Everyone is aware that extreme sports are often a little more dangerous than their regular sporting counterparts as they provide a bigger adrenaline quick as you often pit yourself against the elements or undertake daring acts but sometimes even extreme sports can be more intense than you ever expected.
Take for example some of these races. Sure, a race seems like a fairly simple idea of the fastest wins but when put in the context of some of these sports, it takes on a whole new level of excitement/danger!
1. Wingsuit Four Cross
As if plummeting off a helicopter hovering at 8000ft with only a very large, specially designed coat to save you wasn't terrifying enough, imagine doing that whilst competing against three others as you have to slalom through mid-air gates. Competitions like this are held in the Arizona desert and is the fastest non-motorized aerial sport in the world.
The wingsuits are specially designed for the sharp turns, plunges and braking maneuvers needed for the race.
2. Isle of Man TT
A motorsport race like no other, the small Island in the Irish Sea is a Crown Dependency of the British government and is mostly quiet for the majority of the year. However, it does play host to superbikes that zoom through its narrow, winding streets every year at around 200mph in a race that has claimed 252 lives since 1907 (that's more than 2 a year) as competitors are desperate to prove their steel.
Constant changes to the course over the years have been made in attempts to make it safer but it remains unpredictable and dangerous.
3. Street Luge
So you must know luge, right? the winter sport where you hurtle down a frozen slide on top of a dinner tray lying on your back. Great, well street luge is that but on a street, the tray now has wheels and you have to avoid the competitors racing alongside you. You can only use your feet to break and the hill may have large jumps in it. Enjoy!
Needless to say, this isn't for the faint-hearted.
4. Downhill Longboarding
A lot like street luge but instead you are standing up on an elongated skateboard as you hurtle down hills and navigate tight turns at stupid speeds all for the thrill of the chase and the chance to be crowned a champion. It's insanely fast and just keeping your balance is a challenge and trying to break or slow down without snapping your ankle in two is also a bit of a problem.
All of those issues aside, though, it does look pretty fun.
5. The Dakar Rally
A rally raid, off-road endurance event that takes vehicles through sand dunes, mud flats and desert, this is an intense a race as it gets as the course is ever changing with conditions and has claimed 56 lives since 1977. Quad bikes, bikes, trucks. ATVs or cars are allowed to enter but both have distinct advantages and disadvantages.
In 2009, the race moved away from the Middle East due to terrorist threats and now happens across South American where the terrain has become sheer cliff faces and jagged rocks. Most years about half of the field fails to finish.
6. World BASE Race
Like the Wingsuit four cross races, these competitors wear the specially designed suits and compete against each other to win but instead of slaloming this is more of a drag race as two competitors jump from a set point high in the mountains and use their knowledge and skill to reduce drag and wind resistance as much as possible.
When the finish line is at the bottom of a cliff face, though, jagged rocks and outcrops are an obstacle to be avoided.
7. The Green Race
A kayaking race like no other,it begins at 'high noon' and sees competitors battle white water rapids, including one called 'Gorilla' due to its sheer force and strength. Hidden rocks, raging waters, boulders, waterfalls and even a hike just to get to the starting line make this all the more adrenaline pumping.
The risk of broken bones, complete loss or destruction of kayaks and even puncture lungs don't put racers off as they compete for a glass trophy and bragging rights. That's all.
8. Drift Trike Racing
If sitting on something that looks like a children's toy whilst hurtling down steep hills on open roads doesn't sound like your idea of fun, we suggest you give drift triking a miss as these races see people peddle on the diminutive tricycles, which have modified wheels to make sliding round corners possible, as fast as they can down the steepest slopes around.
A little-known sport a few years ago, it is growing in size all the time.
9. Extreme Downhill Mountain Biking
Mountain biking is pretty hardcore stuff, where you ride a bike down steep, winding trails on the side of a mountain, over jumps and through ravines, in order to get to the bottom in the quickest time possible. Extreme downhill mountain biking is just the same but taken to the furthest possible extremes of rocks, hidden jumps and uncharted trails.
It is bad enough if you fall off but quite regularly, you will then have to hurl yourself out of the way of the next person following you down.
10. Freeride World Tour
A competition that takes place on snowy peaks and mountainsides where you can snowboard or ski to a set point at the bottom. However, there is no set trail and you have to navigate narrow, rocky pathways and make your own way down picking the best route option as you go. Not just a straight up race though as the most epic run wins more points.
Set up by a Swedish-Britsh entrepreneur in 1996, it is a relatively new sport but it attracts people from all over the world looking for the ultimate thrill!