Extreme sports are a new way to describe a regular sport with a attitude of danger. Whether the sport is faster or if it is higher, the word extreme denotes that there are some reservations for the people who are not so bold. Extreme sports enthusiasts seem to live on the edge and take their adrenaline rush one step higher than the average sports enthusiast. These athletes, if you can call them that, have created their own culture and lifestyle. The extreme name has been added to foods like extreme Doritos or advertisement slogans like ‘for the extreme breakfast try Pop Tarts.’ The extreme seems to add that element of danger. Do you really want to try dangerous Pop Tarts?
The extreme sports enthusiast takes a regular sport or combines sport to make them more exciting. For example the sport of parasailing and surfing has been combined into kite surfing. Here you are pulled by a power boat at break neck speeds while you have a modified surfboard lashed to your feet. The rope is hooked to a giant kite or many parachute. As you catch air by jumping the wake or small waves, the kite if it is angled right into the wind will pull you out of the water for short distances so that you are actually in the air being pulled by the boat. Surfing is a fun sport and so is parasailing. So why do you have to both. Labeled as an extreme sport, kite surfing has gained in popularity while parasailing and surfing is considered lame sports that only tourists and non-extreme people engage in.
It seems if you add tricks and speed to anything you can label as one of the extreme sports. Extreme sports are considered extreme just because you add a degree of difficulty. Extreme snowboarding is only labeled extreme because you put not just a degree of danger into the sport, but also a level of insanity. Where the usual snowboarder will ride down slope that were traditionally made for snow skiing, the extreme snowboarder will be taken by helicopter to the top of a mountain and go down almost vertical slopes that are strewn with obstacles. Trees, boulders, deep snow, and the danger of avalanche make this sport and extreme sport. Snowboarding is fun, but what is fun about risking your life.
You can make any sport extreme by cranking up the speed. For example you can have extreme football if there were never any downs. If the players just wrestled for the ball and a rugby style free for all was thrown in. It would be marketed as ‘Extreme Football’ and sadly it would draw the attention of not only the extreme sports enthusiast but also a large portion of the younger audience. This young audience watches extreme sports for the fantastic tricks the athletes perform and the chance of seeing someone wipe out or get hurt. It is fine to be an extreme sports enthusiast, but when you take the fun out of a traditional sport, it goes a little to far.