| Antics in the air: The riskier the better
Racy, zany or even illogical ó call them what you want but they are here to stay and making heads turn. From the mountain high to street obstacles, adventure sports have taken a new look altogether. While some need sheer daredevilry, others call for computer-like precision. Whatever their features, this new breed of extreme sports (also written as X-treme sports) have added to the delights of the adventure-lover. Though still in their nappy stages, these sports have already gained wide popularity abroad. And letís hope that these extreme sports will soon change the face of adventure in India.
If this doesnít send your adrenaline shooting, then probably nothing will. A hybrid sport that crosses basketball, football, lacrosse and hockey, slamball can put video games to shame with its high-speed action. It is played in a basketball-sized court, surrounded by a glass wall, with four trampolines near each basketball hoop. Every team has two gunners, a handler and a stopper. The greatest moments in a slamball match are when the stopper, who hangs around under the hoop, is challenged by a handler to the basket. The handlers are the ones who make the most amazing dunks ó in slamball, players often fly well over five feet above the backboard, about 20 feet above the ground, only to come zooming down with some of the most spectacular dunks.
KITE TRCATION SPORTS:
These are for thrill-seekers who are taking the kite to new heights. Broadly classified as the kite traction sports, these activities have gained popularity in Hawaii, the US, Australia, Europe and South America. The common feature of all these sports is holding onto ó or being attached to ó the strings of a power kite. Though it may sound unreal, a kite skater can hit 60 miles per hour with the help of a strong wind. Some of the other kite sports include kite buggying, which is racing in a small go-kart vehicle with a power kite attached, and the deadly kite jumping, in which people can go 30 feet high over distances of a few hundred feet and perform stunts in the air.
ULTIMATE BASE SURVIVAL:
It is a mishmash of base jumping and clay pigeon shooting. Crazy as it may sound, it involves saving your skin from bullets while jumping from a tall building or a skyscraper. Seems straight out of a James Bond flick' But itís the idea of fighting bullets while jumping down that is drawing flocks of enthusiasts to this extreme sport. It was developed by Zac Wilder, a base jumper from the US, who was shot at in real life during a stunt in Berezino, Belarus. He was inspired by the rush that he experienced during his close shave with underworld elements.
The name might bring back flashes from the Harry Potter film The Chamber of Secrets. But in the real world too, this is all about driving your car in the air. So if you want to get rid of your old Fiat, follow the footsteps of the Arizona folks ó drop that machine from 13,000 feet. So attach a parachute and get to the wheels. During the free fall, just remember to bail out at the right time while the car hurtles to the last few thousand feet to the ground.
Itís bound to give you the ultimate kick ó no medals for guessing that this range of sports is all about kicking, and that, too, hard. Some of the events are as follows: kicking through an obstacle course consisting of stairs, street curbs and a picnic table, as well as jumping over a 44-inch fence; drag-racing, in which two kickers race head to head down to 60 stairs, and Fastest 100, where the person who kicks the footbag using alternate feet is the winner.