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10 Sports You've Never Heard Of

Updated on December 14, 2014
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1. Underwater Hockey

The sport of underwater hockey started in England in 1954 by a group of bored divers and has transformed into an international sensation. Wearing a mask, snorkel, and fins, two teams of six push the puck across the pool bottom into special underwater goals. Players hold their breath while using small sticks to push the puck.

Underwater basket weaving might be a joke, but Underwater Hockey is a legitimate sport with national championships and a governing body.

2. Snow Kayaking

What do you do when the rivers are frozen fro the winter? Take your kayak up a mountain, of course! Using their paddles, snow kayakers navigate the same slops that skiers do, attempting jumps and navigating rocks.

How do they get their kayak up a mountain? Let's just say that there aren't any kayak lifts.

3. Biathlon

Biathlon is an official Olympic sport that combines .22 caliber rifle shooting with cross country skiing. It is done as an individual and relay event and consists of skiers shooting five targets in a series of stops. The penalty for missing a target is the athlete doing an extra 150 meter loop.

Biathlon has been an Olympic sport since 1960 and is extremely popular in Europe. It was originally used for training for hunting, but the Norwegian military also uses it for endurance and marksmanship training.

4. Freestyle Powerisers Stilts

If Tiger did Parkour, it would look like this sport. With poweriser stilts, the user can run up to 25 miles per hour and jump 6 feet up in the air. Powerisers allow the human body to defy gravity and move through space unimpeded. The sheer freedom they offer is exhilarating. Feel free as you bound your way like an astronaut.

Try Them For Yourself

Go Higher!

5. Zorbing

Zorbing is an up and coming sport from New Zealand that turns the human body into a giant game of pinball-meets-bowling. Take a grass hill, an inflatable ball, and a willing participant, and you get a human hamster ball.

For an extreme zorbing adventure, check out Zorb.com. Have fun rolling down a hill at 30 miles per hour.

6. Riverboarding

Originally created by some bored river guides, riverboarding is gaining popularity in the United States, France, and New Zealand. It's boogie boarding meets white water rafting. If the tides aren't in your favor, why not boogie board a river?

Riverboarding requires a special board, fins, a helmet, and a life jacket. Unlike river rafting, there isn't very much between you and the rocks. It's a high speed, high adrenaline sport.

For some of the most amazing riverboarding on the planet, head over to Chamonix, France.

7. Flyboarding

Flyboarding is a new sport that allows the user to literally fly with a water powered jet pack. It was developed by Franky Zapata, a French Jet Ski Racer. In 2012, Aquafly brought it Texas, and the world of watersports has never been the same. Strapping in like a wakeboard, 400 pounds of water pressure propel the user up to 37 feet up into the air.

Users of a flyboard are considered "pilots" and are required to undergo a beginner's safety course before participating or purchasing. Rental rates are generally about a $100 to try, or $6000 to buy.

Coolest Sport Ever!

8. Bog Snorkeling

Donning a snorkel and fins, competitors race through cut out cannals in Welsh bogs. The sport started in 1976, near Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales and holds the annual World Bog Snorkeling Championships. The race takes place in the smallest town in Great Britain, with a 60 meter course, that is lapped twice.

Bog Snorkeling In Whales

Most men only carry their wives across the threshold.
Most men only carry their wives across the threshold. | Source

9. Wife Carrying

Wife Carrying is like the Tough Mudder race, but with one addition, you have to carry your wife through the course. Whether the sport was started by a Finnish robber who would carry women out of the villages, or just plain old masciunine pomp, no one really knows.

The Wife Carry World Championships are held every year in Finland. It is a very humorous event, with prizes for the best costumes, the strongest men, and tons of beer.

Here are the official rules:

  • The length of the official track is 253.5 meters
  • The track has two dry obstacles and a water obstacle, about one meter deep
  • The wife to be carried may be your own, the neighbor's, or you may have found her further afield; she must, however, be over 17 years of age
  • The minimum weight of the wife to be carried is 49 kilograms. If she is less than 49 kg, the wife will be burdened with a rucksack containing additional weight such that the total load to be carried is no less than 49 kg.
  • All participants must enjoy themselves
  • The only equipment allowed is a belt worn by the carrier, the carried must wear a helmet.
  • The contestants run the race two at a time, so each heat is a contest in itself
  • Each contestant takes care of his/her safety and, if deemed necessary, insurance
  • The contestants have to pay attention to the instructions given by the organizers of the competition
  • There is only one category in the World Championships and the winner is the couple who completes the course in the shortest time
  • Also the most entertaining couple, the best costume, and the strongest carrier will be awarded a special prize

The above rules are set by the International Wife Carrying Competition Rules Committee and were found on Wikipedia.

10. Man vs. Horse Marathon

Held in the same small town as the Wife Carrying Championships, the Man vs. Horse Marathon, turns a man and his horse into rivals. Men race on foot, against their four legged friends, across a 22 mile course. It took 25 years for the first man to win the race. Since 1980, only two humans have won.

Man vs. Horse

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    • Availiasvision profile image
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      Jennifer Arnett 2 years ago from California

      I want to go watch the Bog Snorkeling event, scratch that, I would like to participate.

    • luvtoowrite profile image

      Luvtoo Write 3 years ago from Chicago, IL

      You are right, I never heard of any of these sports. I would get a kick out of watching, The Wife Carrying event. It must be hilarious!

    • Thief12 profile image

      Thief12 3 years ago from Puerto Rico

      LOL @ Wife Carrying. Some interesting and funny stuff. Thanks for the Hub!

    • Availiasvision profile image
      Author

      Jennifer Arnett 3 years ago from California

      Cybershelley,

      I'm glad you were entertained. Thanks for voting.

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 3 years ago

      bog snorkeling??, wife carrying is quite fun to watch! Up, interesting and useful.

    • Availiasvision profile image
      Author

      Jennifer Arnett 3 years ago from California

      Edward,

      I had never heard of Biathlon until this year's Olympics. What a fun and rewarding sport. That girl is pretty lucky to be sponsored by Ruger and get to shoot all of their toys. I'm glad you enjoyed the Hub.

    • Availiasvision profile image
      Author

      Jennifer Arnett 3 years ago from California

      Bill,

      If you do decide to go snow kayaking, I want to read a Hub about it ;)

    • Edward J. Palumbo profile image

      Ed Palumbo 3 years ago from Tualatin, OR

      I enjoyed this! In truth, I haven't heard of some of these. I thank you for including Biathlon because it rarely gets any media coverage but it's a very demanding activity. That Anschutz Model 1827 rifle the young lady is using costs just over $3,000 - not an entry-level .22 rimfire - but, the shooter is obviously well beyond entry-level. Thank you for an interesting Hub!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I actually have heard of snow kayaking and always thought it looked like a blast....biathlon I've always considered a weird sport....wife carrying...not going to happen. LOL Fund article my friend.