Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Kayak Maniac; in the Latest in His Series on Striking Images, Our Columnist Looks at Extreme Sports

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Kayak Maniac; in the Latest in His Series on Striking Images, Our Columnist Looks at Extreme Sports

Article excerpt

Byline: Charles Saatchi the naked eye

EVEN extreme sports enthusiasts may hesitate before trying this -- kayaking around molten lava. It requires steady nerves to plunge your canoe into this 900-degree Hawaiian lake, formed within an active volcano.

The daredevil pictured here is Pedro Oliva, who was not satisfied with just paddling alongside the oozing flames, he also thought to dip his oar into the lava, causing it to promptly burn to a crisp. But he was practical enough to wear thick-lensed sunglasses to protect his eyes from the fiery glare.

Aside from the scalding water, one of the additional dangers he faced was the toxic steam, produced when lava comes into hissing contact with water.

The burgeoning appeal of potentially lethal activities has seen Southampton Solent University offering a three-year extreme sports management degree. "We are seeing far more extreme sports covered on television -- for example, ski cross at the Winter Olympics, or BMX at the Summer Games, and this has certainly fuelled interest," says lecturer Rob Burton.

Another explanation for the popularity of such dangerous activities is an ironic one -- our growing preoccupation with health and safety. "Society is becoming far more risk-averse, and because of that people are looking for alternative ways to find an adrenalin rush," Burton maintains.

Such activities draw millions to try ice climbing, sand kiting, base jumping, paragliding, white-water rafting and body boarding, as they move on from the basic entertainment of bungee drops.

People want thrills but essentially they also want to walk away with their limbs intact -- most sensible participants in danger sports accept that professional guidance is probably wise.

If you would like to add a little more excitement in your daily routine, perhaps you could think about enlivening your commute. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.