Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ski flying: Another extreme sport getting off the ground

Extreme sports are as intriguing as they are exciting and dangerous. Why do people do the things they do? Because they can. There are even those who can ski down a slope toward a cliff, then lift off the snow and start flying. Incredible. Observe:

Norway's Halvor Angvik and Jokke Sommer call it "speed flying," though it's been referred to as ski flying -- a more apt name, we believe. By whatever name, it's insane, like most extreme sports.

Asylum.com featured the pair (who are in the above video) and the sport in a post earlier this month. They told Asylum it was a combination of ski flying and speed riding (speed riding: check this intense video out). To the layman, it looks like a cross between skiing and paragliding.

The fliers use high-performance skydiving canopies that are already opened and take a "running" start like a paraglider. Then off they go down the mountain faster than you and I would want to go down a mountain.  

Angvik talked to Asylum about the dangers of the sport and the importance of minimizing them.
"It seems to me that too many people have decided that humans should stay on the ground and those who don't should be considered careless and suicidal," he told Asylum. "It's obvious that it's dangerous to impact a solid rock wall at 100-plus miles per hour, but I'd rather focus on what preparations and rules I want to set for myself to make sure I don't end up hurt."

Good thinking.

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