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Weird Sports You Never Knew Existed

Sometimes it’s only when an off-beat film is made, we find out about sports we never knew existed, like Dodgeball or Roller Derby’s (Whip It), but still out there lurks a host of weird and somewhat wonderful sports, here we name a few of the weirdest ones.

Wing Suit Base Jumping

base jumping

You may have seen the viral video on YouTube of Jeb Corliss wing suit base jumping that’s so far amassed over 22 million views, but this is by no small undertaking, the extremist and arguably most dangerous of sports.  Wingsuit base jumpers will tell you the adrenaline doesn’t get higher than this, flying through the air like a bird, riding the thermals around a mountain before deploying a parachute at the last minute.

Be warned, it’s an extreme sport for a reason, jumping in a wing suit makes base jumping a lot harder, the low fall rate and the fact that you’re flying horizontally (flying forwards about 2.5 metres for every metre you fall) can fool you into thinking you’re higher up than you actually are.  Base jumping has one of the highest fatality rates of any extreme sport, 44 per 1,000 compared to Hang Gliding which is 3.8 per 1,000, it’s believed wing suit flying will be close to the same as base jumping.  Interestingly back when they were developing the wingsuit between 1930 and 1961, 71 out of 75 people lost their lives in their endeavor to perfect the suit.

Flyboarding

flyboarding

A new sport on the extreme sports scene, it was invented by Franky Zapata back in 2011, one of his flyboards will set you back a cool £7,000, so a hobby for those than can afford to ‘splash out’ a bit.  Can shoot you up to 10 metres in the air and dive under the water – a combination of a jet ski and a jet pack.  Water is pumped in by a Kevlar hose and your feet are used to change direction.  Adapting the ‘Iron Man’ pose, the water pumps up to lift you up out of the water, and then dive back down to swim through the water like a dolphin.

There are two different sets of jets, one under each foot and one by each hand.  The ones shooting water out near your hands have a similar effect to ski poles to help you balance, they product about 10% of the lift/propulsion, and the feet jets account for the other 90%.

Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race

Dogs

A slightly different extreme sport, but one that requires 10 months of preparation, costs $1250 just to enter to cover 1,000 miles of ground, powered by huskies.  The race begins in Anchorage (Alaska) and ends in Nome on the Bearing Sea (which is also where you’ll find people risking their lives for a few weeks of the year diving under the ice in search of gold).  After spending 10 months preparing and parting with your $1250, you enter the competition with your 16 dogs setting out with the hope of finishing the race in 9+ days.  The record was set back in 2011 by John Baker, who managed to complete the race in 8 days 19 hrs, 46 mins and 39 seconds.

Not being for the feint hearted, if you compete, you’ll face wind chill temperatures of -73c so having adequate layers of winter clothing is essential.

Extreme Slacklining/Highlining

highlining

Slacklining is a balance based sport where you tie a rope around two points (usually trees), typically you’ll see people slacklining about 1 foot off the ground, but not extreme slacklining.  What makes it extreme is when people take those two points over a massive drop which is what they call Highlining.  Some enthusiasts will do it with no safety attachment (like Mich Kemeter has become famous for) and with no net to catch them if they fall.

One of the most famous places to highline is the ‘Lost Arrow Spire’ which is 880m high and was originally set up back in 1983 by Adam Grosowsky and Jeff Ellington, although it wasn’t successfully crossed that time, not until 1985 when Scott Balcom crossed it.  Years later, in 2007 the first woman crossed it (Libby Sauter).

Hazardous or Extreme sports, as it’s popularly known are activities which are perceived as having a high level of inherent danger, so there is no wonder Life Insurance providers want to know more. An increase in technology and the fact that people can pretty much travel all over the world means that new sports (hazardous or otherwise) are always being discovered, so it’s not a surprise some of these sports are becoming more and more mainstream with the likes of abseiling, mountaineering or rock climbing almost seeming ‘normal’.  When applying for a Life Insurance policy and as with all questions, be sure to be open honest about any hazardous sports you partake in. Failure to disclose this information, could mean when the time comes, your policy might not be valid.

Featured images:

Written by Georgina Kent from Confused.com, providers of life insurance quotes, who avoids most sports at all costs, especially extreme ones.


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