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Everyone who knows anything about extreme sports – and, to be honest, anyone who doesn’t know anything about extreme sports – understands that they are inherently dangerous. That’s why they’re ‘extreme’. Yet thousands and thousands of people still participate in these sports, knowing that there is a chance they will be injured – so just why are extreme sports worth the risk? We look a little more deeply into the reasons why, despite the dangers, people still love to take part.

"BASE Jumping at Navagio Beach"


Calculated Risk

One of the reasons why people continue to participate in extreme sports, and always will do so, is that they know they are taking a calculated risk. Unlike an unplanned adventure, participants in extreme sporting events know exactly what they are getting into. They have trained for it. They know what to expect, and how to keep themselves safe. They trust in the organizers who will have run risk assessments and safety checks and put insurances in place. Extreme sports may be extreme, but they are also well regulated and that makes a big difference. There are still rules to follow, yet people can enjoy the thrill of the sport as well. It’s the best of both worlds.


Despite the somewhat controlled nature of extreme sports, there is a still a huge element of freedom involved which sets them apart from any other kind of sports that can be played. It gives the participant a chance to really show what they can do, without the constraints (to a point) that would normally be involved in less extreme sporting events. This is what appeals to some people; if their normal, day to day lives are regulated and all about sticking to specific rules, then being at to enjoy extreme sports means that they can experience a special kind of freedom, which is thrilling and liberating.

The Thrill

Perhaps the single biggest reason why people get involved in extreme sports is for the thrill of it. Adrenalin can be created in many different aspects of life, but in extreme sports, when there is an element of danger as well as the fun of the activity itself, that level of adrenalin is extremely high, and that leads to a natural rush, a feeling of pure bliss. It’s something that those who take part in these fantastic sports can’t find anywhere else, and they don’t want to let it go – so they keep playing the games, they keep taking part. Why not? If it’s fun, and gives them a beautifully alive feeling, it makes sense to keep going!

©Martin Herrmann

Learning Control

As well as the thrill of the activity, and the natural high that comes with it, the athlete needs to learn to keep control of themselves – if they just let themselves go wild, accidents can happen. This is something that many of the participants in extreme sports enjoy; it’s a measure of their success, and a way to show themselves just how mentally strong they are, at the same time as they are being physically strong. As far as challenges go, extreme sports provide some of the very best of all.

Pushing The Limits

Extreme sports is all about pushing the limits – as the name implies, it really is extreme, and much more strenuous (both physically and mentally) than standard sporting games and activities will be. It offers people the highest pressure scenarios, and it is down to their own training and mental ability to push themselves further and further each time they take part. This – when done right – is good for us. It keeps us fit and healthy, and it keeps us active. It may be uncomfortable, and it may be scary, but that’s all part of the fun, and what keeps people interesting for the long term.

Winning Against Nature

Extreme sports are often about the elements – water, air, the land, even fire in the most extreme cases – and mankind has always had a fascination about taming these elements. Extreme sports can, to some extent, allow that to happen, at least for the duration of the event. This passion to overcome natural barriers (both literally and mentally) can become something of an addiction; danger and fear has always been a prime motivator, and extreme sports allow people to go back to their most natural instincts.

©Kirill Umrikhin​

Keeping Your Brain Fit

Of course, sports of any kind are good for your physical fitness, but extreme sports are also excellent for keeping your brain healthy, and that can have positive influences later on in life. The more active you keep your mind, the less chance there is of developing fatal conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. Your brain is what runs your entire body, so looking after it and challenging it with difficult puzzles as you would find in extreme sports is essential.

For The Spectators

There is something fascinating about watching people take part in extreme sports, which is why the spectators are such hardcore fans. Once you begin getting interested in extreme sports, it really does take hold, whether you are physically taking part, or just watching others do it. Of course, if an event is truly popular, there will be sponsorship opportunities as well, which can lead to those taking part earning a lot of money, or even becoming minor celebrities, and it means that fans can invest more time in following them. They can even spend money on buying merchandise.

What Are Extreme Sports?

If the idea of taking part in extreme sports appeals to you – as it does to hundreds of thousands of people across the world – what kinds of activities might you be able to take part in? Some examples of extreme sports include mountain biking, scuba diving, bungy jumping, sky diving, extreme skiing, cliff diving, base jumping, and make more. Whichever you choose, make sure you learn the rules and how to be safe with an instructor first – and enjoy yourself!