Ultimate Guide To Extreme Sports Around Tampa


Extreme sports are recreational activities characterized by a higher degree of risk and uncertainty than regular athletic events. These extreme sports are performed at significant heights above the ground and faster speeds or include the use of highly specialized equipment. Participants are often subjected to natural or unusual physical challenges that also require fast and accurate cognitive skills in order to produce a successful outcome. Attracting younger participants, extreme sports are more individual oriented than many traditional athletic events that typically require groups or teams.

Brief History of Extreme Sports in Florida

Extreme sports, once the purview of rebellious individuals and adrenaline junkies performing outrageous stunts, are attracting a broader segment of the population. Advertisers began marketing extreme sports worldwide in the 1960s. Spurred on by the wider media coverage, windsurfing hit the Sunshine State during that same decade. While the first BMX league was formed in Florida in 1974, the state’s initial skateboard park opened in 1977. As the popularity of various Tampa extreme sports has grown, they have become entrenched in modern sports culture. Many of these adrenaline-pumping activities have become available in the Tampa area. This has led to the opening of adventure courses and training centers like TreeUmph!, Southwest Florida's first treetop obstacle course, which opened in 2012.

Types of Extreme Sports by Land, Sea and Air

With changes occurring to established sports and the addition of new ones, it can be difficult to keep an accurate list of extreme sports. While staying up-to-date can be a challenge, some well-known extreme sports can be divided based on the environment in which they occur.

Those wanting to enjoy a land-based activity can try one of the following activities:

  • Rock Climbing: Vertical Ventures with two locations in the Tampa area
  • Motocross: Croom Park in Brooksville, FL
  • Skateboarding: Payne Park in Sarasota, FL and Riverwalk in Bradenton, FL
  • Parkour: Rad Parkour in Sarasota, FL
  • Mud Runs: Mud Endeavor and Savage races/Spartan Races
  • Ninja Warrior Courses: TreeUmph! Bradenton, FL and Evo Athletics Sarasota, FL

Individuals looking to take on the waves should participate in waterborne activities like:

  • Kitesurfing: Kite Boarding St Petersburg, Island Style Watersports Sarasota, FL
  • Wakeboarding: Sarasota Wind and Water Adventures, California Surf and Skate Sarasota, FL
  • Whitewater Rafting: unfortunately the Tampa area does not have the terrain for white water rafting
  • Scuba Diving: Kapu Kai Divers, Corp Springhill, FL, Tanks A Lot Dive Charters Clearwater, FL, ScubaQuest, Florida Underwatersports,

For those who would rather feel the wind in their hair, adventure sports taking place in the air include:

  • Skydiving: Florida Sky Diving Center Lake Wales, FL, and Indoor Sky Diving: iFly Tampa
  • Bungee jumping
  • Ziplining: TreeUmph! Bradenton, Zip the Canyons, Ocala, FL, Forever Florida, St Cloud, FL.

In some cases, the sport may even combine multiple environments like a triathlon.

Why TreeUmph! is a Safer Alternative to Many Extreme Sports

TreeUmph! is a sprawling adventure sports center where the trees have been transformed into a series of physically and mentally challenging courses. While some outdoor adventure sports can pose an extreme risk, TreeUmph! is very safe. The premier aerial adventure park uses Clic-iT® smart belay technology. This state-of-the-art, innovative equipment helps prevent the simultaneous, accidental opening of both locking devices. As a result, you will be attached securely to a safety line while climbing and moving through the obstacle courses.

While fun is important, safety is always the top priority. The guides have extensive training to ensure that they understand the equipment and how to safely assist a guest at any point during his or her adventure should the need arise. Guests receive 30 minutes of training before beginning their adventure that includes an instructional video, hands on training with the safety gear and the need to successfully complete a practice course under the direct supervision of a guide.

Benefits of Training at TreeUmph!

People are encouraged to get regular exercise to manage stress and improve their overall fitness. Taking the workout outside is the perfect way to add adventure to an exercise routine. Along with self-discovery, adventure sports teach individuals self-reliance while encouraging them to leave their comfort zone. Extreme sports work different muscle groups for a balanced workout. They also burn more calories than a normal exercise routine. These characteristics result in increased self-confidence, improved self-esteem and better health as you increase muscle, lose weight and obtain better overall fitness.

TreeUmph! encourages you to try new activities even if you may have previously thought you did not have the skills or ability to participate. This helps you to realize things about yourself that you did not know. It is a great way to build confidence and a positive mental attitude. An Australian study published in the “Journal of Health Psychology” found that extreme sports and risky physical challenges give your mind a boost. Overcoming fears and a lack of faith in yourself increases a sense of fulfillment and improves mental well-being that helps in other areas of your life.

As you traverse the course, you rely on your ability to communicate and work with the team to achieve a common goal. Studies have shown that socialization is essential for cognitive function. The emotional and physical benefits include improved problem-solving, better health and a positive attitude. The skills help you better handle other stressful situations in the future.

As extreme sports push you to your limits, they also help you gain the ability to stay focused and centered. The brain uses the natural amino acid neuropeptide Y to regulate anxiety. Yale Medical School research found that exposure to stressful situations like extreme sports can increase the amount of this brain chemical in the body. Higher levels of this neurotransmitter help make you a more resilient person.

Extreme sports are becoming more popular. These activities have been linked to positive mental and physical health as well as better social interactions. Once you are ready to begin your adventure and get the adrenaline flowing, TreeUmph! has a course designed to satisfy your inner thrill-seeker!