You are not likely to see any of these sports on ESPN or in the next Olympic games. We’ve compiled this bizarre list of odd sporting events conducted around the world--just for you! So if you haven’t found your sporting niche, maybe you can consider one of these!
Freestyle skydiving is a competitive two-person sport. One member wears a helmet cam to film while the other person performs freestyle acrobatic maneuvers. Of course, both skydivers are in freefall. This form of skydiving was first done for the film “From Wings Came Flight” in 1989; the film made it very popular and it eventually became a competitive sport a few years later.
If you put skydiving and surfing together, you get skysurfing. The skydiver wears a type of “snowboard” attached to his or her feet and performs surfing movements while in free fall. The boards are of course smaller than a surfboard or snowboard; in fact, they look like a large skateboard. The board can quickly detach from the feet in case the skydiver gets into trouble, loses control, or has problems with the parachute opening. This is a very difficult sport that requires a lot of practice and a lot of skill. The easiest move is to stand upright on the board during free fall, and then tilt the nose of the board downin order to move forward.
Remember the Rubik’s cube when you were a kid? Well, surprisingly, they are still around, and kids today have turned solving these puzzles into a competitive sport called speedcubing (or speedsolving). The objective, of course, is to solve the cube as fast as possible so that each face of the cube is a single solid color. The cubes come in 2x2x2, 3x3x3, 4x4x4, and 5x5x5 sizes. There’s even a 7x7x7 version. This has become a very organized sport. There are open tournaments around the world. Just to give you an idea of speed, the world record for solving the 3x3x3 cube is 7.08 seconds. Now that is fast!
Wow, believe it or not, there are specially trained racing pigeons! (Do they wear little hats?) This strange sport involves releasing the pigeon and having it return home over a specifically measured distance. The travel time is measured and the bird’s rate of travel is calculated. All pigeon times are compared to determine the winner.
We’ve all probably seen the July 4 hot dog eating contest, but this event has grown way past hot dogs at this point. All the competitions have one thing in common: consume lmassive quantities of food in a very short timeframe, typically 15 minutes or less. Contests usually involve fast food or desserts, with the most popular contests being hot dogs, pie, and mayonnaise (this last one seems pretty gross!) The sport is very popular in Japan and the United States.
Barefoot Water Skiing
This sport is really not so weird. It originated in sunny Florida in 1947, and by 1950 it was popular enough to hold the first barefoot competition. There were several popular techniques that were spinoffs of the barefoot competition: beach start, deep water start and the two-ski-jump-out. By 1960, backwards barefoot skiing took hold, bringing this water sport to a whole new level.
Lawn Mower Racing
These competitors modify their lawnmowers into street racers. The mower can be ride-on or a push self-propelled mower, and the original mower engine must be used. Blades are removed for safety (probably a really good idea). All different ages of people enter these contests and while most join just for fun, there are a few die hards that take it to the extreme competition level.
This is probably the most politically incorrect of all the bizarre sports. This sport started in bars as a way to attract customers. A dwarf wears special padded clothing and is thrown onto mattresses. In an even more twisted version of the sport, a dwarf wears clothing covered in Velcro and is thrown against a wall to stick to it. The team who throws the dwarf the farthest wins the competition. It probably goes without saying that alcohol, dwarves and Velcro are not a good mix, and this “sport” has been banned in numerous places.
Belt Sander Racing
Power tool drag racing IS a sport. Belt sanders were one of the first power tools used in these races. There is a 50 foot wooden track, and the sanders are put side by side to race. They have been outfitted with very long extension cords. There are even race heats, like in track or swimming! Each heat begins with the two participants switching the power on and letting the sander fly down the track. Some entrepreneurial racers have even outfitted belt sanders with seats to ride down the track. Very strange!
Leave it to the English to invent a bloody good sport. This one is known as cheese rolling or cheese chasing and it takes place every May in Gloucester. The dangerous event has been taking place for over a hundred years. An eight pound wheel of cheese is rolled down a very steep hill while contestants vie to nab the cheese. Injuries like broken limbs are quite common. Jolly good!
Bog snorkeling originated in Wales. Competitors snorkel through the muddy, smelly bog water for two lengths of 60 yards each. Snorkelers can wear flippers and a wet suit, but cannot use normal swimming strokes. The lowest time wins!
This sport is the perfect combination of mental and physical prowess. The game involves six rounds or chess with a boxing bout in the ring between each chess game. The person with the highest combined score of chess and boxing wins! Crazy!
This sport is like polo, but instead of a ball, a headless goat is used. Yeah, really! This is the national sport of Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan, and may be the most bizarre sport of all. Players pass the goat off to other players, and try to score by getting it in their goal. Serious athletes train for years, and many of them are over 40 because it takes so long to master the sport.