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'Extreme' Sports

passoutpassout Posts: 4,609
edited October 2008 in The Crudcatcher
Following a good pub chat I've got two unanswered questions:

1) Where does the usage of the word 'extreme' (to describe sports and/or outdoor activities) originate from? [Which country? Which Sport(s)? When?]

2) Is MTB'ing (which is actually quite safe compared to many sports) 'extreme' and if so, why?

Interested to hear what you think.
'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.

Posts

  • clarksonclarkson Posts: 1,641
    i suppose it depends what bit you do. downhill/freeride would be considered extreme. xc probably not so much.
    I said hit the brakes not the tree!!

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  • I think that you have to look at insurance companies to find out what is extreme or not, because they have a very different view compared to the people actually participating in the sport.

    Take climbing for example. My Dad and I wanted to go to Italy to do some Via Ferrata. This is where you wear a climbing harness and clip in with Cow's Tails to fixed wires that are maintained for their safety. At all times you are clipped to the rock, and although there is a chance of some movement along the wire if you fall, there is a braking system built into the equipment to minimise the force transmitted to you. The insurance company refused to insure us for this, saying that it was far too "extreme" and that we would have to get specialist insurance. However, they would insure us for climbing! Whilst climbing we would have to put our own protection into cracks in the rock (which could come out), would be totally dependent on our competence, and whilst lead climbing there is a chance of a fall as far as the last piece that we have put in. In my opinion the latter is far more "extreme", and holds a much higher risk, but the insurance company views otherwise.

    In terms of biking I think you would have to take into account the terrain, equipment and competency of a personand the likelihood of injury to judge whether it is extreme or not. If I go round my local trail which I know well on a full suss its probably not that extreme. If I take my beginner friend on her hardtail, the likelihood of her falling off and hurting herself is high, so it would be extreme for her.

    Any thoughts?
  • I think that a general rule of thumb would be that any sport that the Health 'n' Safety Brigade try and ban or 'monitor' for being 'dangerous' can be classed as extreme
  • how long befroe that extends to tiddlywinks though :lol::cry:
  • .blitz.blitz Posts: 6,588
    hastings wrote:
    I think that a general rule of thumb would be that any sport that the Health 'n' Safety Brigade try and ban or 'monitor' for being 'dangerous' can be classed as extreme
    +1.

    'Extreme' is anything that's more than 500 yds from the nearest car park.
  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,609
    Interesting so far. The insurance companies don't see MTB'ing as dangerous as it happens - not much worse than fell walking!

    Where does this use of the word extreme come from though? Any thoughts.
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • .blitz.blitz Posts: 6,588
    passout wrote:
    Where does this use of the word extreme come from though? Any thoughts.
    From the USA where all our inappropriate adjectives come from :wink:

    By the same token we now have the laughable 'Extreme Fishing With Robson Green'. Extreme Fishing my a**e
  • Rich9Rich9 Posts: 1,635
    .blitz wrote:
    passout wrote:
    Where does this use of the word extreme come from though? Any thoughts.
    From the USA where all our inappropriate adjectives come from :wink:

    By the same token we now have the laughable 'Extreme Fishing With Robson Green'. Extreme Fishing my a**e

    'Extreme knitting with My Gran' would be more 'Extreme'
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  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,609
    Have you heard of extreme ironing - worth a 'google' (another inappropriate verb?).
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • missmarplemissmarple Posts: 1,980
    What about 'Extreme Eating'?

    Oh whoops, sorry, forgot that half the populous of the UK do that on a regular basis! :P
  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,609
    That's a good point. If half the UK are overweight, over-eating & under-exercising lay abouts then anything involving physical activity (sport, fishing etc) could be seen as extreme by them! For them it's a vaild assertiion. It's one of those post - modern relative terms that is impossible to generalise about.

    Of couse the flip side is that we as outdoor types are destined to find very little of this stuff truly extreme - which fits into everyone's responses so far.

    Thanks, that should easily ensure victory in my next pub chat!

    My other argument is that it's just a marketing term in a bid to make everything (Cycling, Snowboarding even fishing) as 'cool' as surfing and shift lots of associated products - especially clothing. What do you think?

    Bloody cool American surfing marketing men - damn them to hell!
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • Extreme were a censored american rock band.....not very extreme at all

    I've just googled it...far beyond a norm in quantity or amount or degree; to an utmost degree; "an extreme example"; "extreme temperatures"; "extreme danger"

    but then following on from first point it also came up with....Extreme is an American rock band that achieved popularity in the late 1980s and early 1990s

    Not so sure MTB ing is all that extreme til you get to outer edges...but then crashing at 5mph in the car park before a ride becomes an extreme crash by the time you get to the pub!!!!
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  • missmarplemissmarple Posts: 1,980
    Wikipedia cropped up an interesting point: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extreme (marketing)

    We could call cycling extreme, as we do it too often! :lol:
  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,609
    Good stuff - maybe I should have tried Wikipedia in the first place?!
    Thanks all.
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • In my opintion it is something you do which also includes a reasionably high risk of death.
    I wouldnt consider mountain biking to be extreme unless its the serious 'red bull chucking yourself randomly off a cliff' competitions.
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,367
    I think "extreme" is just a marketing word to make things sound "cool". Seems to me that a lot of the things they call extreme would be better served by another word, "stupid".
    Or at least some of it seems that way. I think "extreme" also appeals to a younger generation desperately trying to prove that they are tough, bad, etc. Sort of a manly
    man thing. They must prove themselves by doing something dangerous. I have always felt that if you want to prove yourself join the infantry and go to war. So called extreme
    sports can't even begin to compare with being pinned down by an enemy mortar
    barrage if your looking for "thrills" and trying to be manly. Some of these "extreme"
    seekers would be sh*tting their pants or crying for their mama's in situations like that.

    Dennis Noward
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