Lindy Taverner

Idiot’s guide to extreme sport

2011-04-13 09:09
Lindy Taverner is the editor of the RUSH magazine (File)
Lindy Taverner

The word extreme is rather lame as it has been overused in promoting anything from vacuum cleaning to car polishes. It first gained popularity in the nineties to market ESPN’s X Games, but it’s unfortunate that such a cool word has since suffered so far a fall from grace.

I’ve been on a mission to find out exactly what an extreme sport is, and for an acceptable replacement word.  No ... action, adrenaline or adventure are definitely not options.

According to the Webster's New Millennium Dictionary, "Extreme sports feature a combination of speed, height, danger and spectacular stunts."

A really good definition I prefer is, “You make a mistake you can die”. On querying a base jumper, his choice was, “maximum intensity”.

Which sports are considered 'extreme' is debatable, but it has as much to do with marketing as it has to do with perceptions about levels of danger involved or the amount of adrenaline generated.

Activities categorised as extreme sports also differ from traditional sports by the higher number of inherently uncontrollable variables. Athletes compete not only against other athletes, but also against environmental obstacles and challenges. These variables are frequently weather and terrain related, including wind, snow, water and mountains.
Extreme sports tend to be more solitary than traditional sports, and a typical characteristic is a counter-cultural aura - the rejection of authority and the status quo by disaffected youth. Think BMX and snowboarding.

The potential to reach ‘nirvana’ is the core element of any extreme sport experience. If you don’t know what that means, you wouldn’t understand anyway.

Last weekend internationally renowned big-wave surfer Chris Bertish paddled 110km on his Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) from Cape Town to Langebaan for the CANSUP110 fundraiser. That is some serious, hardcore distance out there in the unpredictable Atlantic.

SAGRA, the South African Gravity Racing Association, Fair Cape Downhill Challenge starts this Saturday morning and continues to entertain until Sunday evening on the  Malanshoogte road in Durbanville, Cape Town. The course is 1.9km long from start to finish, where top speeds of 105km/h have been reached for downhill skateboard and 117km/h for street luge. We are sure to see some carnage...

Upcoming columns:

1. The differences between the various extreme sports that you always pretended to know.
2. Why the boarding disciplines definitely hold the cool factor in extreme sports.
3. Who is the most hardcore extreme athlete in South Africa?

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 www.whatarush.co.za

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.

Read more on:    lindy taverner
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
Vote

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee remains defiant, saying he won't resign despite a shambolic two years at the helm. Your thoughts?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.