For some, simply partaking in extreme activities is not enough — only the longest, fastest, most adrenaline-pumping endeavors will suffice. If this label applies to you, here are a few undertakings that are right up your alley.
Most Dangerous Whitewater Rapids
Any ‘most dangerous’ superlative is somewhat debatable, but the whitewater rapids found in Idaho’s Lochsa River speak for themselves. During the 70-mile stretch between the towns of Powell and Lowell, rafters will encounter 63 different rapids that are certified as Class III or higher, many of which carry ominous names like ‘Termination’ or ‘Grim Reaper’. Rafters of all abilities are welcome, but make no mistake: only seasoned pros with extensive rapids experience should venture down the Lochsa.
The world is home to some truly gnarly waves, from the teahupoo of southern Tahiti to the time-honored Mavericks of northern California. But arguably the most diabolical swells, known collectively as Cyclops, churn in the Esperance Coast off Australia’s western shoreline. Reachable only by boat (which should be your first clue right there), Cyclops exhibits dramatic depth change that generates vicious, oval-shaped barrels. The coast is also shallow, so surfers that land the swell must contend with sharp patches of coral that reside on the ocean floor.
Coldest Polar Bear Swim
We all know that every Polar Bear Swim is cold in its own right. That’s, uh, sort of the point. But if the typical dip in Lake Michigan is too warm and relaxing for your taste, consider a plunge in the North Pole. In 2007, an Englishman named Lewis Gordon Pugh swam more than one kilometer in waters that reached a temperature of ‑1.7 degrees Celsius/29 degrees Fahrenheit. We’re not saying you have to complete a long-distance swim — just the typical cannonball will do. This is the North Pole.
Highest Bungee Jump
The Royal Gorge Bridge in Colorado is the world’s highest bungee-jumping spot by a margin of nearly 100 meters, but this thrilling plunge is rarely available to customers as a ‘true’ bungee jump. So the honor of ‘world’s highest commercial bungee’ goes to China — more specifically, the Macau Tower. A New Zealander named Alan John Hackett set the Guinness World Record for his 233-meter jump in 2007, and aerodynamic bungee enthusiasts are welcome to take a stab at his record.
Located in secluded Icy Strait Point near Hoonah, Alaska, the world’s largest zipline stretches more than a mile in length and drops more than 1,300 vertical feet — not bad, for a 90-second excursion. Six riders hit the line at once, and reach an top speed of 82 miles per hour before the ride is finished. And like all great ziplines, the Icy Strait Point course offers a breathtaking view — in this case, of the Alaskan coastal wilderness and miles of frigid seawater.
Bonus: Fastest Roller Coaster
Those prone to motion sickness need not strap into the Formula Rossa in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The world’s fastest roller coaster reaches a top speed of 240 kilometers an hour, and riders are subjected to 1.7 g’s of acceleration. This ride is so extreme that those brave enough to ride must wear a set of protective goggles for the entire 2‑kilometer course track. Best of all — each passenger car is designed to resemble a Ferrari Formula One model.