What Makes a Sport Extreme?

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AUGUST 9, 2009 - Extreme Sports : Rider show h...
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Extreme sport shot to popularity in the nineties, despite popular belief, the definition of extreme is not how inherently dangerous the sport is, but whether or not it aligns with a number of other unwritten rules. Extreme sport’s lowest common denominator is that of counter culture, by counter culture I mean being in opposition to the established culture of sport and recreation, that is, values of safety, fair play and sportsmanship. Cycling is statically one of the most dangerous sports, as riders often pick up numerous injuries, whereas Squash is one of the most lethal, more people die playing Squash than in any other sport.

A sport being classed as ‘extreme’ therefore, isn’t all about danger and death, rather it is a division of competitive sport that flies in the face of traditional ideals. Extreme sports are commonly perceived to be performed at high speed and provide an adrenaline rush, though this does not tell the whole story. Consider motorsport, arguably the quickest and most adrenaline inducing sport, this does not fall under the ‘extreme’ banner.

Rather, we may think about extreme sports in terms of their youthfulness or lack of tradition, thus BMX is far more widely thought of as an extreme sport than motor racing. Another facet of extreme sports is the propensity to perform stunts, this comes back to the counter-cultural aspect of the genre, rather than straight out competition, extreme sport allows an encourages the performance aspect; who can perform the most outlandish stunt? One thing we can say with confidence about is extreme sports is that they are largely individual endeavors (winning is based on time or accumulation of points) rather than team ‘games’.

The definition of extreme sports has changed over the years, closely intertwined with the marketing of certain sports or activities as ‘extreme’. When the term was first coined extreme activities were considered to be things like scuba diving, skiing, mountain biking and snowboarding. As these pursuits became more popular however they no longer warranted the ‘extreme’, counter cultural moniker and have been superseded by more youthful variations like skateboarding, BMXing and aggressive skating.

It is key to recognize the important part that other cultural artifacts play in the image and popularity of extreme sports, video games like the Tony Hawk series have done wonders for the popularity of skateboarding while punk rock bands like 182 have always been closely associated with the culture of extreme sports. So it seems extreme sports are fundamentally youthful, counter-cultural and influenced by media, while thriving on the perception of danger or risk of injury.

Joe is a copywriter and extreme sports enthusiast. He doesn’t do anything as dangerous like jumping off cliffs, but he does like to ride his BMX bikes.

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  • Published: Oct 28th, 2010
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  • Comments: Comments Off on The 24 BMX for Racing and Freestyle Riding

The 24 BMX for Racing and Freestyle Riding

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Motorcross BMX

BMX is short for Bicycle Moto-Cross. With X being the abbreviation for ‘cross’. BMX biking is cycle racing of sorts with riders using specially designed BMX bikes. Generally speaking the wheel diameter of BMX bikes is 18 to 24 inches. 24 BMX bikes are used in both BMX racing and BMX freestyle competitive events. BMX racing is typically done on dirt tracks and while freestyle events are held in a controlled environment where BMX ramps and jumps have been built into a tight circuit for close and exciting competition.

BMX is considered a Class of bike. The BMX frame is quite small but very strong and light weight. When one first looks at a BMX bike they might be mistaken to think it is a child’s bike. Just looking at a BMX one can’t fathom how a full grown adult could ride one. But ride they do! And they do it all standing up. Some riding styles and BMX bikes don’t even have a seat or seat post. This gives the rider the ultimate in quick handling and performance for stunts and jumping. The standard BMX frame is mounted with 20 inch wheels, and it is often a customize or modified version of single speed youth bicycle. Variations include the larger 24 inch BMX wheel which is also know as the cruiser-class of BMX. Cruiser bikes were first created for adults who couldn’t fit the 20 inch models but in racing you will see both sizes used byall age groups.

While BMX racing is considered an individual sport, groups of riders often form a team so they can enter a variety of class levels at different competitions. Competing as a group has other benefits including camaraderie and socializing among team mates. Registering and racing as part of a group also offers greater exposure for riders to get noticed and possibly sponsored by a biking related company. Strength, speed and handling are the hall marks of the successful BMX competitor. Many successful BMX racers are able to leverage their skill in a variety of bicycle and motorcycle events.

There are all kinds of BMX ramps and jumps which range from small rollers to huge step up double jumps. There are pro-straights used in junior and elite men levels of competition.

The 24 BMX bikes available with 24″ tires are often thought to be more for tall or heavier riders but this is quickly changing as taking BMX jumps with a bigger wheel diameter can actually help the rider achieve better control in landing.

The bottom line is whether you ride a 24 BMX Cruiser on the beach or in heavy duty freestyle competition your sure to get great results.

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