From Rocky to Everest: Extreme sports is gaining ground

Is it Corona boredom or Instagram invite? The truth is, in 2021, extreme sport is gaining ground for every major, whatever kick you are chasing.

1. Why on ice when you can board volcano?

What is that? Forget about snowboarding and sand boarding; In 2021 you have to go down to the bottom of a volcano with your plank. In theory, this volcano could be active or inactive. In practice, the three most popular volcano riding sites are active sites, although not all of them are with recent eruptions.

All they have is fine ash on their wings, which you can go down to (dusty). Real Puritans get zigzagging on the board, those who rely on their special skills a little less, can also slide while sitting on a plank with a base layer of metal. It is not an official sport (yet), but the number of fans is increasing every year.

Where is it possible? The most famous surfing spot in the volcano is Cerro Negro in Nicaragua. In Indonesia you can go to Bromo, in Oceania (Vanuatu) to Yasur. The latter has small eruptions several times a day. This makes surfing in the volcano unpredictable, but the flanks are constantly covered with almost fresh ash.

Volcano riding is not an official sport (yet), but the number of fans is growing every year.
© Shutterstock

Who Invented It? “National Geographic journalist and adventurer Zoltan Istvan calls himself the first volcano surfer. A thirst for sandboards, he ventured into the descent of a volcano in 2002 when he visited Vanuatu.


The volcano’s current ride speed record is set at 90 kilometers per hour.

Who would dare to do that? Adrenaline seekers who are ready to lift the volcano on their own. After all, there are no volcanic ski lifts, no trails, warm temperatures and a steep slope guaranteed.

What do you need for that? It is recommended to wear protective clothing, gloves, a scarf, motorcycle or diving goggles against dust, as well as a water bottle for climbing, sturdy walking shoes and sunscreen.

Must try? The great thing about riding a volcano is that you can still be the first in your circle of friends to do so. You determine your descent speed, but know that the current speed record is around 90 kilometers per hour.

2. Why jog when you can trail running?

What is that? Tired of the airport tarmac and enjoy the feeling when you hear the word marathon running? Then a lane run might be right for you. The disadvantage of Corona times is that you have to travel the most beautiful paths of the trails, and the advantage (once you leave safely) is that in addition to physical exertion, you can also enjoy unique views.

After all, you can run in the mountains, on unpaved terrain. Most of the time you run, you sometimes walk when the terrain is really, really tough. Endurance is the keyword here, as is respect for Mother Nature. There’s no way to get around your mind while you’re running: From start to finish you have to focus on the track.

The advantage of running down the trails is that you can enjoy unique views in addition to the physical exertion.
© Getty Images

Where is it possible? Wherever you find a mountain with paths. If you want to take an official lane race, place the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc (166 km via France, Italy and Switzerland), the Tromsdalstind Skyrace (28 km via Norway), the Ultra-Trail Cape Town (65 km across the South) Africa) and Hardrock Hundred Mile Endurance Run (160 km across the US) is on your wishlist.


Ten years ago, the counter stood at 137,234 participants around the world, and last year there were already 611,098.

Beginner mistakes? Time is of the essence in running, so don’t focus on that. Most organized trail races range from marathons to ultramarathons, where mileage takes precedence over the period of time in which it occurs. So leave your watch at home.

What do you need for that? Trail shoes are recommended. It’s also best to have water (whether or not it’s built in your chest), sunscreen, sunglasses and insect repellant.

Must try? The number of sports enthusiasts venturing into an official arcade race has increased steadily in recent years. Ten years ago, the counter stood at 137,234 participants around the world, and last year there were already 611,098.

3. Why cycle if you can Everesten?

What is that? Nothing captures the imagination of avid cyclists like a mountain top, and when it comes to mountain peaks, you can’t aim higher than Everest. The only problem with this ultimate cycling dream: There are no bike paths on the sides of Mount Everest.

But don’t worry: you can go anywhere if you have a mountain trail, excellent condition, and tons of perseverance. The idea is deceptively simple: while cycling you climb the distance you’ll be riding when climbing Mount Everest. So you have to climb 8,848 meters – about 6 to 8 times as much as Ventox Mountain, depending on your starting point – in one bike ride. There is no time limit, and you do not have any breaks.

Mount Everest can be done anywhere if you have a mountain trail, peak condition and tons of perseverance.
© Getty Images

Where is it possible? Wherever you find a hill or a mountain. Note: The lower the top, the more turns you will have to do.

Who Invented It? Nobody but George Mallory – the grandson of the British who disappeared on Mount Everest in 1924 – rode Australia’s 1069-meter Dona Bwang mountain eight times in 1994. However, the concept did not officially materialize until Australian cyclist Andy Van Bergen designated a site On the Internet for him in 2004.

Who would dare to do that? Die-hard sports fanatics with sadomasochistic traits and professional cyclists think: Mark Cavendish, Janes Voigt, or Luke Rowe.

What do you need for that? A good bike, energy bars, lots of water, a high-energy sports drink and backup batteries to light up your bike. It also helps to have a handlebar holder for your smartphone.

4. Why surfing when you can surf the snow?

What is that? Imagine being able to surf not only in spring, summer and autumn, but also in winter, when it gets so cold that the sea also freezes? Do you want to wear a wetsuit and run outside? Then learn about snowboarding, which is still unknown to us, but in the Netherlands, Scandinavia and North America, the sport has many loyal fans.

In terms of technology, windsurfing on ice will be easier than windsurfing.
© Scientific

The idea is to surf on the ice with a windsurf and a special board with irons. In ideal conditions, snow surfers can reach speeds of up to 100 kilometers per hour. In terms of technology, it will be easier to ride than surf, since there are fewer turns and bumps.

Where is it possible? Wherever the winter is cold enough.

Who Invented It? Canadian surfer Charles Chepregi invented the first officially patented snowboard in the 1980s. If you search the Internet, you will also find pictures of Dutch snow surfers on homemade boards dating from the same years. So whoever gets there first keeps looking for a little bit of ground coffee.

Who would dare to do that? Crazy surfers looking for the ultimate kick.

What do you need for that? Professional snowboard surfs better, but it’s also expensive. Many ice surfers make one themselves. A good jumpsuit, warm winter clothes, hat, sunglasses and gloves are recommended.

5. Why climb rocks when you can?

What is that? What started in the beginning – and then we speak then at the end of the nineteenth century – as a way for mountain climbers to train climbing maneuvers, endurance and finger strength, has grown into a sport in its own right in 2021: the rock. It can be done indoors or outdoors, but it is always done without insurance.

Boulding began as an exercise for mountain climbers.
© Getty Images

The advantage of this is that there is never a rope in the way when climbing, and the disadvantage is that there is nothing stopping you if you fall. Bouldering is usually done on rocks that are not very high – a good boulder is about 5 to 10 meters high – but don’t let that fool you: strength, dexterity and problem-solving required for the toughest paths can be compared to these mountaineers.

Where is it possible? Wherever you come across a rock or indoor climbing wall that fits, the most popular rock sites are Fontainebleau (France), Hueco Tanks (US), and Squamish (Canada).

The boulder is usually made on rocks that are not very high.
© Getty Images

Who Invented It? There is no legendary “first rock”, but there are still three names that return. At the beginning of the twentieth century, Frenchman Pierre Allen made the rock of true discipline using Bleausards, put Fontainebleau on the climbing map and also invented the climbing shoe.

The use of lime for a better grip was introduced by American mathematician John Gill in the 1950s and tried to classify different methods for the first time. John ‘Vermin’ Sherman introduced the V scale in the early 1990s, which is the track classification system used to this day.

What do you need for that? next to nothing. Only good climbing clothes and shoes. If you want to look a real professional, hang a bag with lemon powder on your belt.

Reading materials? Boulding Basics. The Complete Guide to Boulding Van David Flanagan, Three Rock Books

Must try? Bouldering, along with fast climbing and lead climbing, is a new area of ​​the 2021 Summer Games in Tokyo.

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About the Author: Halle Clarke

"Professional reader. Award-winning gamer. Zombie buff. Social media junkie. Bacon maven. Web scholar."

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