While some athletes prefer the structure of organized sports, others opt for the freedom of extreme sports. Extreme sports include a multitude of activities, including skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing and BMX. When choosing an extreme sport to get involved with, you'll first need to consider the advantages and disadvantages associated with the specific riding discipline.
Just because extreme sports athletes are not part of an organized team doesn't mean they can't make lasting connections with fellow riders. Getting involved with an extreme sport is a great way to meet friends who share similar interests. Many skateboarders, snowboarders and BMXers alike band together to create their own clubs and groups. Riding with your new-found friends will allow you to progress in your riding skills while learning new and more difficult tricks and maneuvers.
Getting involved with an extreme sport is a great way to have fun while maintaining a healthy body weight. Regardless of the extreme sport you participate in, with regular riding practices you'll be able to burn excess calories and tone a multitude of muscles. Performing aerial jumps on a BMX bike will allow you to strengthen your bicep and triceps. Riding your snowboard down a mountain slope will target your quadriceps and lower leg muscles.
While every sport has certain dangers, extreme sports athletes are at an increased risk of serious injuries. Back-country snowboarders are known for riding on an unpredictable terrain where avalanches are commonplace. While these off-piste riders don't ride on a groomed slope, hazards such as large boulders and fallen trees can be easily hidden under large deposits of newly fallen snow. Even the smallest misstep can plummet big wave surfers more than 30 feet below the breaking ocean waves. According to "Thrasher Magazine," skateboarders often subject themselves to bone-crunching falls while attempting to grind down steep handrails.
While many extreme sports athletes have designated training facilities to master their craft, others prefer to take a more adventurous approach. Street riding is a prominent discipline among skateboarders, snowboarders and BMX riders alike. Street riding often takes place on urban obstacles, including stairs and handrails. A major disadvantage of street riding is that most of the spots are private property. According to Transworld Skateboarding, skaters often get tickets for street riding that entail a costly fine. Extreme sports athletes also are commonly prosecuted for defacing property and trespassing.