron articles of clothing.[2]
  • While train surfing, or riding on the outside of a train, is a common way to ride trains in Indonesia and South Africa, in 2005 it became a popular extreme sport in Germany.[3]
  • The highest bungee jump facility in the world is the Macau Tower, China. It is twice as high as the Eiffel Tower, at 764 feet tall.[4]
  • Pem Sherpa and Moni Mulepati are the world's first couple to get married on top of Mount Everest.[5]
  • Big wave surfers ride waves that are at least 20 feet high, which is big enough to flatten a small village.[5]

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