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Extreme Sports

From solo climbing to cave diving: The most extreme sports in the world

Meant for the purest of adrenaline junkies, here's taking a look at the most death-defying, extreme adventure sports that require heavy doses of skill and luck.

adventure sports extreme sports world dangerous

Deep-water solo climbing or Psicobloc (Source: Pinterest/Chris Sharma)


C.C. Chengappa

Updated: 19 May 2022 8:41 AM GMT

For some, playing a sport is a way of enjoying and expressing themselves but this enjoyment and expression being extremely relative, sport has seen the most ridiculously alarming, incredibly daring forms to have come up. As is natural, humans try to make the most of any given thing, take it to extreme heights (quite literally in this case) and this is exactly where extreme sports come into the picture.

We take a look at some of the most death-defying, dangerous sports in the world that are strictly meant to pump the adrenaline and give you big doses of thrills.

Read | Top adventure sports one can do in India

Banzai Skydiving

A sport where you jump off a plane to catch a parachute (Source: Getty)

'Jumping off a plane without a parachute' is something extremely crazy and has been summed up in one line for those extreme sports lovers who wish to take their knack for challenges to the next level. Banzai skydiving is practised in only a few places and can only be taken by registered and highly experienced skydivers. The reason for this is of course because it involves an extremely high chance of death given the fact that the individual has to catch his parachute bag after jumping off the plane while in mid-air.

It is not practised anywhere in India but people do like doing it in countries such as Australia USA and other such skydiving homes. India has a few places for skydiving but no place is completely licensed to have banzai skydiving yet.

Free Solo Climbing

Free Solo Climbing - Wolfang Gullich (Source: Heinz Zak)

Free solo climbing is another unassisted extreme sport that has a high chance of death. The reason for this is that experienced climbers take up the challenge of climbing large rocks, mountainsides, tall buildings with just powder chalk to assist them. Climbing is done at extreme heights and even one mistake or slip of the climber's grip can lead them to fall to certain death. Several documentaries have also been made on the risks of the sport and only individuals with tough grips can undertake free solo climbing.

India is home to major rock edicts and large mountains that make for great rock climbing escapes. Regions such as Malsej Ghat in Maharashtra and Hampi in Karnataka are hubs for trying out this crazy sport at home, on Indian soil.

Tightrope Walking

Tightrope walkers near the Great Wall (Source: Business Insider)

Unassisted rope walking or tightrope walking has always been marvelled at due to it being a major death-defying stunt. It involves attaching 2 ropes at a great height and walking across it with the assistance of only a rode to maintain balance. Usually, a large net is attached right between the 2 ropes in order to prevent the stuntman from falling to death.

However, there are extreme cases wherein no net has been attached in order to increase the stakes at hand. Individuals have been known to have done tightrope walking between skyscrapers, mountainsides, between tall trees, over waterfalls, and other such mind-boggling locations.

Base Jumping

Base jumpers take-off (Source: Wisegeek)

Base jumping is another version of skydiving except it is done at a stationary position. The risk involved in this is that the individual jumping is closer to objects on the ground. Hence, the parachute has to be released at the perfect time in order to secure a safe landing as well as to navigate to an area that is fit for landing. Base jumping is also performed when individuals are able to float across for a while before going into land.

This is the less risky version and is usually done away from cities in regions surrounded by mountain tops and rocks cliffs.


Heli-Skiing (Source: Getty)

Heli-skiing is a winter sport that involves considerable risk for obvious reasons. The skier jumps off a helicopter that is positioned on top of a skiing starting point. Since the helicopter cannot land on the remote part of the snow-capped mountain, the skier is expected to jump off make a perfect landing in the snow. The risk, of course, is that the skier could sustain an injury that could leave him stranded on the mountain top, or the individual could have a false start and go off track if it is uneven. The perils are endless and heli-skiing is an extreme but elite sport.

Skiing is popular in areas such as Gulmarg, Auli, Manali but Heli-skiing is yet to take off on a large scale anywhere in India.

Cave Diving

Cave divers (Source: Getty)

Cave diving is the most dangerous activity or sport that can be undertaken underwater. The reason for this is that while an individual may be a good swimmer or scuba diver, claustrophobia and navigation can be major issues while exploring caves underwater. The high number of deaths that have been caused has mostly been due to divers getting lost, alteration of water levels, and other such unprecedented events.

The sport in itself is fun given that there is so much marine life that thrives in caves attached to inland water bodies and the ocean.

Big Wave Surfing

Big wave surfer Greg Long (Source: Al Mackinnon/Surfer Magazine)

There is surfing and then there is big wave surfing. The latter is undertaken with the backdrop of waves that are over 20 feet high and are enough to kill or completely drown out a surfer at any given instance. Some waves in regions like Hawaii go up to 80-90 feet in height. These regions are only for experienced surfers and it is definitely a site to watch as human beings subject themselves to the forces of mother nature.

Surfing is popular all along the southern, west and east coast of India but the waves are not big enough for big wave surfing, of course.

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