by Carmen Schwartz
The big subject that’s taking on a whole lot of notice as of late in the sporting world is the vast list of ‘extreme sports’ that every daredevil seems to be ‘attempting’ to do at least once. If done correctly, twice; if not, they are putting more money into the healthcare system.
Last week we spoke about a man who went to Vegas and slacklined his way far above the gaping mouths of the crowds below. He was hundreds of feet in the air while he did this amazing stunt. But slacklining is not the only die-hard sport out there to get the adrenaline pumping. Believe it or not, more and more people are finding a new way to skateboard (and/or snowboard).
No, skateboarding doesn’t sound extreme. In fact, it’s been around longer than most sports when you think about it – and all kids love to skateboard in their own neighborhood. But, you see, we’re not speaking about careening down the road and playing with friends; or sitting in the school parking lot and practicing flips and tricks. We are talking about the extreme sport of volcano boarding. That’s right… There are those out there who are now traveling worldwide in order to have the experience of a lifetime and ‘ride’ down an active volcano.
This is no school parking lot, neighborhood, or even a massive mountain covered in snow. This is where your feet are strapped to a retrofitted snowboard as you literally ride down the side of something that Mother Nature has prove could erupt at any moment. Think of the black earth below your board. Think of the hot breeze (and I mean hot), racing across your skin. The problem with this, however, is the fact that the wind could grow a whole lot hotter in about a second and a half, and the little bits of ash flying around your face while you are seeking a thrill could turn into a molten lava flow.
Some people travel to Pompeii to check out one of the most amazing, gruesome, depressing, yet awe-inspiring places in the world. But with this sport, daredevils actually choose to get their thrills on one of these wondrous volcanoes that could very well be the last thing they ever see. The potential for eruption of course just adds to the journey – and being at the top of a volcano is certainly a sight that hardly anyone will (or wants to) see.
In order to do this extreme sport, the person must hike to the lip of the crater, which will be quite a hike, by the way. But knowing that you will then be able to cruise down apparently makes this tough walk a lot easier to take on.
The mind behind this sport is Darryn Webb; this is a man known as an Australian duneboarder. However, as with all brilliant ideas, there are now more than just Mr. Webb out there who are offering actual volcano-boarding tours.
And, oddly enough, this is not just for the young and foolish; there are many people over the age of fifty who are loving this sport. Because, when you think about it, the actual board used offers safety and because of the heavy sand and ash, the board isn’t like the snowboard – it goes far slower as it comes down the volcano. Thus, unless the volcano actually does erupt, the danger factor of this sport is fairly low.
So…attention people! This is the new and expanding extreme sport that is bound to have more and more people heading to some pretty odd locations, strapping on their volcano board, and hoping the ‘Pompeii’ gods aren’t mad that day.
Have fun and just remember, if you hear a slight rumble in the area call it a day!