Ball games, surfing dogs and ironing? 5 new sports to try this Summer
The sun is shining, the days are getting longer, and sporting events (team or otherwise) are looking more and more likely to be on the agenda again (massive, world changing events pending). In fact, it’s been so long since we’ve had a proper kickabout, or an impromptu game of cricket, that these otherwise traditional sports seem like a novelty again.
Still, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t still exciting and unusual sports out there for us to discover. In fact, we think one of the below will be completely new to you. If not, then maybe you should consider a career change, because you’re clearly as well informed as any sports journalist.
Whatever, we could jump that high with a trampoline too...maybe. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Volleyball is the quintessential beach sport, no doubt about it, but what happens when you add gymnastics, football, capoeira and an inflatable, trampoline outfitted arena into the mix? You get bossaball.
Invented by Filip Eyckmans, a former Belgian tennis player, bossaball is now played in over 20 countries and on four continents. The field, a giant inflatable, also features trampolines for the attacking players to launch themselves off of. Not only that, but players are required to use both their hands and feet to strike the ball. Put all of these things together, and add a generous helping of samba inspired music, and this sport isn’t just a spectacle to behold but also a focal point for large scale, beach party style events.
As soon as we can go on a beach holiday again, you can be sure we'll be hunting down the nearest bossaball field.
2) Dog Surfing
A wave-catching canine waits patiently. Image source: Getty Images
When the waves get ruff, you can bet that the best surfers flock to the shore to indulge in this bodacious beach-based extreme sport. However, you wouldn’t normally expect any of those surfers to have four legs and wet noses, would you?
Although it might seem like the kind of thing you’d see in a viral video, dog surfing can actually be traced to 1920’s California and Hawaii, where surfers and their dogs rode tandem on their surfboards. There’s now even competitions that take place every year. So this summer, should you manage to find yourself catching some sun at the seaside, keep your eyes peeled, and you might just get to see a hound-dog hanging ten.
3) Man vs. Horse: The Marathon
Hurry Up! They're gaining on you! Image source: Wikimedia Commons
We’d normally have a little quip here before getting to the heart of the matter, but honestly, we’re still scratching our heads over this whole concept. People on foot, versus horses. In a race. Like, an actual race, to see who’s faster. Feels like we don’t need to continue at this point, we’re pretty sure we know who wins.
Still, tell that to the competitors of the Man versus Horse Marathon, which takes place once a year in Llanwrtyd Wells, the UK’s smallest town (and a place that’s featured on our blog before). Starting as a bet when landlord Gordon Green overheard two men in his pub, the Neuadd Arms, discussing whether a man could beat a horse in a race, if that race took place “over a significant distance across country.” Green apparently couldn’t let a sleeping horse lie, and the event was born.
That’s not the end of the story though. In 2004, in it’s 25th iteration, man of the hour Huw Lobb beat a horse on foot, winning himself a prize pot of £25,000, which had been growing by £1,000 each year the race was held.
4) Far Leaping (Fierljeppen)
Returning to the water, but not necessarily the shoreline, we’re in the Netherlands for an activity that first appeared as informal competitions in 1771. This part pole vaulting, part water crossing sport was a necessity for many Friesans (people from the province of Friesland) as they navigated the many waterways they would encounter in their day to day lives.
Then after nearly 200 years, the first formal Fierljeppen championships started to appear. Thanks to tourism and purveyors of strange sports (such as energy drink brand Red Bull, who produced the video above), Fierljeppen is now more popular than ever, even if it’s not strictly necessary for getting around.
5) Extreme Ironing
Where's the iron plugged in? Image source: Wikimedia Commons
We promise, we’re not just making things up now, this is a real thing. Plus, if you’re anything like us and you’ve been exclusively rocking loungewear 24/7 for the last year, Extreme Ironing not only offers up some much needed time outdoors, but a chance to get your wardrobe looking sharp again too.
Extreme Ironing supposedly started when someone wanted to take mickey out of their brother, who would often iron clothes even on camping trips. So, all in the name of some good natured ribbing, our intrepid ironing pioneer started taking photos of themselves with an ironing board and iron in the most outlandish of places, and the trend was born.
Now, Extreme Ironing takes place all over the globe, and there’s even official competitions. Just goes to show, if you can imagine it, it can become a fully fledged competitive sport.
Feeling competitive? If you end up becoming the next human vs. horse victor, or go onto revolutionise the world of dog surfing, be sure to remember where it all started, and let us know of your exploits over on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.Activities, Friends, Games, List, Seasons, Sports, Travel, Weird & Wonderful, World