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Paragliding: Closely related to hang gliding, paragliding is another flying sport. The design of the aircraft and the way of flying are similar to those observed in hang gliding. Paragliders have no solid support. They are foot-launched aircrafts. Hence turbulent weather imposes a great amount of risk on the sportsperson. For efficient paragliding a person needs to have a know-how of the design of the aircraft, the concept of flying, the engineering involved in the activity and meteorology.
Windsurfing: Windsurfing is another surface water sport that is practiced using a windsurf board that is known as a surfboard. It is driven by a single sail. The sport is a combination of sailing and surfing. Winds from about 15-25 knots create an ideal environment for wind surfing. This sport emerged in the late years of the 20th century. Today different types of windsurfing boards and sails are available. Robby Naish and Bjorn Dunkerbeck were some of the windsurfers who gained international acclaim. Training from an early age is the key to success in windsurfing.
Ice Climbing: The activity that involves climbing up inclined ice formations is known as ice climbing. Sportspeople practicing ice climbing, ascend along icefalls or frozen waterfalls as also rocks capped with ice. Alpine ice climbing involves crossing the mountain environments while water ice climbing is done beneath the waterfalls or on the cliffs. Depending on the texture of the ice to climb on and the nature of the slope, the climbers determine the equipment to be carried. Ice climbers and mountaineers are members of different clubs, which arrange trainings and expeditions for ice climbers. The Mazamas and the American Alpine Club are some of the oldest clubs in the United States and Canada.
Hot Air Ballooning: An air balloon was the first human-carrying flight technology. The first manned flight of a balloon was recorded in France in 1783. A bag in the balloon that is known as an envelope contains hot air. A wicker basket suspended from the balloon carries the passengers. In the balloons used in hot air ballooning as a sport, the envelope is made up of nylon-like material and the mouth of the balloon is made up of a fire resistant material. Air ballooning is one of the very popular extreme sports across the world.
Skydiving: Also known as parachuting, skydiving involves a planned drop from a height using a parachute. There are records about successful parachute jumps from hot air balloons in the year 1797. The sport became international only in 1951. This sport demands free-falling skills and knowledge about parachuting techniques. Today it is among the most popular recreational activities and competitive sports.
Mountain Biking: This extreme sport comprises of riding bicycles over rough terrains. Specially designed bikes known as mountain bikes or hybrid road bikes are used in this sport. Depending on the terrain to be traveled and the way of riding, mountain biking is classified into four types namely, cross-country, freeride, downhill and street riding. Mountain biking evolved in the 1970s. Many riders of the United States claim to have contributed in the evolution of mountain biking as an extreme sport. In the honor of the pioneering mountain bikers, the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame was established in 1988. This sport involves a journey across different kinds of deserted terrains. Hence the bikers need to possess survival skills, a great amount of self-reliance and most importantly the bike riding skills.
Bungee Jumping: The act of jumping from a tall structure while tied to a long elastic cord is known as bungee jumping. The tall structure is often a tall building, a bridge or a crane. The free falling that is experienced in bungee jumping makes it a sport full of thrill and excitement. The cord absorbs the energy of the fall and oscillates until the energy is consumed. The oscillations of the cord make the jumper fly up and down. The first modern bungee jumping provision was made in 1979 in Bristol. But the initial commercial bungee jumping began being practiced in New Zealand in 1986. Today it has earned a mixed popularity among the masses.
Mountaineering: Mountaineering is one of the most popular activities carried out as a sport and hobby. It combines walking, trekking and hiking. It originated with intent to trek to the highest points, which were never climbed before. But is soon became a sport requiring athletic abilities. . In Europe, mountaineering is known by the name, Alpinism and is largely practiced in the Alps. Some derive pleasure from expeditions over rock while others love to explore snow-covered mountains. Experience brings in expertise in case of mountaineering.
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