Any extreme sports travel enthusiast will tell you it’s the best thing they’ve ever gotten themselves into, and once you do it, you’ll never want to stop. Super, but stopping was never the question, it’s how do you start? You don’t just wake up one morning ready to trot up Everest or jump on into a canyon with a sheet tied to your back. How does one became an extreme sports traveler, exactly? Baby steps. Or at least relatively small child steps, perhaps no particularly aged adult recovering from successful knee surgery steps, depending on how courageous you’re feeling. Not to fear, if you can believe it there are actually plenty of extreme sports out there all over the place that have the option for a less extreme level. Someplace to get you started. These activities make for great vacations for groups of people with varying skill levels but who all want to go on the same trip to the same place.
Photo via Heliboarding
Either the lift line was unbearably long or you’re just blatantly a complete sociopath, not sure which it is, not sure it matters really though, when you’re about to hop out of a helicopter and ski down some random natural peaks. (Natural meaning outside of a ski resort, in the wild, a likelihood of more bears than other athletes I’m sure). But hey why not right? Out you go. Have a nice ride down. Don’t get lost because no one will ever find you (nah, they might). Surprisingly enough, as long as you don’t go alone, they say Heliskiing is actually a beginner friendly extreme sport because the natural powdery snow out there, as opposed to the man made stuff at the ski resort, is actually easier to ski on. The best place is said to be in British Columbia, Canada.
Photo via Scouting Magazine
Like snowboarding except in a sweltering desert with sand whipping into your eyes! Sounds like a party! At least if you’re a newbie and take a sizable tumble, landing in the sand will be as soft as snow. Try it out in Brazil, Mexico or in Death Valley in the US.
3. Whitewater Rafting
Photo via National Geographic
If little Timmy and his band of cub scouts can do it, so can you. Just be sure that when you’re looking into potential rafting locations you pick a site that has varying options for levels and the availability to go with a practiced guide. Most places have options for everything from practically the lazy river to probably hold on for your actual life.
Photo via WRJ Photo
Spelunking is essentially the exploration of any cave. Meaning this adventure can be all harnesses and tight dark dangerous spaces, or a big open playground of sorts with rocky terrain and neat (terrifying) creatures. It can be an underwater scuba expedition, or a delightful little visit in the safety of your tour boat. It can even at times be in an urban manmade area, a trek to rediscover history perhaps. All you have to do is decide how dirty or wet you want to be and how good or less so at exercise you are, and narrowing down appropriate cave options for yourself will be easy.
Photo via Bob Barber
Thillseekers Unlimited in Las Vegas offers the chance to try pretty much every extreme stunt from film and television imaginable, from jet skis to bi-planes to being set on fire (because who doesn’t want to give that a go?). You pretty much build and schedule a custom vacation depending on how much you want to do, and if you get there and realize maybe you should be taking baby steps, you can always catch their live show instead and feel the thrill just by watching the experts in action.