Adventure Sports like bungee jumping
Information on extreme sports which are not covered under other headings.
This can be a difficult term to define and many of the outdoor sports activities on this website certainly have an extreme element to them. A good definition put forward in a study by Eric Brymer, (2006) referred to 'true' extreme sports as a leisure or recreation activity where the most likely outcome of a mismanaged accident or mistake was death.
This section of the website contains the extreme sports which have not already been covered under the other main headings. These include sky diving, bungee jumping, base jumping, paragliding and free running (a fairly new sport seen in the opening chase scene of the James Bond movie - Casino Royal)
Click on the pictures above for some excellent videos
It started as gliding down hills on low performance kites, but now pilots can stay airborne for hours, reach altitudes of several thousand feet and reach speeds of over one hundred kilometres per hour. To glide in this way the pilot must find rising air masses. The most common source of lift are thermals where the warm air, heated by warm land mass, raises upwards. There are other types of lift near mountains, hills and cliffs where the wind is deflected upwards. These wind currents and thermals are often unpredictable and this can make the sport dangerous. This is where training is so important, not only to learn how to fly but to understand the weather and know when to stop flying.
Paragliding (categorised as ascending parachutes) is closely related to hang gliding but is slower and therefore easier to launch and fly in light wind conditions. Minimum fly speed is 20km per hour and maximum is 65km per hr.
The wing span is 8-12m and the shape of the wing is formed by the pressure of the air. Below the wing is a web of lines which are attached to straps fixed to the bucket seat harness. The harness usually holds a reserve parachute for emergency situations.
The controls are in the pilots hands and are used to turn and control the speed. Rising air is needed to keep the wing aloft and as with hang gliding can be found in thermals or ridge lift. Pilots must contend with strong turbulence when entering a strong thermal. This can even result in wing collapse, something which a modern wing should recover from by itself. Once inside the thermal the ride becomes smoother!