For many people, sports have the power to unite people of all ages and demographics. Whether you’re playing with your friends or watching from the stands, sports can provide a sense of community for people from all walks of life. The appeal of sports is that they are accessible to everyone, regardless of their financial status or geographic location.
Sports are also an excellent way to burn off some extra energy that seems to accumulate at the end of the day. However, not all sports have the same popularity. Some have a dedicated following, while the general public shuns others.
Factor 1: Competition
As with every sport, extreme sports have a competitive element. However, this element can be especially pronounced in some sports, like rock climbing and mountain biking.
In these sports, the goal is to be the first, or best, person to ever complete a given route or trail. Depending on the sport, being the best in the world on a given day can be highly prized or somewhat inconsequential compared to simply doing the best possible today.
Extreme sports also have an element of “us vs. them” common in competitions of other types of sports. There is often a sense that some competitors are inherently “better” than others in extreme sports.
Comparing oneself to others can be good or bad, depending on how it is used and perceived. When used optimally, this competitive nature can be a driving factor that leads to greater satisfaction in the sport.
Factor 2: Risk & Rewards
One of the most significant factors that makes extreme sports popular is their inherent risk. In most cases, the risk is directly related to the skills that must be developed to excel at these sports. For example, in rock climbing, the risk is related to the falling height from the top of the cliff.
Likewise, in Kite Surfing, the risk is the potential for injury from falling from the kite or getting hit by the kite. The risk can be high no matter what sport you’re involved in. However, the reward can be increased, too. Those who excel in extreme sports develop many skills, including mental skills.
For example, people who excel at climbing must learn to focus and stay focused for hours at a time while maintaining good mental health. Similarly, those who excel at kite surfing must learn to stay balanced above the kite and avoid falling to the ground below the kite.
Factor 3: Health & Wellness
While it’s crucial to develop an appreciation for all different types of sports, it’s also essential to keep an eye out for healthy ones that can help you stay in shape. Extreme sports can have this quality in spades, as they often involve high levels of physical exertion.
For example, rock climbing can be high-intensity, as participants must often exert themselves over long periods. Likewise, kite surfing can be very demanding, as it usually involves standing on a board for long periods. People need to keep an eye out for health risks in their sports, as these sports can be especially punishing to your body.
Factor 4: Environment
Another common factor in most sports is the environment in which the game is played. In extreme sports, this often means being outdoors. In sports such as rock climbing and kite surfing, this means being outdoors in an unpleasant environment, such as high wind and heavy rain.
While in sports such as mountain biking, this often means being outdoors in a natural environment that is not very friendly to humans, such as a rocky or otherwise dangerous desert.
Factor 5: Recognition & Fame
People will often seek recognition for their efforts and may also desire fame and glory, which can often be the case in extreme sports, as some of these sports are very difficult to play and are, therefore, rare.
However, it’s important to note that one need not be recognized or famous for finding satisfaction in a sport. In extreme sports, it’s often enough to enjoy the act of competing and the sense of community that can develop in a sport.
Factor 6: Developing Skills
A final factor that sets extreme sports apart from other sports is that these sports allow for the development of skills. The more you practice a skill in a sport, the better you’ll get at it. This can be especially true in extreme sports, where the practice is often difficult or dangerous and can be limited by the person’s skill.
In extreme sports, nothing is more important than the first two factors, competition and risk. In both of these sports, you have to be good to win. However, being good is more important in extreme sports because of the risk. If you don’t put your all into the game, there’s a good chance you won’t win.