WHAT WOULD YOU SAY ABOUT VOLCANO SURFING, PLAYING UNDERWATER HOCKEY OR ROLLING DOWNHILL INSIDE AN ORB?
If you enjoy the extreme sports or if you are interested in new adventures that are going to pump up your adrenalin, you should get away from ordinary kind of sports activities. You can go in the direction of sports that are full of excitement and more radical than the traditional sports such as basketball, volleyball, soccer, swimming, or tennis. The new sports activities such as volcano surfing, zorbing ball, slacklining, underwater hockey or limbo skating require bravery, technical knowledge, condition, and concentration.
It is time to force your limits. Can you imagine yourself surfing downhill for 725 meters from the summit of an active volcano with 80 km/h of speed? Many athletes are doing it just to feel the excitement. The enthusiasts of this sport travel to Cerro Negro Mountain in Nicaragua. Equipped with protective clothing, knee pads, and helmets, surfers reach to 80 km/h of speed on custom made plywood boards. Phillip Southan, the owner of Bigfoot Hostel and Green Pathways Tours, highlights the increase on the number of people who develop a passion for volcano surfing. Stating that over ten thousand people have tried volcano surfing in the last four years, Southan says, “The surfers enjoy the fantastic view following a 45 minute walk to reach the summit of the volcano. Later they experience being so close to an active volcano and surf down. Before they begin to surf to 500 meters below, they are trained briefly.” Cerro Negro with its 726 meters height is the youngest volcano of Central America. Let’s remind that the volcano’s final eruption was in 1999. It was its 20th eruption.
THE SECRET TO LIMBO SKATING IS BEING FLEXIBLE
You might have skated outdoors or indoors or at the beach, but have you ever tried skating underneath a car? Doesn’t it sound crazy? This sports activity takes its name after Limbo dance. It is very popular in China and in India among the young people. One should be very flexible, balanced, and strong in order to Limbo skate. Athletes spread their legs apart, if possible into a full split, and lean their upper body forward, with the face almost touching the ground. Then, they try to skate underneath a horizontal pole, which is above the ground not more than 50 cm, without touching it. This sport has different categories. However, the most popular one is to skate underneath a car. It is the right time to talk about someone, who has broken the world record in this field. Aniket Chindak, who is ten, is known as the ‘wonder boy’ in India and he skated under 57 cars in 45 seconds. The secret to success in this sport is not to be tall. Being short and flexible definitely has its advantages.
HOW ABOUT UNDERWATER HOCKEY?
Underwater hockey that was born in England during the 1950s was inspired from a game that used to be played by British divers underwater to keep their shape during winter. Underwater hockey players need a hockey stick designed in special dimensions, protective wear, gloves, and a snorkeling set to play the game. The puck should be over one kilogram so it can stay under the water. Underwater hockey that was began to be played in England has become pretty popular in many countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, America, Holland, France, Japan and in our country. Two teams compete against each other underwater in a pool to score a goal. The goals are three meter wide and placed underwater to the wall that each team defends. One important rule is that the players are not supposed to touch each other during the game. The sticks are not supposed to be longer than 350 mm. The team colors are usually black and white. There are federations of this sport in many countries and international organizations hold tournaments.
SLACKLINING AND ZORBING
Another kind of sports that has become popular during the last few years is called slacklining. In this sport, athlete tries to walk across nylon webbing tensioned between two anchor points. You might be imagining tightrope walkers right now, but this webbing is much more sensitive than the rope that tightrope walkers use. It is much more open to picking up vibrations. Athletes should be well balanced and focused. Some athletes try slacklining, after important security measure have been taken, between the two mountain slopes. Christian Schou holds the Guiness World Record in this field. He had passed the fjords of Kjerag Mountain, which is 1000 meters high, in Norway.
One other interesting sports activity is called zorbing, in other words rolling inside an orb. It has been performed since 2000 in New Zealand. In this sport, a participant is secured inside an inner capsule in a large, transparent ball, which is then rolled along the ground or down hills. Zorbing is done usually over the hills that are not steep. The space between the inner capsule and the transparent ball reduces the impacts and prevent the athlete’s body to get serious impacts while rolling down with 30 km/h of speed. The transparent ball and the capsule are called zorb and they are made of plastic. The large one has 3 meters and the other one has 2 meters of diameters.