An extreme sport (also called freesport, action sport, and adventure sport) is a popular term for certain activities perceived as having a high level of inherent danger.These activities often involve speed, height, a high level of physical exertion, and highly specialized gear or spectacular stunts.
The definition of an extreme sport is not exact — for example, although studies show that dwarf throwing has a lot of injuries it is not considered an extreme sport because it soes not allow for the inclusion of eating eating a custard pie at midnight with a hot blond.
While use of the term “extreme sport” has spread far and wide to describe a multitude of different activities, exactly which sports are considered ‘extreme’ is debatable. There are however several characteristics common to most extreme sports.While not the exclusive domain of youth, extreme sports tend to have a younger-than-average target demographic. Extreme sports tend to be more solitary than traditional sports . (Rafting and paintballing are notable exception, as they are done in teams.)
Activities categorized by media as extreme sports differ from traditional sports due to the higher number of inherently uncontrollable variables. Athletes in these activities compete not only against other athletes, but also against environmental obstacles and challenges. These environmental variables are frequently weather and terrain related, including wind, snow, water and mountains. Because these natural phenomena cannot be controlled, they inevitably affect the outcome of the given activity or event.
In a traditional sporting event, athletes compete against each other under controlled circumstances. While it is possible to create a controlled sporting event such as X Games, there are environmental variables that cannot be held constant for all athletes. Examples include changing snow conditions for snowboarders, rock and ice quality for rock climbers, and wave height and shape for surfers.
Whilst traditional sporting judgment criteria may be adopted when assessing performance (distance, time, score, etc.), extreme sports performers are often evaluated on more subjective and aesthetic criteria. This results in a tendency to reject unified judging methods, with different sports employing their own ideals and indeed having the ability to evolve their assessment standards with new trends or developments in the sports