|(Here, the term "sport" is used very loosely.)
“Noodling” is the practice of putting your bare hand into a catfish hole and “fishing” for catfish using the hand as bait. Catfish are usually easy to catch, as they have fairly static homes and can live in relatively shallow holes in rivers or lakes. To catch the fish, the noodler places their hand inside a catfish hole and waits for the fish to latch on. A typical weight for a flathead catfish is 18kg, but can reach 56kg, so it’s advised you take a friend to help you drag your catfish catch home. This is also a sensible safety precaution, as noodling seems to come with a high risk of injury: it’s not uncommon to sustain deep cuts, or even lose fingers from bites or infection, but the biggest threat is posed by unexpected marine life hiding in the catfish hole - alligators, snakes, beavers, muskrats and snapping turtles also enjoy a nice little nook, and make for a far less friendly hitchhiker. Noodling is practiced mainly in the Southern U.S., although it is illegal in many states, and is also known as: grabbling, hogging, gurgling, tickling, stumping, dogging, and, I’m assuming for a very literal reason, deep-throating.
From catfishing to yak skiing... the extreme sport of yak skiing is practiced in the Indian Hill resort of Manali as a popular tourist attraction. It involves a skiier waiting at the bottom of a slope while attached by a rope and pulley to a yak at the top of the slope. On pulling the rope, and shaking some tasty pony nuts, the bilious yak will charge down the hill, thus pulling the skiier upwards at enormous speed. The originator of the sport, Mr Dorje, has this advice: "Never shake the bucket of nuts before you're tied to the yak rope”.
Speaking of yaks, if you’re ever in the Himalayas you may be interested in a playing a quick game of yak polo. Yes, yak polo. For all intents and purposes it’s exactly the same as equine polo, but played by men in little fluffy hats and with the risky addition of bovine horns.
Now a knight’s move leap from yak polo to chessboxing - which is, astonishingly, a combination of speed chess and boxing. If you’re anything like me, right now you’re struggling to understand how the boxing component doesn’t seriously risk knocking the chess board over, but rest assured, the chess and the boxing are run on alternative rounds. The sport was developed by Dutch performance artist Lepe Rubingh, and it quickly spread into a competitive sport, with its first major contest held in Berlin in 2003. The game consists of 11 rounds, with 6 rounds of chess and 5 rounds of boxing, with each round lasting around 3 minutes. For those who have both brains and brawn, this could be the perfect sport - the World Chess Boxing website is very thorough if you want to know more. http://worldchessboxing.com/
Coming back round to watersports, have you heard about pumpkin kayaking? A few special places in the U.S., including Windsor, Nova Scotia, and Tualatin, Oregon, have annual Pumpkin Regattas, in which the oarsman ‘squashes’ themself into a giant hollowed out pumpkin and paddles a half mile course while in hot competition with other man-powered vegetable-vessels. Not a natural hydrodynamic shape, the pumpkin boat does have a tendency to capsize or get stuck on rocks, but the tenacity of the pumpkin rowers usually wins out and the winner is presented with $200, a carved wooden pumpkin trophy, and the unassailable satisfaction of being crowned “fastest pumpkin kayaker”.
If pumpkin kayaking isn’t for you, maybe you’d be more suited to something a little more dangerous.... something like extreme ironing. Extreme Ironing is considered a sport and a performance art in which people take ironing boards to remote or dangerous locations and iron items of clothing. According to the Extreme Ironing Bureau, EI is “the latest danger sport that combines the thrills of an extreme outdoor activity with the satisfaction of a well-pressed shirt”. My personal favourite is currently a man who performed a base-jump iron - a daring feat, and an extravagant way to give your laundry that “fresh air” smell.
Oh, and dog surfing. It may be not a human sport, but they have competitions and it’s entirely adorable:
Last edited by alicecd24 on Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:50 am; edited 1 time in total