There are two types of people in this world; people who avoid risk and people who run after it. Maybe you'd say you're somewhere in the middle - you like to push the limits but not too much that the risks are life-changing. These adrenaline-packed sports cause the heart to race, the stomach to drop and the nerves to tingle, but they're not for the faint of heart.
Formula One has seen countless new fans after the successful documentary series on Netflix called Drive to Survive. This 200-mile-per-hour sport is so intense, drivers experience up to six Gs while cornering, which is six-times the weight of gravity. To put it plainly, a 160-pound F1 driver could experience over 900-pounds of pressure several times during a single lap...most people would pass out between four and five Gs. This doesn't take dangerous temperatures into account. "At the point of combustion, a Formula One engine can produce heat exceeding 4700ºF," according to One Stop Racing. "That's half the temperate of the sun's surface."
Dodging boulders and branches at high speeds, downhill MTB athletes have to have extreme focus while teasing the fine line between excitement and danger. There's little room for thinking outside of your environment or equipment. This, and the adrenaline, is why so many are drawn to adventure sports. Not only are the excitement and adrenaline of downhill MTBing a great mood boost, but it's an alternative way to meditate and clear the mind. If you're interested in dipping your toes, try getting in shape with some outdoor biking, then look into some single track trails in your town with mild terrain.
There are different levels of adrenaline with yacht racing; you could starting with local dinghy races, but high-speed hydrofoil racing is where you'll find the real juice! What's hydrofoil? Foiling is the term used to describe hydrofoils attached to the hull of sailboats to provide more lift and speed, like the F50 Catamarans used in SailGP races. Sail Grand Prix is like the Formula One of yacht racing, which is probably why we see a lot of crossover sponsorships like Red Bull and Rolex. SailGP races take place in some of the most beautiful destinations around the world including Australia, France, Spain and Italy. Teams sail identical $4 million, 50-foot catamarans, achieving up-to 50 knots of speed - faster than the wind propelling them.
Last year was a return for many to their local moto tracks. Gas prices may have influenced some of the turnout, but nothing can keep dirt bike lovers away from the thing that gets their blood pumping! This is going to be a great year for moto for so many reasons, including the intro of electric newcomer, the Stark Varg, with initial deliveries expected to begin in the fall. 2021-22 has also been an interesting one for Supercross fans. Underdog moments mixed with nerve-twisting crashes and early exits have kept the 2021-22 season interesting.
Base jumping isn't as simple as it sounds. There is more than one way an athlete can incorporate base jumping into their sport. Some enthusiasts will hike to mountaintops or tip toe to the edge of mile-high cliffs and skyscrapers before taking an adrenaline-packed leap, then pulling a shoot to float to safety. There are other types of base jumping that, dare we say, are even more intense. For example, wingsuit flying. This sport essentially turns people into a flying squirrels. There are also hybrid jumping sports like speedriding, which combines skiing and high-performance paragliding. Sure the basis of base jumping sports is jumping from something really high with a parachute, but as the nature of thrill-seeking goes, there will always be new variations to push the limits.
Possibly the craziest sport on four wheels, Rally Drivers live and breathe adrenaline. No matter the terrain or condition, these thrillseekers are out for one of the highest highs you can get in car racing. "The FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) pits drivers, co-drivers and hybrid-powered production-based cars against some of the most brutally tough and unforgiving terrain on the planet," WRC's site explains. Drivers race timed sections on closed roads connected by public roads where they have to observe normal traffic. These closed roads, aka "special stages," can include anything from dirt gravel to snowy mountains and untamed forest.
Motorcycle Road Racing
Speed is an essential element for most adrenaline sports, and MotoGP has it in abundance. MotoGP is essentially the Formula One of motorcycle road racing with riders competing at more than 200mph; the fastest recorded bike achieving 225mph. It stands above other series as, "the premier class of motorcycle road racing," according to CycleWorld. In its likeness, it only makes sense that MotoGP is regulated by the FIA, which is same governing body for WRC and Formula One. Proudly, Ducati holds each of the 10 fastest speeds ever recorded in MotoGP.
Extreme Kayaking & Canoe Slalom
No doubt you've seen a viral photo or video of a kayaker soaring off waterfalls into raging whitewater rivers. But extreme kayaking can't be defined by what we've seen in whitewater meca, Colorado. Today, extreme kayakers are taking things to new terrain, including heli jumping onto mountains to kayak down snow and ice. While this might be more of a record-setting type of competition, competitive extreme kayaking is a high-energy, contact-sport. Yep, CON-TACT. "The excitement begins from the very start, with four competitors sliding off a ramp more than two metres above the water and splashing onto the course as one," explains the International Canoe Federation. "From there it’s a race to the first buoy, and it really is a case of anything goes as each paddler tries to steal an advantage over their opponents."
What other adrenaline-packed sports would you have included in this list? Share your favorites in the comments below.