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Top 10 reads on adventure sports

From parkour to paragliding, these books dive deep into 10 exhilarating extreme sports and delights behind it all

Faiza Hazarika (t2 Intern) Published 01.07.21, 12:36 AM

Sourced by the correspondent

Into The Planet: My Life As A Cave Diver by Jill Heinerth

If there’s anybody you should be listening to about scuba diving then it is Jill Heinerth. An author, cave diver, underwater explorer and photographer, Jill was the first person in the history of mankind to dive deep into the depths of the Antarctic Iceberg and was also the leader of the team that discovered the underwater remains of the Mayan civilisation. Her book now chronicles her life under the sea and gives readers an intimate account of her legendary adventures, what it meant to be a female cave diver as well as what her fears, goals, and insights were while swimming her way into the deep blue. A deeply serene and moving piece of work, it blends science and memoir to provide you with an unforgettable account of the world less explored.


The Impossible Climb: Alex Honnold, El Capitan and the Climbing Life by Mark Synnott

Alex Honnold is almost a household name if that household has a particular interest in rock climbing. He has, on many occasions, executed and completed dangerous and jaw-dropping climbs, the most famous of which was his free solo climb at Yosemite National Park on the vertical rock El Capitan which made him the first person in the history of the sport to do so. Mark Synnott, who was amongst the few that day who witnessed the extraordinary feat, now reminisces the same and also dives deep into the climber mindset, how they train to be one, the thrills behind the sport, and the methods behind a free solo climb, which is to attempt to climb without ropes, harness, or even a partner to hang on to.

Bird Dream: Adventures At The Extreme of Human Flight by Matt Higgins

It’s always been man’s dream to fly, and now with advanced technology, innovation, and just pure daring — they can! Author Matt Higgins charts the evolution of man’s stints in the sky from skydiving, to BASE jumping, to wingsuit flying and more. The author describes the motives and intentions behind the thrill-seekers who have designed and invented new and upcoming technology to help boost the adventure sport and make it more independent of parachutes and other assisting gear. The book goes step by step into the history of flight, the vision, dreams, and ambitions of the people who indulge in this sport and thus goes on to give a detailed description of the evolutionary possibilities of the same.

Mindfulness and Surfing: Reflections for Saltwater Souls by Sam Bleakley

If you can’t quite get your head around how an adventure sport meant for thrills and chills can be a lesson in achieving zen and peace, this book will prove to be more than an interesting read for you. Author Sam Bleakley is an extremely decorated longboard surfer who has won accolades and awards in many international surfing competitions and has effectively earned a name for himself in the surfer community. He now shares his experience on the waves and how the sport has helped him connect with the natural world, as well as the important lessons that he and the rest of the human race can find when out in the great blue. A philosophical take on a popular sport, Sam peeks into the spirit of mindfulness that exists in the middle of a roaring wave and decodes how and what we can learn from the ocean while enjoying the excitement of the sport.

At the Edge: Riding for My Life by Danny MacAskill

Taking biking to every extreme imaginable, Danny MacAskill tells all in an autobiographical account of what he did to get started on the right pedal that eventually led him to become a world-renowned street trials rider. Taking his readers right back to where it all started, Danny charts his relationship with street trial riding during his childhood, the training that he eventually underwent, the techniques and methods behind his crazy stunts, the difficulties present in the sport, his vision and dreams about the same, and what he particularly loves about it all. This is a concrete and cohesive presentation of what goes on behind the scenes in part self-help and part autobiographical mode with the book containing several diagrams and step-by-step explanations to help its reader unlock the science behind the madness.

Lessons from Everest: Expedition Learnings from Life and Business by Aditya Gupta

Aditya Gupta, a noted TEDx speaker, a passionate mountaineer, as well as the founder of The Rug Republic, has compiled his experience of climbing the highest summit in the world into seven simple lessons for the general public to undertake. Filled with striking pictures, the book presents to you the complete journey of Aditya from Kathmandu to the very top of Mount Everest, charting both his physical and mental journey, the difficulties he faced, the fears confronted, the exhilaration of reaching the top, and the sense of calm that accompanied it. Moreover, The Rug Republic has partnered with Child Rights and You (CRY) to raise one crore for Covid-relief. Thus every time someone buys this book, the proceeds are donated to CRY to help reach that goal and provide relief to several children across India in these trying times.

Higher Love: Climbing and Skiing the Seven Summits by Kit Deslauriers

The first person to ever attempt to ski the Seven Summits of the world, each being from a different continent, Kit Deslauriers now recounts her historical success in her book Higher Love. She was the first American woman to climb and ski down Mount McKinley in Alaska, America’s highest peak, which led her to attempt to cover all the other continents in a span of two years. From Vinson Massif in Antarctica, Mount Everest in Asia, and Kilimanjaro in Africa, Kit describes her journey up and down the slippery, snow-covered slopes, how each continent served up a different challenge, the trials she underwent, her passion for skiing, her thoughts and insights into the sport, and her learnings from having succeeded at this monumental feat.

Rough Magic: Riding the World’s Loneliest Horse Race by Lara Prior-Palmer

Lara Prior Palmer recounts her experience of riding a wild pony along with 24 other riders across a 1,000km stretch in the open Mongolian in East Asia, considered to be one of the most strenuous, dangerous and difficult courses. The Mongol Derby is said to be inspired by Genghis Khan’s horse-messenger system where the race can carry on for as long as 10 days. Lara opens up about the difficulties that she underwent while competing in the same. Faced with illness, uneven terrain, bad weather, and exhaustion, she battled it all to become the first female rider to cross the finishing line and win the coveted first place trophy for herself. Armed with no formal training and just an overwhelming love for horses, Lara gives her readers an intimate account of her experience in this thrilling read.

Breaking the Jump: The Secret Story of Parkour’s High Flying Rebellion by Julie Angel

Blending free running, obstacle courses, and no equipment athletics all in one, Parkour has been a famous sport for young individuals vying for that adrenaline rush by climbing, jumping and running along unimaginable heights, all for a little bit of fun. Julie Angel breaks down the science behind the jumps and charts the history of Parkour, how it came into being, why it became so popular, how athletes trained so that they were able to scale great distances in a single leap, the dangers of the sport, the international appeal of it, and where the sport is at now in the present day and age.

Shredders: Girls Who Skate by Sierra Prescott

Shattering stereotypes and looking cool while doing it, the female skateboarders in this Sierra Prescott book are fierce and fun, making it crystal clear that they are not to be underestimated in the world of this sport. From eight-year-old riders to old pros, the book charts their lives, experiences, and thoughts, and offers pictures galore as it pays tribute to both the unknown and the internationally celebrated female skateboarders who definitely know how to amp up the competition. The book also offers skateboarding tips, an insight into how to train for one as well as a thorough decoding of the skateboarding lingo to help you get your groove on.


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