Top 10 most popular extreme sports

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Published: August 30, 2019

Most popular extreme sports are all strenuous disciplines that require participants to execute them with admirable skill. The level of physical ability their workout routine requires is a lot higher than average. And all of that happens while the body of an extreme athlete is under considerable risk of physical harm. Such strenuous activities generally involve a high level of physical exertion along with special gear.

Motocross stunt in mid air
Athletes who compete in these disciplines do it for the adrenaline rush which is a pretty normal occurrence when facing the dangers that are present in the sport.

The reason why extreme sports got that name is that they usually involve extreme conditions like speed and/or height. Participants are never happy just doing normal sports. After trying extreme sports, they fall in love with the feeling of blood pumping furiously. The shows they can put on are enthralling. These performances are great entertainment to spectators who’ll pay good money to see them. Here are the 10 most popular extreme sports in no particular order:

Top 10 most popular extreme sports – BMX Racing

Let’s start off our top 10 most popular extreme sports list with a classic. This is a sport that has been popular for a long time now. And it is becoming more mainstream each year. It’s BMX racing if you haven’t guessed already.

Bicycle MotoCross or BMX first appeared in the 1970s. Its origins go back to motocross racing. BMX is currently one of the most followed cycling sports where extreme cyclists perform on specially-built tracks.

BMX actually became an Olympic sport in 2008. It has been mainstream for a while as you can see, and it is equally popular among men and women from age 19 to 40. This sport actually presents a great arm workouts for women. It is has a particularly large fan base in Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Netherlands, Japan, and the United States.


Highlining is the same as rope walking, but it happens at a much higher altitude. In one of the most popular extreme sports in the world, the adrenaline chaser has to walk from point A to point B on an inch-wide rope. They get no support other than a safety harness tethered to the rope. The rope is generally about 30 meters long. The extreme event takes place on two cliffs a mile or more above the ground. The “rope” is actually a tubular nylon webbing material. It’s stretchier than a steel cable but also a lot more flexible. This material is the reason it swings a lot more. This makes the challenge of getting across without falling a lot harder. Nonetheless, the hazardous sport attracts many enthusiasts looking for that rush of adrenaline.

Birds eye view from a tall building
There is no safety net and the chance of injuring oneself despite the tethered safety harness is great.

Sky Surfing

Sky surfing would rate high on our top 10 most popular extreme sports list if we were to put the sports in a particular order. It is a type of skydiving where the person has a board attached to his/her feet and has to perform acrobatics while they freefall. These boards are very similar to snowboards or massive skateboards and are easily detachable so that the person can discard them in the event of an emergency. After you learn the basics of sky surfing, and you are able to stand upright and control the board with your movements, then you can move onto more extreme techniques such as loops, rolls and helicopter spins.

Top 10 most popular extreme sports – Volcano surfing!

Sound thrilling, right? And it is! Volcano surfing is one of the most popular extreme sports because participants have to hike up the side of a volcano and then slide back down. There are different sliding techniques such as sitting, standing, or lying on a thin plywood or metal board. Although you will get to wear protective gear such as jumpsuits and goggles while vulcano surfing, you will still be in high risk of getting cut, breathing in poisonous volcanic gases, or being hit by molten lava.

Parkour or Freerunning

Parkour is an extreme discipline that originates from military obstacle training. It involves the athletes to create a pathway from Point A to Point B in the fastest way possible. And they will have to use their bodies to maneuver over any obstacles that may stand in their way. Their routs might require them to run, climb, swing, jump, roll, crawl, and execute any other movement that allows them to get over or around the obstacle. Freerunning is very popular in urban environments, which is one of the reasons why it’s on our most popular extreme sports list. But it can be done just about anywhere. It also requires a quick mind because you have to see your surroundings in a new perspective and create new ways of handling everyday obstacles.

Most popular extreme sports – Ice Climbing

Ice climbing means participants are scaling ice formations such as cliffs, icefalls, frozen waterfalls, and ice-covered rock slabs. It, you guessed it, evolved from rock climbing because sometimes rock climbers had to navigate icy areas on rocks and mountains. In order to perform in such conditions, they created an array of specialized tools to be able to conquer these challenging and slippery parts of the climb. Little by little, rock climbers began to seek more thrills out climbing and expanded their explorations to strictly ice. And that’s how ice climbing was formed. We mean – born.

Wingsuit Flying

Wingsuit flying is a skydiving discipline that really looks a lot easier when you’re watching somebody else do it. Participants wear a wingsuit and literally soar on air. Sounds fun. The suit has two arm wings and a large leg wing allowing the participant to fly horizontally. But they will actually just have a very slow descent rate.

Free solo climbing

Also known as free soloing, this discipline is a kind of free climbing where the climber scales a steep cliff by him/herself. Wait for it – with no safety equipment whatsoever! Now that’s extreme! Unlike bouldering, for example, free soloists will climb above what normal people would consider safe heights where a fall would actually lead to serious injury or death. Many participants say that the reason they prefer free soloing is because of the speed in which you can climb and the supreme focus that is taken in order to succeed in these climbs. Note that multiple successful athletes who were free soloists have ended their lives tragically attempting challenging climbs.

Most popular extreme sports – BASE Jumping

We couldn’t write a top 10 most popular extreme sports list without mentioning BASE jumping.
We couldn’t write a top 10 most popular extreme sports list without mentioning BASE jumping.

The name comes from an acronym for the four types of lower objects that extreme sports enthusiasts like to jump from. BASE jumping is one of the most popular extreme sports probably because it is banned in a large number of places. This adventure sport requires participants to wear a parachute or wingsuit. They leap off:

  • Buildings,
  • Antennas,
  • Spans (meaning bridges), and
  • the Earth.

BASE jumping is much more hazardous than skydiving because of the low heights that participants jump. It is banned in several locations in the United States. Just to get a clear idea of why this is one of the most popular extreme sports, when a BASE jumper leaps from an altitude of 150 meters, they are approximately 5.6 seconds from hitting the ground.

Finally, steep creeking

Creeking is an extension of kayaking and canoeing that of you to descend into steep low-volume white-water. Also known as creek boating or steep creeking, it is performed with specialized canoe or kayak. The float is engineered to endure the harsh white-water environments that you’ll go through. Some routes though can be smooth and you can encounter slides and waterfalls, while others have a lot of obstacles like rocks that form rapids but also consist of siphons, sudden drops, holes, and undercuts.

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