Extreme sports are comprised of dangerous sports that offer adrenaline rushes to the participant. Mistakes in these sports are costly and can result in serious injury or death of the competitor.
The definition of 'extreme sport' is forever evolving. During the 1970-80's, only sports such as hang gliding where death was common place would have of been considered extreme. Today, the definition has evolved to include sports that offer adrenaline rushes as well.
Several of the sports have gained their reputation as being 'extreme' because they are a variation of a safer sport that is performed at a greater level of difficulty. An example of this type of extreme sport would be mountain biking. While bicycling is often considered to be relatively safe, the modification of adding a high speed downhill though a wooded terrain with jumps would not be considered safe for the average bicyclist.
Several of these sports carry a stigmata of 'certain death’. This reputation was gained when the sport was in their infancy and technology and/or educational standards was lacking. Today, technological advances in equipment and training have reduced the chance of injury or death. Most often, injuries in these sports are credited to the lack of training of the participant or the overconfidence of the trained participant.
Sports such as skateboarding and mountain biking are most often enjoyed without any professional training. Other sports such as skydiving and para-gliding requires the participant to obtain a certification or license before partaking in the sport. Experts agree that it is advisable for the beginner to take professional training if available for their sport.