Adventure sports holidays

If you love extreme sports, there are more options than ever at your disposal these days. That’s because there’s now more acceptance of extreme sports and pastimes by the public, and a web-fuelled desire to go to the extremes.


by Arn@ud Ab@die
Caption: Tignes is a great location for adventure sport getaways

There’s also more and more TV coverage of exciting adventure sports and the truth is that testosterone-fuelled young men – and an ever-increasing number of the females of the species – love the thrill that danger and high speed bring. If we didn’t, the roller coasters all around the globe would be standing idle, and the horror movies we all love to be scared by wouldn’t be half as popular as they are.

In short – homo-sapiens enjoy a thrill.This is the same reason we bet on different sports rather than just passively viewing them, or that we love to watch a pile-up in a horse race, or a car crash on a track where no-one is hurt anyway.

So without further ado – how about trying out the planet’s most northerly surf school, for example, above the Arctic Circle!? The far out and far-up Unstad Arctic Surf School on Norway’s Lofoten islands is a pretty extreme surf destination.But it’s getting more popular every year – and ever more so with families, so perhaps it’s just not dangerous enough these days? Just pack a good wet or dry suit – and save your trip for midsummer.

Or how about fly-boarding in sunnier climes – namely, Ibiza? This extreme sport involves a weird looking contraption that blasts you right out of the sea. You stand on a small platform that shoots powerful water jets down, sending the board and its occupant very high, very quickly into the air. You can try it out at Playa D’en Bossa, Ses Salinas and Formentera, Ibiza.

On a “same but different basis”, you might want to try a hover board on water invented by a Frenchman with a memorable name. French jet ski champion Franky Zapata invented the sister of the afore-mentioned fly-board and named it the aquatic hover board. The board also uses water jets to blast off from water, but you can ride it like a skateboard – zooming along the water’s surface and pulling whatever tricks you can muster.

Or how about blob-jumping in France? If you’ve ever watched the Jackass videos on YouTube, this will be familiar to you – but thankfully it’s safer not least as it’s on water.To go “Blob jumping” you need a huge and partially-inflated air bag positioned at the edge of a lake. The jumper (i.e. you!) positions his or herself on the far edge of the inflatable, whilst one or possibly two other people jump onto the other side from a platform. This sends you soaring into the air and sees you land safely in the water – all being well. You can check out the action at the Tignes Acroland site at Savoy in France

Alternatively, if it’s the snow you love, then how about riding your mountain bike down a piste with hundreds of other people doing the same thing? The Megavalanche mountain bike race, at Pic Blanc, Alpe d’Huez, France, takes place each April. For last year’s race, 2,000 riders of all abilities turned up from 30 different countries. It’s a 30km track with 2,600m of very steep descent that can have you moving at up to 100km an hour.

Otherwise, there’s a whole planet full of activities waiting for you to try your first extreme river boat ride, white water rafting trip, bungee jump, coasteering trip and a million and one other things. So come on guys – get out there and do something before we get old!

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