The most unusual sports in the world

Stay active, my friends

Kiiking+in+action.
Kiiking in action.

Kiiking in action.

Photo provided by Stowaway Magazine

Photo provided by Stowaway Magazine

Kiiking in action.

Addy Burwell, Staff Writer

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There are obviously tons of sports available for high school students to try—football, track and field, baseball; the list goes on and on. However, I feel like these sports on this list are perfect for the next generation of young athletes. As opposed to the many boring sports like golf or tennis, these extreme sports are very exciting and entertaining for both athletes and spectators. While they may seem somewhat Brave New World-esque due to the amounts of equipment needed to play them, there is a lot of promise in the future of these unusual sports. Let’s hope we will see them in the Olympics soon.

  1. Kiiking (see top)

Have you ever wondered, “What would happen if I went on a playground swing and managed to make a loop all the way around it?” Well, that is what kiiking is. Kiik is the Estonian word for swing, and was invented in the Baltic country in 1996. This swing involves a standing platform and steel bars. The athlete must gain momentum by pumping—accomplished by repeatedly squatting and standing–to swing over the fulcrum of the apparatus. The person who can swing over the fulcrum that has the longest steel arms is the winner. This title is currently held by Antes Tamme, who managed to complete the task with 7.03-meter swing arms (23 feet). If you are interested in an advanced version of your favorite recess activity, kiiking may be the sport for you.

  1. Zorbing

You have probably never heard of zorbing before—it is an extremely difficult skill only mastered by the most coordinated people on the earth. Much like track and field events, this sport requires racing on foot; however, the competitor is placed inside a large plastic hamster ball. To up the difficulty, races could take place on a hillside instead of a flat surface, diminishing the control the runner has over the direction the ball rolls towards. Another fun interpretation of zorbing involves placing the balls in the water and seeing what happens. Since there are no official rules to the sport, you are truly able to be creative with how you are deciding to play it. It is a very difficult skill to master, but the amount of athleticism and adaptability required to play it makes it extremely rewarding once all is said and done.

Photo provided by Pennsylvania Adventures
Zorbing is a thrilling sport for adventure seekers.

  1. Extreme Ironing

If you have a love for both wrinkle-free clothing and wild sports, try extreme ironing! The rules for this sport are open to a lot of interpretation; however, the basic premise seems to be taking an unplugged iron, ironing board, and wrinkly clothing to crazy locations and snapping photos of the event. This new craze has resulted in people taking their ironing boards to the tops of mountains, the bottom of the ocean, and even skydiving. While the debate on whether or not extreme ironing is a sport may be a pressing issue, all can agree that the pictures that come from the activity are beautiful.

Photo provided by Sites at Penn State
Extreme Ironing is classified as a sport by the EIB (Extreme Ironing Bureau).

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