Pushing boundaries is what being on a gap year is all about. While you’re away, you should get your pulse racing by trying your hand at an adventure sport!
We’ve scoured the world of extreme sports. From those of you avid sports fans to complete beginners, there’s something on this list for you.
What is it? Grab a bike and hit the rougher road! Mountain biking uses specially designed larger bikes to navigate tough, uneven terrains like that of forests and mountains.
Where should I go? Mountain biking is accessible all over the world. But, if you’re going on a once in a lifetime trip then you need a once in a lifetime view. The Finale Ligure in Italy provides amazing forest tracks and coastal views to create the perfect backdrop to your cycling adventure.
The degree of difficulty varies across the area depending on what route you follow. Take yourself across the country on a gentle ride or kick up the adrenaline with a rapid downhill descent!
For more information, check out the WorldBikeParks.com guide to Final Ligure.
What is it? Using the forward or the deep face of a wave to propel them forward, surfers ride a large board across the blue seas. Some can reach speeds of over 20 mph!
Where should I go? The world is full of wonderful places to surf, even here in the UK. But, who wants to stay close to home when you can be surfing the crystal blue waters of Costa Rica?
The surf locations there are split up into three areas; The Pacific North, the Pacific South and the Caribbean. Both of the Pacific coasts boast a wave for every rider. The North proves more popular with tourists as beaches are easy to access and far less crowded, compared to their Hawaiian and South Cali counterparts. The Caribbean coast has a short surfing season that’s really reserved for the pros—the large, swelling waves are usually bought in from tropical storms off the coast of Mexico.
For an in-depth look at surf locations and seasons, take a look at WanaSurf.coms guide.
What is it? Using a large kite for propulsion, users are dragged across land and sea on a board. The kite doesn’t just speed the rider up, currents can be utilised to do stunning aerial tricks.
Where should I go? Hit the waters of Morocco for a pulse-raising Kitesurfing experience. Dakhla is renowned in the kiteboarding community for boasting the best conditions to “fly”. The lagoon is one for the largest in the world, with a variety of different “styles” of kitesurfing sites to choose from; beginning, speed surfing, wave jumping or freestyle.
If you’re already well-versed in the technicalities of kiteboarding, there are countless rental shops to utilise, but if you are in need of a little refresher (or have no idea what you’re doing) then many companies along Dakhla’s provide lessons.
What is it? Skydivers show no hesitation at throwing themselves out of planes. Jumping from around 12,000 feet above the ground, there is usually around a minute of free-falling at 115mph before the diver pulls a parachute and falls gracefully back to earth.
For all you first-timers, you probably won’t take your first dive alone. Before you get into the plane you’ll be given some basic training and strapped to a dive partner, so don’t worry about first flight nerves!
Where should I go? One of the most popular countries for skydiving has to be New Zealand. The vast landscape of snow-capped mountains, lush forests and sand-fringed coasts give you an incredible view, no matter where you choose to dive.
What is it? Using Self -contained underwater breathing apparatus, divers can go on an adventure to see the wonders of the ocean without having to come up for air!
Where should I go? When you think of a dream sub diving destination, you’ll probably think of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, which is great but… it’s not the only breath-taking place.
The waters of Hawaii are full of countless marine life and landscapes that are just waiting to be explored. In Kailua Kona, light up pebbles are placed in the seabed so that divers can observe the Manta rays when they feed…. At night!
What is it? Strapped in at the feet, bungee jumpers launch themselves from an elevated platform attached to a large elastic cord, known as a bungee line.
Where should I go? Jumping above the Bhoti Kosi River in Nepal has to be at the top of every adventure enthusiasts to-do list. The 500ft drop may sound crazy, but the view of this spectacular tropical gorge and the winding white water below is worth it!
What is it? Parasailers ascend into the sky being dragged behind a boat, usually over the sea. The gradual incline is a great way to relax, get a view of your surroundings and to feel the wind in your hair!
Where should I go? The sheer amount of water surrounding sunny Croatia makes it a great place to parasail. Training isn’t needed in order to take part, so just strap yourself into an adventure in the sky!
What is it? Strap your feet to a board (or two if you’re skiing) and adventure through the snowy slopes, reaching speeds of up 25mph or more!
Where should I go? Canada is a hot spot for snow sports. With almost 300 resorts to consider you may have a bit of trouble choosing where you’d like to go!
The western side of the country boasts mountainous terrain that’s not too dissimilar to the kind of slopes found in Europe, whereas the east has more of an alpine environment.
If you’re new to the snowboarding/skiing scene, lessons are available at most resorts.
What is it? Flyboarding took off shortly after the water jet pack, and it is as cool as it sounds. High powered jets of water attached to a board propel the user across the water. This one isn’t for the faint-hearted!
Where should I go? Australia is a great place to give flyboarding a try! The warmer climate lends itself well to watersports and makes the sea a lot warmer… great for those of you that take a while to find your flyboarding legs.
With sites along the golden coast, flyboarding along with other water jet activities are readily available.
Let us know what extreme sports you’ve always wanted to do, in the comments below.