BY MATTHEW CHIN
This is not for the faint of heart, the couch-potatoes or the worry warts. This is for the bold, for the rebellious, and for those unafraid of staring death right in the face and laughing. If you are a natural-born adrenaline junkie or in need of a few items for your bucket list, these are five death-defying stunts that are bound to get your blood pumping.
Volcano Surfing at Black Hill, Nicaragua
This active volcano called Cerro Negro, or “Black Hill” features an unconventional sport that has attracted a lot of attention in recent years. Volcano Surfing involves sliding 500 metres down the side of Black Hill, while the still-hot pebbles of ashy rock leave a trail of dust behind you.
The volcano has erupted twenty-three times, but its last eruption occurred back in 1999. When it erupts, the lava and rocks spill down the steep backside of the volcano, while the harsh wind pushes the ash and pebbles to the opposite, less-perilous face, providing the perfect surface to reach speeds of up to 95km/h on nothing but a wooden rectangle with a rope to hold onto.
One man said in CNN, “In parts of South America, and other parts of the world, there is something called ‘sand boarding,’ but this is nothing like volcano boarding.”
Bungee jumping at Macau Tower, China
Off the Southern Coast of Macau, Macau Tower, 338 metres tall, invites guests to take the elevator or climb up the side of the tower to a stationary platform more than two-thirds of the way up. There, you are fitted with safety equipment and are free to bungee jump off the side of the tower. With the platform standing at 233 metres and a free-falling time of roughly three to four seconds, Macau Tower is the world’s tallest bungee jumping destination.
Paragliding in Oludeniz, Turkey
From atop a mountain that stands 1,800 metres above the ground, paragliders jump off the peak and glide for about 30-40 minutes over rolling hills to the coastline of Turkey, closing the journey by landing on a sandy beach. Every day the sky is covered with paragliders equipped with colourful parachutes. Anyone can fly from ages 4 to 84.
Zip Sliding at Sun City, South Africa
If you have become bored by the steady descent of zip-lining, South Africa has zip-sliding, which heavily increases the chances of you peeing-your pants out of fear. Instead of being suspended by a rope in a cradle-like contraption—like traditional zip-lining—zip-sliding involves you lying down on your chest, face first. Then you move at speeds ranging from 120 to 160km/h for two kilometres down what is known as the world’s largest, fastest, and highest zip-slide.
Some who have been zip-sliding call the experience “a flying feeling not a falling feeling”. The highest speed ever recorded was 185km/h.
Skydiving at Interlaken, Switzerland.
At a height of 4,000 metres, Swizerland’s skydiving in Interlaken overlooks the peaks of the snow-capped Swiss Alps and Interlaken’s two blue crystal lakes. The plane trip starts with a 15 to 20 minute flight wrapping around mountains and coasting over lakes. The fall lasts for around 45 seconds at a speed of 200 km/h. From beginner to advanced, anyone skydiving the Swiss Alps can go for just under $400.