Extreme Leisure

The case of extreme sporting activities

Authored by: Victoria Robinson

Routledge Handbook of Leisure Studies

Print publication date:  April  2013
Online publication date:  July  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415697170
eBook ISBN: 9780203140505
Adobe ISBN: 9781136495595


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Extreme leisure activities are of all sorts. They have been defined as those activities in which individuals experience leisure differently, due to their being taken to the limit of their resources. These activities can range from ‘abnormal’ leisure, such as unprotected anal intercourse, to extreme sports. They have been seen as allowing the individual to experience transcendence beyond the mundane and everyday, with a suggestion that such pursuits afford a particular glimpse into the human condition (see Blackshaw, 2009). For those of us seeking new directions in this area of Leisure Studies, extreme sports are a rich resource. The focus in this chapter, therefore, is on extreme sporting activities, on which, since the 1980s, there has been theoretical and empirical work on the more established alternative sports such as skateboarding, rock climbing and surfing, whilst activities such as windsurfing, snowboarding, BMX biking, extreme ironing, extreme skiing, ultimate Frisbee, kitesurfing, in-line skating, parkour, whitewater kayaking and adventure racing have also been defined as alternative sports as the category has both expanded and diversified.

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