Kamis, 19 Juni 2008


Some contend[citation needed] that the distinction between an extreme sport and a conventional one is as much to do with marketing as it is to do with perceptions about levels of danger involved or the amount of adrenaline generated. Furthermore a sport like rugby union, though dangerous and adrenaline-inducing, would not fall into the category of extreme sports due to its traditional image, and it does not have certain things that other extreme sports do, such as very high level of speed and an intention to perform stunts. Scuba diving is not seen as an extreme sport these days, despite the level of danger and physical exertion, because of its primarily adult demographic. Also the fact that it is not classed as a sport, as there is no objective to the activity. Another example: compare the perception of demolition derby, not usually thought of as an extreme sport, to that of BMX racing, which is. Demolition derby has an adult demographic, BMX is a youth sport.

Snowboarder drops off a cornice.

Hang glider launching from Mount Tamalpais
The definition of extreme sports may have shifted over the years due to marketing trends. When the term first surfaced circa the late 1980s/early 1990s, it was used for adult sports such as skydiving, scuba diving, surfing, rock climbing, snow skiing, water skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, mountaineering, storm chasing, hang gliding, and bungee jumping, many of which were undergoing an unprecedented growth in popularity at the time. Outside magazine, not the X Games, epitomized the meaning of the term, and if there was a clothing style associated with extreme sports it was an "outdoorsy" look favoring brand names associated with mountaineering or backpacking such as The North Face and Patagonia, Teva sandals or hiking boots for footwear, etc. The term nowadays applies more to youth sports like skateboarding, snowboarding, and BMX and is closely associated with marketing efforts aimed at the younger generation (e.g. the ad campaigns of Mountain Dew), and with their favored styles of clothing and music, especially the kind of urban baggy look associated with skateboarders, and loud, fast alternative rock. This shift in styles may also be partly a generational shift, as Baby Boomers and Generation X have aged and marketing efforts associated with extreme sports shifted toward the younger Generation Y demographic sometime in the mid to late 1990s.

Wingsuit flying is a relatively new extreme sport.
The term gained popularity with the advent of the X Games, a made-for-television collection of events. Advertisers were quick to recognize the appeal of the event to the public, as a consequence competitors and organizers are not wanting for sponsorship these days. The high profile of extreme sports and the culture surrounding them has also led people to invent parodies, such as Extreme ironing, urban housework, extreme croquet, and house gymnastics.
The difference between the serious extreme sports and imitation or parody is not always obvious.

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