On Saturday, I accidentally watched Crashed Ice. This is a championship run by Red Bull and it’s like ski/snowboard cross but it’s on ice skates.
What? Yeah, ice skates. I only saw the guys’ heats and it was exhilarating, and ridiculously stressful. The courses are set up in urban areas – particularly chilly ones – and the competitors look like they are ready to play ice hockey, minus the sticks.
This started me thinking all sorts of things. Mostly, when and where can I see this again? Sadly, I was watching the last event in the season. But then I wondered, what else are people doing that I don’t know about? So I went looking and have put together a quick list of sports that you may not have heard of, which you definitely want to check out.
Disclaimer: This post may as well be sponsored by Red Bull, they are crawling all over this stuff
1. Red Bull Crashed Ice
The fastest sport on skates.
It’s amazing. The start looks like a steep drop, and then you see them just blindly jump down and somehow just start flying down the course. Full of tight corners, some of which seem to make the racers actually stop. Then you see them pick up the speed at super-human rates. Apparently these guys can reach up to 80kph – on skates?! That’s crazy! Bumps and jumps and before you know it, they cross the finish line and you cannot wait for the next race.
Seriously guys, you need to watch this: Red Bull Crashed Ice
2. Ice Speedway
Motorbikes + spiked tyres + ice = Ice Speedway
I’ve been watching bike racing since I can remember. I love it, I think it’s great. In fact, I watched Moto GP this weekend with my dad and tried to leave the room. My legs and bottom didn’t agree and I found myself sat on the sofa and I could not leave until it was done.
My brother used to compete in motocross (he still does, he just thinks we don’t know). I’ve been to watch him race in forests and on beaches and it is phenomenal. But on ice?! It just looks impossible, but there they are, doing it.
3. Cliff Diving
This is just diving. Haha – only joking!
This is extreme diving. In all sorts of amazing locations from some pretty dizzying heights! The 2017 Men’s and Women’s Finals were held in Lago Ranco in Chili. The platform was set up right next to the waterfall. It was beautiful.
The guys all climb up to their platform – whether it’s a temporary ledge for the competition or a longstanding bridge. They do their thing to get ready (backward handstands are particularly nerve-wracking for me!), and then they dive down into the water below. Twirling, spinning and flipping as you’d expect.
4. Free Snowboarding
I went skiing when I was about 16. I can’t say I massively enjoyed it. So when I decided to try snowboarding, I was expecting it to be a similar experience. WRONG. I’ve only done a spot of snowboarding, not made it outside of the snowdome yet (life and a baby got in the way). But man, snowboarding is great. GREAT.
I’m not sure if it’s actually called “Free Snowboarding”, they probably have a way cooler name for it. These guys basically snowboard wherever they want. No restrictions. It could be through streets or through trees or down mountains.
Anyway, I’ve taken a look around and I think here’s the best place to check it out: Red Bull TV: Urban Snowboarding
5. Extreme Slackline or Highline
I’ve talked about slacklining before – I love it and I’m a little bit addicted to it. But, when I do it, I am no more than 2 feet off of the floor. There are slack lines set up in all sorts of places across the world in some seemingly ridiculous locations. And sometimes, the people on them don’t (look like) they have any safety harness! That surely can’t be true…can it?
Another shout out to the Banff Film Festival here, where slacklining was shown a couple of times in different ways. I’ve since found myself almost subconsciously staring at all sorts of unfathomable (slacklining) images!
This guy does solo slacklining. Warning: He’s naked in some of it! That’s to prove there are no hidden tethers…or maybe he just likes it
If this isn’t enough, Red Bull have put together their own list of slightly insane extreme sports. These range from bungee jumping over a whole bunch of crocodiles to mountain unicycling: Red Bull Extreme Sports List 2017