Are They Considered and Extreme Sport?

So what is it exactly that defines an extreme sport? For one thing it has to be the opposite of what is accepted as culturally acceptable. That is, “enjoy the sport but for goodness sake be safe doing it!” There are contrarian views about the use of jumping stilts and ‘powerbocking’ as it is known, as to what level of extreme this is.

There are many sports that can be deemed high energy and injury prone. American football, rugby even cycling can provide its fair share of injuries. But it’s not considered ‘extreme’. Why on earth not when the sports people taking part can pick up an injury accidentally or even let’s face it, pre-meditated. Perhaps it’s because it does not include extreme speed, height, an array of stunts and a dose of specialized gear to participate. Another defining factor could be that most extreme sports are carried out by individuals rather than teams. An exception to this could be white water rafting which normally involves a team of people (more and more lately groups of corporates attempting to team build, but that’s another article!). Jumping stilts are definitely an individual sport but of course are generally enjoyed by groups of participating guys and girls as a form of combined fitness and sport regime.

So where does Jumping Stilts or ‘Powerbocking’ rate in this arena. Interestingly until recently it didn’t. It’s a subjective matter and without any really defining extreme sports body or association to make the rules, it will remain subjective. Of course jumping stilts or Powerbocking does allow you to run at speed, jump heights, do stunts and requires specialized equipment, so a number of the ‘extreme’ criteria are fulfilled with this sport.

The one that can be controlled by the person on the jumping stilts of course are the performing conditions i.e. the type of surface, and the choice to perform or not in adverse weather conditions. With these last two controllable elements, the ‘extreme’ part of using jumping stilts makes them a ‘safer’ form of extreme sports.

What do I mean by controllable. Well the big one of course is the weather. If you are snowboarding and you get dumped on by a snow storm and then the possibility of an avalanche, the performing conditions have changed and the choice to perform or not is elementary if you’re up a mountain when it happens! So in this case, extreme means exactly what it says on the tin! With jumping stilts, the powerbocker can choose the surface to perform on minute by minute whether that is a flat hard standing of concrete or grass, a road, a yard etc., you get my drift. If it rains or turns icy then the choice to continue using your jumping stilts or not can be made under less stressful conditions and without any life threatening issues.