Monthly Archives: January 2013

Canyoning

Canyoning

Canyoning (also known as canyoneering) is traveling in canyons using a variety of techniques that may include walking, scrambling, climbing, jumping, abseiling, and/or swimming.

Canyoning gear includes climbing hardware, static ropes, helmets, wetsuits, and specially designed shoes, packs, and rope bags. While canyoners have used and adapted climbing, hiking, and river running gear for years, more and more specialized gear is invented and manufactured as canyoning popularity increases.

Although hiking down a canyon that is non-technical (canyon hiking) is often referred to as canyoneering, the terms canyoning and canyoneering are more often associated with technical descents — those that require rappels (abseils) and ropework, technical climbing or down-climbing, technical jumps, and/or technical swims.

Canyons that are ideal for canyoning are often cut into the bedrock stone, forming narrow gorges with numerous drops, beautifully sculpted walls, and sometimes spectacular waterfalls. Most canyons are cut into limestone, granite or sandstone, though other rock types are found. Canyons can be very easy or extremely difficult, though emphasis in the sport is usually on aesthetics and fun rather than pure difficulty. A wide variety of canyoning routes are found throughout the world, and canyoning is enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels.

Canyoning is frequently done in remote and rugged settings and often requires navigational, route-finding and other skills and preparation needed for wilderness travel.

Canyoning around the world

In most parts of the world the Canyoning in the mountain ravines with liquid water is done. Countries with the manufactured Canyoning include: Australia, New Zealand, Spain, France, Ecuador, Japan, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, reunification island, Greece (Crete), Jordanian one, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Croatia, Turkey, Israel, Mauritius and the United States. In South Africa ravines, which refer, are general lots of jumping, and it is called Kloofing. Even in Hong Kong, in which there are numerous current ravines, a similar activity designated river, or river Trekking is popular. In Japan and in Taiwan it has river pursuit designated and usually also includes to travel against the river. Marked in the United States descending mountain ravines by liquid water frequently as canyoning, and, the non-liquid (characterized those frequently, descends wet) desert ravines as canyoneering. , canyoneering in the United States, arises in the many slot ravines, which are carved in the sandstone, which is found during the Kolorado Hochebene. Outside of the Kolorado Hochebene numerous canyoning opportunities in the San Gabriel, Sierra Nevada, cascade and rocky mountain distances are found.

Climbing

Climbing

Climbing is the activity of using one’s hands and/or one’s feet to ascend a steep object. It is pursued both recreationally, either to get to a destination otherwise inaccessible, or for its own enjoyment, and also professionally, as part of activities such as maintenance of a structure, or military operations.

Climbing activities include the following:

  • Mountain climbing (Mountaineering): Ascending mountains for sport or recreation.
  • Rock climbing: Ascending rock formations, often with climbing shoes and a chalk bag. Equipment such as ropes, bolts, nuts, hexes and camming devices are normally employed, either as a safeguard or for artificial aid.
  • Ice climbing: Ascending ice or hard snow formations using special equipment designed for the purpose, usually ice axes and crampons. Protective equipment is similar to rock climbing, although protective devices are different (ice screws, snow wedges).
  • Bouldering: Ascending boulders or small outcrops, often with climbing shoes and a chalk bag or bucket. Usually, a safety rope from above is not employed – instead, a crash pad (a combination of high and low density foam, within a heavy duty fabric structure, often transported on the back) and a human spotter (to direct a falling climber on to the pad) are used to avoid injury.
  • Buildering: Climbing urban structures – usually without equipment – avoiding normal means of ascent like stairs and elevators. Aspects of buildering can be seen in the art of movement known as Parkour
  • Tree climbing: Ascending trees without harming them, using ropes and other equipment. (A less competitive activity than rock climbing)
  • Rope climbing: Climbing a short, thick rope for speed. Not to be confused with roped climbing, as in rock or ice climbing.
  • Pole climbing (gymnastic): Climbing poles and masts without equipment.
  • Pole climbing (lumberjack): Lumberjack tree-trimming and competitive tree-trunk or pole climbing for speed using spikes and belts.

Rock, ice, and tree climbing have a common feature: all three normally employ ropes for either safety or aid. Pole climbing and rope climbing were among the first exercises to be included in the origins of modern gymnastics in the late 18th century and early 19th century. The sport of Mountaineering usually requires rock and/or ice climbing.

River Rafting

River Rafting

Rafting or whitewater rafting is a recreational activity utilizing a raft to navigate a river or other bodies of water. This is usually done on whitewater or different degrees of rough water, in order to thrill and excite the raft passengers. The development of this activity as a leisure sport has become popular since the mid 1970s.

Rafts were originally the simplest form of man’s transportation in water and were then made of several logs, planks or reeds which were fastened together. Nowadays, inflatable boat were used as rafts which were later adopted by the military for beach assaults. It consists of very durable, multi-layered rubberized or vinyl fabrics with several independent air chambers. Its length varies between 3.5 m (11 ft) and 6 m (20 ft), the width between 1.8 m (6 ft) and 2.5 m (8 ft). The exception to this size rule is usually the packraft, which is designed as a portable single-person raft and may be as small as 1.5m long and weigh as little as 4 lbs.

Rafts come in a few different forms. In Europe the most common is the symmetrical raft steered with a paddle at the stern. Other types are the asymmetrical, rudder-controlled raft and the symmetrical raft with central helm (oars). Rafts are usually propelled with ordinary paddles and typically hold 4 to 12 persons. In Russia, rafts are often hand made and are often a catamaran style with two inflatable tubes attached to a frame. Pairs of paddlers navigate these rafts. Catamaran style rafts have become popular in the western United States as well, but are typically rowed instead of paddled.

Classes of Whitewater:
Class 1: Very small rough areas, requires no maneuvering. (Skill Level: None)
Class 2: Some rough water, maybe some rocks, might require maneuvering.(Skill Level: Basic Paddling Skill)
Class 3: Whitewater, small waves, maybe a small drop, but no considerable danger. May require significant maneuvering.(Skill Level: Experienced paddling skills)
Class 4: Whitewater, medium waves, maybe rocks, maybe a considerable drop, sharp maneuvers may be needed. (Skill Level: Whitewater Experience)
Class 5: Whitewater, large waves, maybe large rocks and hazards, maybe a large drop, precise maneuvering (Skill Level: Advanced Whitewater Experience)
Class 6: Whitewater, huge waves, huge rocks and hazards, maybe huge drops. Attempting a Class 6 will most likely end in serious injury or death. If someone navigates a 6 without harm, luck can be given most of the credit. (Skill Level: Expert)

Sailing & Yachting

Sailing & Yachting

Yachting is a physical activity involving boats. It may be racing sailing boats, cruising to distant shores, or day-sailing along a coast.

Whilst sailing’s invention is prehistoric, racing sailing boats is believed to have started in the Netherlands some time in the 17th century, whence it soon made its way to England where custom-built racing yachts began to emerge. In 1851, a challenge to an American yacht racing club in New York led to the beginning of the America’s Cup, a regatta won by the New York Yacht Club until 1983, when they finally lost to Australia II. Meanwhile, yacht racing continued to evolve, with the development of recognised classes of racing yachts, from small dinghies up to huge maxi yachts.

These days, yacht racing and dinghy racing are common participant sports around the developed world, particularly where favourable wind conditions and access to reasonably sized bodies of water are available. Most yachting is conducted in salt water, but smaller craft can be – and are – raced on lakes and even large rivers.

Whilst there are many different types of racing vessels, they can generally be separated into the larger yachts, which are larger and contain facilities for extended voyages, and smaller harbour racing craft such as dinghies and skiffs.

Dinghy races are conducted on sheltered water on smaller craft, usually designed for crews of between one and three people. They are almost all equipped with one mast. Some have only one triangular sail, but most have two configured as a sloop, and usually carry a spinnaker, a large, bulging sail designed for sailing “with the wind”. Most races are conducted between vessels of identical design (“one design” racing). In these races, with identical equipment the sailors best able to make use of the ambient conditions win.

Dinghy designs vary from small, stable, and slow craft for novice sailors to lightweight, high-speed designs that are very difficult for even experienced crews to sail safely and effectively. Australia’s 18-foot skiff class are the fastest monohull dinghies, reaching speeds of up to 40 kilometres per hour even in relatively light winds. Sailing has a reputation for being a boring spectator sport, but skiff racing can be very exciting, particularly in unpredictable conditions where crews struggle to keep their boats upright. Various multi-hull racing classes are even faster.

Various one-design dinghy classes are raced at the Summer Olympic Games.

Larger yachts are also raced on harbours, but the most prestigious yacht races are point-to-point long distance races on the open ocean. Bad weather makes such races a considerable test of equipment and willpower just to finish, and from time to time boats and sailors are lost at sea. The longest such events are “round-the-world” races which can take months to complete, but better-known are events such as the Fastnet race in the United Kingdom and the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race along the east coast of Australia. As well as a first-past-the-post trophy (called “line honours”), boats may race under a handicap system that adjusts finishing times for the relative speeds of the boats’ design, theoretically offering each entrant an equal chance.

Scuba Diving

Scuba Diving

Scuba diving is swimming underwater while using self-contained breathing equipment.

By carrying a source of compressed air, the scuba diver is able to stay underwater longer than with the simple breath-holding techniques used in Snorkeling and Free-diving, and is not hindered by air-lines to a remote air source. The scuba diver typically swims underwater by using fins attached to the feet. However, some divers also move around with the assistance of a DPV (Diver Propulsion Vehicle), commonly referred to as a scooter, or by using surface-tethered devices called sleds, which are pulled by a boat.

Scuba diving

The term SCUBA arose during World War II and originally referred to USA combat frogmen’s oxygen rebreathers, developed by Dr. Christian Lambertsen for underwater warfare. Today, scuba typically usually refers to the in-line open-circuit equipment, developed by Emile Gagnan and Jacques-Yves Cousteau, in which compressed gas (usually air) is inhaled from a tank and then exhaled into the water. However, rebreathers (both semi-closed circuit and closed circuit) are also self-contained systems (as opposed to surface-supplied systems) and are therefore classified as scuba.

Although the word ‘SCUBA’ is an acronym for “Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus”, it has also become acceptable to refer to scuba as ‘scuba equipment’ or ‘scuba apparatus’.

Skiing & Snowboarding

Skiing & Snowboarding

Snow Skiing is a group of sports and activities holding in common the use of skis, devices which slide on snow and attach with ski bindings and ski boots to people’s feet. Skiing sports differ from snowshoeing in that skis slide, and they differ from ice-skating, water skiing, and in-line skating by being performed on snow. Although snowboarding shares the general characteristics of skiing sports, it evolved from surfing and skateboarding and so is not considered a type of skiing.

Skiing can be grouped into two general categories. Nordic skiing is the oldest category and includes sport that evolved from skiing as done in Scandinavia. Nordic style ski bindings attach at the toes of the skier’s ski boots, but not at the heels. Alpine skiing includes sports that evolved from skiing as done in the Alps. Alpine bindings attach at both the toe and the heel of ski boots. These two categories overlap with some sports potentially fitting into both. However, binding style and history indicate that each skiing sport is more one than the other. Some ski resorts, skiing sports such as Telemark skiing have elements of both categories, but its history in Telemark, Norway and free-heel binding style place Telemark skiing firmly in the Nordic category.

Snowboarding is a sport that involves descending a snow-covered slope on a snowboard that is attached to one’s feet using a boot/binding interface. It is similar to skiing, but inspired by surfing and skateboarding. The sport was developed in the United States in the 1960s and the 1970s and became a Winter Olympic Sport in 1998. Some of its pioneers include: Craig Kelly, Tom Sims, Ben Kenison, Jake Burton Carpenter, and Terry Kidwell. It is constantly increasing in popularity.

The history of snowboarding started with pioneers like Sherman Poppen (the inventor of the first commercially made snowboard called the Snurfer from Muskegon, Michigan), Jake Burton (founder of Burton Snowboards from Londonderry, Vermont), Tom Sims (founder of Sims Snowboards), Mike Olson (GNU Snowboards).

Dimitrije Milovich, an east coast surfer, had the idea of sliding on cafeteria trays. From this he started developing his snowboard designs. In 1972, he started a company called the Winterstick; by 1975, The Winterstick was mentioned in Newsweek magazine. The Winterstick was based on the design and feel of a surfboard, but worked the same way as skis.

The growing popularity of snowboarding is reflected by recognition of snowboarding as an official sport: in 1985, the first World Cup was held in Zrs, Austria. Due to the need for universal contest regulations, the ISA (International Snowboard Association) was founded in 1994. Today, high-profile snowboarding events like the Olympics, Winter X-Games, the US Open, and other events are broadcast to a worldwide audience. It is also notable that the sport has had a significant impact on such countries that are largely without snow, such as Australia, and Afghanistan.

Skydiving

Skydiving

Parachuting, or skydiving, is an activity involving a free-fall from a height using a parachute.

The history of skydiving began with a descent from a balloon by Andr-Jacques Garnerin in 1797. Skydiving has been used by the military since the early 1900s, including use in World War I and World War II. Early competitions date back to the 1930s, and it became an international sport in 1951.

Today it is performed as a recreational activity and a competitive sport, as well as for the deployment of military personnel and occasionally forest firefighters.

Procedure

Typically, a trained skydiver (or jumper) and a group of associates meet at an isolated airport, sometimes referred to as a dropzone. A fixed base operator at that airport usually operates one or more light cargo aircraft, and takes groups of skydivers up for a fee. In the earlier days of the sport, it was common for an individual jumper to go up in a Beech 18 or Douglas DC-3 aircraft for reasons of economy.

A typical jump involves individuals jumping out of aircraft (usually an airplane, but sometimes a helicopter or even the gondola of a balloon), travelling at approximately 4000 metres (around 13,000 feet) altitude, and free-falling for a period of time before activating a parachute to slow the landing down to safe speeds.

Once the parachute is opened, (usually the parachute will be fully inflated by 2,500 feet.) the jumper can control his or her direction and speed with cords called “steering lines,” with hand grips called “toggles” that are attached to the parachute, and so he or she can aim for the landing site and come to a relatively gentle stop in a safe landing environment. Most modern sport parachutes are self-inflating “ram-air” wings that provide control of speed and direction similar to the related paragliders. (Purists in either sport would note that paragliders have much greater lift and range, but that parachutes are designed to absorb the stresses of deployment at terminal velocity.)

Many skydivers skydive because it is the closest one can get to the dream of flying. Skydiving is the only aerial activity where the body is the flying instrument instead of a machine. By manipulating the shape of the body, as a pilot manipulates the shape of his aircraft’s wings, turns, forward motion, backwards motion, and even lift can be generated. Experienced skydivers will tell someone that in freefall, one can do anything a bird can do, except go back up.

Skydivers generally do not experience a “falling” sensation due to the fact that they reach terminal velocity (around 120 mph for belly to Earth orientations, 150-200 mph for head down orientations) and are no longer accelerating towards the ground. This lack of “falling” sensation does not exist when they leave the plane, as their momentum from the plane causes the acceleration forces to be slow as their direction of travel changes from the direction of the airplane’s flight to the direction pulled by the force of gravity. Skydivers call this transition period “the hill”, and the amount of distance they fly with the plane due to the momentum is called “forward throw”. Acceleration is what causes the “stomach in your throat” feeling on a roller-coaster or other amusement park rides.

Most skydivers make their first jump with an experienced and trained instructor (this type of skydive may be in the form of a tandem skydive). During the tandem jump the jumpmaster is responsible for the stable exit, maintaining a proper stable freefall position, and activating and controlling the parachute. With training and experience, the fear of the first few jumps is supplanted by the tact of controlling fear so that one may come to experience the satisfaction of mastering aerial skills and performing increasingly complicated maneuvers in the sky with friends. Other training methods include static line, IAD (Instructor Assisted Deployment), and AFF (Accelerated Free-Fall) aka Progressive Free-Fall (PFF) in Canada.

Backpacking

Backpacking (also tramping or trekking or bushwalking in some countries) combines hiking and camping in a single trip. A backpacker hikes into the backcountry to spend one or more nights there, and carries supplies and equipment to satisfy sleeping and eating needs.

A backpacker packs all of his or her gear into a backpack. This gear must include food, water, and shelter, or the means to obtain them, but very little else, and often in a more compact and simpler form than one would use for stationary camping. A backpacking trip must include at least one overnight stay in the wilderness (otherwise it is a day hike). Many backpacking trips last just a weekend (one or two nights), but long-distance expeditions may last weeks or months, sometimes aided by planned food and supply drops.

Backpacking camps are more spartan than ordinary camps. In areas that experience a regular traffic of backpackers, a hike-in camp might have a fire ring and a small wooden bulletin board with a map and some warning or information signs. Many hike-in camps are no more than level patches of ground without scrub or underbrush. In very remote areas, established camps do not exist at all, and travelers must choose appropriate camps themselves.

In some places, backpackers have access to lodging that are more substantial than a tent. In the more remote parts of Great Britain, bothies exist to provide simple (free) accommodation for backpackers. Another example is the High Sierra Camps in Yosemite National Park. Mountain huts provide similar accommodation in other countries, so being a member of a mountain hut organization is advantageous (perhaps required) to make use of their facilities. On other trails (e.g. the Appalachian Trail) there are somewhat more established shelters of a sort that offer a place for weary hikers to spend the night without needing to set up a tent.

Most backpackers purposely try to avoid impacting on the land through which they travel. This includes following established trails as much as possible, not removing anything, and not leaving residue in the backcountry. The Leave No Trace movement offers a set of guidelines for low-impact backpacking (Leave nothing but footprints. Take nothing but photos. Kill nothing but time.).

Windsurfing

Windsurfing

Windsurfing is a surface water sport using a windsurf board, also commonly called a sailboard, usually two to five meters long and powered by a single sail. The rig is connected to the board by a free-rotating flexible joint called the Universal Joint (U-Joint). Unlike a rudder-steered sailboat, a windsurfer is steered by the tilting and rotating of the mast and sail as well as tilting and carving the board.

The sport combines aspects of both sailing and surfing, along with certain athletic aspects shared with other board sports like skateboarding, snowboarding, waterskiing, and wakeboarding. Although it might be considered a minimalistic version of a sailboat, a windsurfer offers experiences that are outside the scope of any other sailing craft design. A windsurfer holds the world speed record for sailing craft (see below); and, windsurfers can perform jumps, inverted loops, spinning maneuvers, and other freestyle moves that cannot be matched by any sailboat. Windsurfers were the first to ride the world’s largest waves, such as Jaws on the island of Maui, and, with very few exceptions, it was not until the advent of tow-in surfing that waves of that size became accessible to surfers.

Windsurfing includes speed sailing, slalom, course racing, wave sailing, superX, and freestyle as distinct disciplines.

Though windsurfing is possible in winds from near 0 to 50 knots, the ideal planing conditions for most recreational sailors is 15-25 knots, with lighter winds resulting in displacement mode sailing.

Lessons can be taken with a school. With coaching and favorable conditions, the basic skills of sailing, steering, and turning can be learned within a few hours. Competence in the sport and mastery of more advanced maneuvers such as planing, carve gybing (turning downwind at speed), water starting, jumping, and more advanced moves can require lengthy practice.

Wakeboarding

Wakeboarding

Wakeboards are lively with the essence of the rule of foam or honeycomb, mixed with resin and fiberglass. Metal screws are inserted to create ties and fins.

The configuration and positioning of the cooling fins and bonds varies depending on the preference drivers and is used for a variety of reasons. A wakeboarder is changing the nature of the Finns, he uses for the various kinds of tricks. For example, shallow fins (those who do not hold deep in the water) are better for flat turns (surface tricks).

Ties are sometimes exploding in a way allows the driver to the back on the board (also known as a “switch” or “Fakie”). New drivers will sometimes establishment of ties with a comfortable ride, natural direction. If, however, they need to ride it fit to change their ties as it can be painful and dangerous for the trip with certain configurations authentic.

The lines, tow wakeboarders are like water-skiing ropes, but often, not stretchable material such as spectra or dynema so that the driver line-building tensions in the execution of tricks.

Beginners wakeboarders usually start at slower speeds in order to cushion their fall. A common starting point is 14-20 km / h They also typically use shorter cables, in order to facilitate clearing of impact, because the result is narrower than the driver is closer to the boat.

The speed and length of the cord, where wakeboarders ride is often set to personal style and weather conditions.

Like many freestyle sports like snowboarding and surfing, it is almost a separate language of terms to describe various tricks. The more height, the more “pop”. Therefore, the edge of the driver is very important to look at the amount of jump. Heading for the breast after which the boat is known as heelside edge