When was the last time you did something truly daring? All those hours as a kid spent trying to get big air on a board, bike or discarded piece of bungee. That morning you leapt off the shed/tree/house in an attempt to fly (damn you gravity!!!). Real daredevils don’t let trifling things like physics get in the way of their amazing feats and stare down all Newton’s theories with sneer and sponsored baseball cap. They have entertained millions with their skills, thrills and occasional spills on route to sporting greatness.
Extreme sportsmen are somehow a breed apart, while other competitors like to feel a safe connection with planet Earth at all times these guys are constantly reaching skywards.
And so we salute the greatest extreme sportsmen and women of their generation.
Horacio Llorens | Paragliding
Spanish paragliding pilot Horacio Llorens has won both solo and sincro world titles, in fact there is very little in his sport that Horacio hasn’t won. Not only is he a five time world champion, he has also won a gold medal at the World Air Games (the Olympic games of aerial sports) and holds the world record for 568 consecutive loops (the video for this is insane!). Between a hectic filming schedule, Horacio has now made the leap into paramotor.
Read our exclusive interview with Haracio and how he got into Paragliding & set the world record! See here >
Danny MacAskill | Trial Biker
Danny MacAskill is an extreme sports legend. His video’s are huge with Imaginate having clocked up over 24 million hits on YouTube. And it is without doubt one of the coolest extreme sports videos ever!!! If you haven’t watched one of his movies yet you really are in for something special. He continues to look for new and inventive challenges and is an inspiration to millions of riders throughout the world.
Damien Walters | Freerunner
One of the most famous freerunners around Damien Walters originally trained as a gymnast. Settling on trampolining as his chosen discipline, he was part of a British team that won the World Championships. He has gone on to become a stuntman and is in huge demand appearing in a host of movies including; Hellboy, Scott Pilgrim vs The World, and Kick Ass. His freerunning videos have amassed over 80 million views and brought him to the attention of Will Smith and his son Jaden Smith, who Damien trained for The Karate Kid.
Alexander Polli | Skydiver
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? It’s superman! Oh no… hang on…. Our bad… It’s actually artist and “birdman” Alexander Polli who does such an extreme sport that if he has a bad day at the office, there is no coming back. Utterly bonkers but impossible to turn away from he is a supreme star in the world of extreme sports and one of the most viewed sporting virals ever.
Sam Pilgrim | Mountain Biker
Trick rider Sam Pilgrim is jaw droppingly impressive. Very much at the top of his game he performs the seemingly impossibly without even breaking into a sweat. Sam has gone on to prove his youth was anything but misspent as the hours in the saddle are now taking him around the world performing exhibitions and competitions and saw him crowned World Champion in 2013.
Gary Hunt | Cliff Diver
Taking a Dive
4 times World Champion Gary hunt is totally cool under pressure. While most mortal men struggle to overcome competition nerves Gary also has to consider the 27 metre drop (just under 90ft) he dives from. Plus the small matter of 3 somersaults and four twists on the way down. His cool head and steady nerve have made him quite possibly the best cliff diver of all time.
Geoff (Gully) Gulevich | Downhill Biker
Mountain biking at its most extreme is incredible, add a POV camera into the mix and watch anyone who has a phobia of heights shrink away from the screen as Geoff Gulevich races down sheer slopes and over valleys as if his Sunday dinner was getting cold at home. We think you’re slightly mad but “Gully” we salute you.
Paul Bonhomme | Race Pilot
Paul Bonhomme is one of those magnificent men in their flying machines who actually race planes. Jolly good at it he is to boot with a mantelpiece overflowing with championships. Of course screaming through the sky isn’t dangerous enough so these modern day daredevil’s have even added obstacles. Well yes, why fly though nice clear skies when you can dodge all kinds of potentially life ending close shaves?
Liam Phillips | BMX Rider
Not only an extreme sports world champ, Liam is also representing team GB at the next Olympic Games. BMX has come a long way since its early beginnings and now is a officially recognised sport with figures like Liam taking the sport to new heights and pulling a cheeky endo once they get there.
James McHaffie | Climber
Some people are just born for great things, while some of us will look at a mountain and think it looks stunning, James McHaffie will look at a mountain and wonder what the view looks like from the top. Then with just some chalk, rope and balls of steal, he sets off to find out.
Fearless, probably, skilful undoubtedly, and he’s probably got a pretty amazing photo collection.