This summer, I want to sweat from an adrenaline rush instead of the heat. You, too, can destroy your fears and discover a different view of the world from the top of a sand dune or a seat in the sky. From taking a leap of faith to rocketing down dunes in the middle of the desert, brave these extreme sports with me this summer—if you dare.
Bungee jumping gets overshadowed by shinier and newer extreme sports these days, but this adrenaline-pumping activity still packs a punch. Do you have what it takes to inch your way over the ledge and swan dive into thin air? Go on, I dare you! Sync up with a certified bungee jumping company and take the plunge.
The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge near Taos, New Mexico, is one of the nation’s most coveted bungee spots, as it boasts over a 550-foot drop, while Perrine Bridge in Twin Falls, Idaho, serves up around 500 feet of hair-raising excitement. Looking for a milder spot to put your guts to the test? Try this activity in Dallas, Texas, at the Air Boingo Tower at Zero Gravity Thrill Park. Specifically designed for bungee jumping, the tower offers an impressive 70-foot jump.
Get some air without that stomach dropping, roller coaster feeling. Although still considered an extreme sport, paragliding is all about flying, not falling. With the help of a canopy, or wing, the non-motorized contraption lets you soar up to 23,000 feet over canyons, shorelines, and mountains. Face the wind, pull on the wing, and prepare for lift off!
Test out your wings with this adventure in Los Angeles, California, for an aerial view of the Pacific Ocean, or go abroad and fly over Castelluccio, Italy, when the flowers are in bloom. Paragliding is all the rage in the French Alps during the summertime, while flights around the Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany are popular, too.
Craving the slopes but don’t want to wish away summer? Ditch the concept of fresh powder for some desert sand. Sandboarding is the new snowboarding. Just like the winter version, this sport involves a board, but instead of shredding up snow-covered slopes, you can carve up desert sand dunes.
Rumor has it that the ancient Egyptians cruised down sand dunes on planks and pottery, but today, adventures have upgraded to sand boards. The Great Sea of Sand near Siwa, Egypt, is a Middle Eastern sandboarding oasis, where the dunes reach heights of 500 feet. Meanwhile, other popular sandboarding turf includes Little Sahara, Australia, and Swakopmund in Namib Desert in Namibia.
Make this the summer that you conquer your inhibitions. Laugh at your jitters and take flight with your butterflies. Embrace the challenge as the thrill of adventure rushes through your veins.
What extreme sports are you braving this summer?