With the Olympics edging ever closer, it’s hard not to feel caught up in the competitive spirit. But what if hurling javelins and leaping into a sandpit just isn’t your thing? Well don’t despair, because there’s a host of weird and wonderful extreme sports available in Britain for eager, enthusiastic, and mildly unhinged sportsmen and women to have a go at. Here’s our pick of the best.

Click the next page for our first weird extreme sport

%TNT Magazine% land yachting

1 Land yachting

WHAT THE HELL IS THAT? Part luge and part sailboat, you control a hollowed-out, brakeless kart by using directional foot pedals and pulling ropes to tilt the direction of the sail. Get the wind behind you, and you’re capable of reaching speeds of up to 40mph.

THE LOWDOWN In the warm-up alone, one of my group ploughs off the beach and into the sea, while another manages to flip her yacht in a slow-mo vehicular cartwheel. Yet any fear produced by the whole ‘no brakes’ issue vanish as soon as I get to grips with how to turn and stop (just sail into the wind). With the breeze on my side, the acceleration is heart-racingly immediate, and more than a match for 
most rollercoasters.

HOW TO DO IT With Kirrawee Land Yachts, Romney Marsh, Kent. From £65 for a three-hour introductory session.

SEE  landyachting.co.uk

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%TNT Magazine% horse boarding

2 Horse boarding

WHAT THE HELL IS THAT? The brainchild of a professional stunt horserider, this is a quirky mash-up of mountain boarding and horse racing. It’s an adrenaline-fuelled thrill ride (boarders have been known to reach speeds up to 37mph) that’s garnered such popularity, not only are associations springing up worldwide, but the third annual championships are being held later this year.

THE LOWDOWN Wearing some Batman-esque lightweight body armour for padding, I’m pulled along at a trot through beautiful farmland by my friendly horse/ propellent. On the whole, the experience is pretty horse-some.

HOW TO DO IT With the Extreme Horse Riding Association, in various locations. £15 for a club meet; £150 for a basic course.

SEE  britishhorsesurfingassociation.com

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%TNT Magazine% snow sphering

3 Snow sphering

WHAT THE HELL IS THAT? Zorbing in a fridge.

THE LOWDOWN Just when I thought sphering couldn’t get any sillier, I find myself strapped into another inflatable hamster ball – only this time, I’m about to be rolled down the UK’s longest indoor snow slope. With none of the friction of grassy zorbing, there’s more G-Force, and more rotations (up to 11) than ever before. My newly regurgitated breakfast proves as much.

HOW TO DO IT At Chill Factore, Manchester. Rides from 
£24.50 per person.

SEE  virginexperiencedays.co.uk

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%TNT Magazine% bungee in dark

4 The Abyss

WHAT THE HELL IS THAT? The world’s highest indoor bungee jump – oh, and it’s in near pitch-black darkness.

THE LOWDOWN After climbing 150ft to the top of an abandoned steel mill, you’ll find yourself peering out at a haze of dry ice and semi-darkness. Cue a truly unique bungee jump with all the atmosphere and spectacle of the country’s best theme park rides – and with none of the pesky constraints of a conventional ‘locked in’ safety harness.

HOW TO DO IT At Magna Science Adventure Centre, Rotherham/ Sheffield. From £50.

SEE  ukbungee.co.uk

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%TNT Magazine% mountain boarding

5 Mountain Boarding

WHAT THE HELL IS THAT? The sexy, limb-obliterating lovechild of a snowboard and a skateboard. A four-wheeled, ultra-versatile board sport that allows for off-road skating and mind-boggling tricks.

THE LOWDOWN When I finally learn how to stop, there’s zippy fun to be had from swooshing down the vertiginous hillside.

HOW TO DO IT With Ride The Hill, Redhill, Surrey. Lessons from £16 for an hour, including training and equipment hire.

SEE  ridethehill.com