5 Most Extreme Water Sports in the World

Nothing mixes better than water and fun!

According to British Canoe Union, 3.2 million (or 5.9 percent of UK population) participated in some form of boating activity in the UK in 2011. In the US, some 10 percent of the population participated in water-sports in 2010.

Whether it is something as simple as swimming or paddling a boat down a calm lake, or as extreme as riding the waves in a surfboard, water sports are extremely popular throughout the world.

There is something about a vast expanse of open water that brings out the adventurer in all of us. These five extreme water sports challenge the human body and push the limits of what ‘water sports’ is all about:

1. Kite Surfing

If you thought surfing was extreme, check out kite surfing! An upgraded version of surfing where you stand atop a surfboard holding a huge flying kite, kite surfing pushes the human body to its limits.

With each wave and gust of wind, surfers can jump as high as 50 feet in the air. Perfecting the landing is key though: sinking through the ocean surface can result in serious injuries. This sport requires a lot of muscle and skill and should be practiced only by experienced surfers!

2. River Rafting

What can be more extreme than paddling a rubber raft into the swirling rapids of a ravaging river? River rafting is as extreme as its gets: a sport in which a person (or a team) is strapped on top of a rubber raft and has only his muscles and his skill with a paddle to steer himself clear of dangerous waters of fast flowing rivers, and the jagged rocks on the shore.

You can find water sports guides almost anywhere where there is a fast flowing river.

3. Shark Diving

Free-diving is extreme enough as it is, but nothing can beat shark diving. Strap on a pair of goggles and dive to the bottom of the sea to pet and feed the most fearsome predator of the ocean with your hands.

South Africa and Mexico are two favorite spots for shark diving. The equipment used in shark diving depends on the shark species. Tamer basking sharks can be approached without any protective gear, but you need the safety of a steel enclosure to get anywhere near a Great White shark in the open ocean!

(See other Extreme Sports posts)

4. Water Skiing

You can always depend on thrill seekers to throw all caution to the wind and come up with new extreme sports. This is exactly what happened when someone decided to strap on a pair of skis and tug himself behind a speeding boat.

The end result is the sport of water skiing, which is as fun as it is insane. You have to hold tight onto a rope tugged to the back of a speed boat with your feet planted firmly on skis. The boat can reach speeds in excess of 100 kmph. For even more fun, try doing it without skis on your bare feet!

5. Cliff Diving

Cliff-diving is exactly what it sounds like: stand at the edge of a cliff and plunge head first into the sea. Cliff diving is an extremely dangerous sport – there is always the danger of bumping your head on sharp rocks or suffering massive body damage when you slam into the water. Yet, the sport continues to draw massive crowds wherever there are cliffs, including California, Hawaii, and even in the cliffs of Dover!

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