What’s Your Definition of “Extreme” Sports or Adventures?

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What does someone mean and what are they trying to convey when they use the term “Extreme” in association with a particular sport or adventure?  Each of us has a slightly different definition of the word, but we agree in general on most of the criteria needed to be classified as an Extreme Action or Adventure Sport.

The term “extreme” has become amazingly popular and it’s been over used by the masses to describe a plethora of activities and adventures, but what actually constitutes an extreme sport or adventure is still up for debate.

extremeOne of the most important pre-requisites that a sport or adventure must possess to be seriously considered extreme is inherent danger and in this case, less isn’t more.  Other factors that go hand in hand with danger are extremely levels of speed, outrageous height and high levels of physical exertion as well as anything else that makes fun of what normal is.

extreme adventuresMost extreme adventures or sports do however share several common characteristics.  They’re not the exclusive domain of youth, but extreme sports do tend to have a younger-than-average target demographic.  Very rarely will you find an extreme sport endorsed, sanctioned or promoted by a public school or school system.  Extreme sports are usually solitary in nature and unlike traditional sports, the term team doesn’t apply.

motorcrossExtreme athletes are also unique in that they have a willingness to take risks and embrace danger.  They move forward not backward when the outcome is uncertain, yearning for more speed under extreme conditions and have an unquenchable thirst to surpass the limits of where others feared to tread.  They also tend to hone and master their sport alone or in the company of other extreme enthusiasts and very seldom seek training or coaching from outside their inner circle.

Extreme sports also have a much higher degree of uncontrolled variables than traditional sports.  Extreme sports environments are most often in natural settings where weather and terrain can’t be controlled.   The canvases extreme athletes use to paint on are mountains and oceans etc…and elements like snow, wind and rain heighten the levels of difficulty and danger as well as the odds of success.

risk takerSome may feel that extreme sports are nothing more than counter culture gatherings for disaffected youths who reject authority and are disenchanted with “normal” or traditional sports.  That may have been true 25-30 years ago, but nothing could be farther from the truth today as extreme sports and adventures are as popular and mainstream America in 2013 as baseball, football and basketball.




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