Lindy Taverner

The new IT extreme sport

2011-10-06 13:51
Lindy Taverner

There are few extreme sports to which you could realistically ask for a gentle introduction. It’s unlikely that anyone has yet invented a 12ft “trainer” bungee that twangs you gently into a fluffy pillow.                

Speed riding, which is best described as falling down a mountain with grace, is one adrenalin rush that your grandmother could experience and hope to live to tell the tale. 

Not that this new French addition to the thrill-seekers repertoire isn’t dangerous, hurtling down a snow-covered mountain at 100kmph can only be risk-free when you’re at the controls of a Wii console...        
This bizarre fusion of skiing and flying does come with an incredible get-out-of-jail-free card that has given it a safety record that’s hard to beat.  When you see a rock or tree on the slopes ahead of you, all you have to do is yank on a cord and the paragliding canopy above your head will hoist you straight up and out of the danger zone.  

It’s one of the most rapidly growing extreme sports in the world. Winter is over now, but next year I’m definitely giving speed riding a go in Lesotho. The snow was pumping there this year.

Paragliding and kitesurfing are also getting easier and safer with the rapid developments in technology. They are perfect summer sports to take advantage of on those windy days instead of cursing them.

The dominant value of dangerous sports is the self-affirmation attained from confronting our personal physical and psychological limits, and challenging the boundaries of the self, hence discovering who we are and what we can be...

Whether it’s momentary freedom launching out an aeroplane, conquering terror for freefall bliss, catching that dream wave, or riding the gust, it’s all about the escape from everyday concerns about the past and future to living fully in the power of RIGHT NOW.

Lindy Taverner is the editor of the RUSH magazine that was based in the Eastern Cape and recently relocated to Cape Town. Previous issues and updated extreme sport news can be found on her site

Disclaimer: Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.

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