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Graham Bell and Ed Leigh take on extreme sports

On the 9th March Ski Sunday and Graham Bell (former downhill skier for England) and Ed Leigh took a look at extreme sports and what makes people participate in them, and to do this they went to New Zealand where so many of today’s extreme sports were first invented.

“I love pushing myself into new areas and trying out something that no-one has ever tried before” says Chuck Berry (not the singer!). Extreme sports is all about challenging yourself to learn something new and then putting your skills and your experience to the test. This gives you the biggest buzz of all…

Graham and Ed, being adrenaline junkies themselves, decided to test out this theory and their first task was Bungy Jumping. Bungy jumping, as some of you might well know, is all about challenging yourself to do something that is completely unknown. The first thing you feel is FEAR and you feel weak, but you push through that, and then the big adrenaline rush kicks in, you go out on the platform, you do it…. and then when you are back on the platform you look back at your jump and you feel great about yourself!

As Graham and Ed put it afterwards … it’s “THE biggest adrenaline rush!”

Following that one they decided to try “Flying Without Wings”. Here they were strapped, stomach down, onto a ‘craft’ which launches itself across a canyon and, within limits, you can steer yourself. Their comment was “if you’re into adrenaline then this is for you. It really is so much fun… it’s great.”

From there Graham and Ed went sky-diving which “is surreal” and “so much fun”, but then they came to the decision that if they wanted to ‘fly’ they must search out the ultimate sport, step outside their comfort zone and take to the air solo, and the perfect sport for this is:

SPEED RIDING…

In terms of innovation this is the latest adrenaline sport to come out of the mountains. It combines the speed of downhill with the exhilaration of paraponting. You use downhill skis and a small parachute which allows you to fly close to the ground touching down with your skis as you go. It allows you to take a direct and hitherto impossible route down a mountain as you are able to lift off whenever necessary.

“This is when you are really living life to the fullest” says Graham Bell.

“My heart is racing. I haven’t had that much adrenaline in my system for a long time” was another comment.

It has been said that you need to scare yourself once a day – apparently if you do speed riding “you certainly will!”

I thought it looked GREAT fun and will most certainly give it a go one day…

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