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Extreme sports classification

While you might be interested in taking an adventure holiday brimming with extreme sports, it can be hard to distinguish what is classed as an extreme sport. The term tends to be increasingly broad and depends on what company you're travelling with and your age group.

What exactly is an extreme sport?

Extreme sports are any sports which are considered to have a certain amount of risk or ones in which the rate of injury is high. They'll often be less common sports and will include thrill-seeking elements such as extreme heights, speed and altitude. You must usually be physically fit to participate in these as a lot of physical exertion is required and you'll normally have to invest in specialist gear for protection.

What activities do our travel insurance policies cover?

Cover level
Activities
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Covered as standard (Additional Activity Pack 1) - Aerobics, Amateur Athletic Field Events, Amateur Athletic Track Events, Angling/Fishing (freshwater), Animal Sanctuary (non big game), Archery, Badminton, Bamboo Rafting, Banana Boating, Bar Work, Baseball, Basketball, Billiards, Bird Watching, Board & Card Games, Bodyboarding, Boules, Bowling, Bowls, Bridge Swinging, Bungee Jumping, Camel/Elephant Riding.Trekking (UK booked), Camping, Canoeing/Kayaking (White water grades 1-3), Caracanning, Catamaran Sailing (In-shore), Clay Pigeon Shooting, Cricket, Croquet, Cross Country Running, curling, Cycle touring/Leisure Biking (Up to 1,000m), Dancing, Darts, Disco Golf, Diving (Indoor up to 5m), Dragon Boat Racing, Fencing, Fives, Flag Football, Flying as Passenger (private/small aircraft/helicopter), Football.Soccer (Practice/Training), Frisbee (Recreational), Golf, Handball (Practice/Training), Highland Games, Horse Riding (No jumping), Hot Air Ballooning, Indoor Skating (Not ice), Jet Boating, Jet Skiing, Kiting, Korfball, Laser Tag, Low Ropes, Marathons, Mini-Golf, Model Flying, Model Sports, Mountain Biking (Up to 1,000m), Netball, Orienteering, Petanque, Peteca, Pigeon Racing, Pony Trekking, Pool, Quoits, Rackets, Racquetball, Rafting (White Water grades 1-3), Re-Enactment, Rifle Range, Ringos, River Punting, Rollerblading/Skating (Not ice)/Skateboarding/Scooters (Non-motorised), Rounders, Rowing (Inshore - recreational) Safari (UK organised), Safari Trekking (UK organised), Sailing/Yachting (Recreational - inshore), Scuba Diving (Not solo up to maximum 30m), Segway (Supervised non-competitive), Snorkelling (Inside marked areas and/or with lifeguard present), Softball, Squash, Stoolball, Swimming (Inside marked areas and/or with lifeguard present), Swimming off a boat (With a qualified supervisor in attendance - i.e. a lifeguard), Swimming with Dolphins (Inside marked areas and/or with lifeguard present), Sydney Harbour Bridge Climbing (Professional organised and supervised), Table Tennis, Ten Pin bowling, Tennis, Theme Parks, Trekking/Mountain/Walking/Hiking/Rambling/Mountaineering (in group, all up to 1,000m), Tubing, Tug of War, Unicycle Riding, Volleyball, Water Parks, Whale Watching (professionally organised), Yachting (Inshore - crewing), Yoga.
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Additional Activity Pack 2 - Abseiling (Indoor/Outdoor climbing wall up to 25m), Adventure Racing (up to 6 hours), Airsoft, American Football - Training (Organised and with safety equipment), Angling/Fishing (Sea), Assault Courses (No high ropes), Camel/Elephant Riding/Trekking (non-UK booked), Climbing (Indoor/Outdoor climbing wall up to 25m), Diving (Indoor up to 10m), Dry Slope Skiing, Falconry, Fell Running (up to 2,000m), Fly Boarding, Football/Soccer (Organised amateur match), Frisbee (Ultimate Frisbee), Gailic Football (Training), Gorilla Trekking (Booked pe-trip, requires appropriate trekking altitude pack), Gymnastics, Handball (Organised Amatuer Match), Hockey (Field, organised amateur match), Ice Skating, Iron Man, Judo (Organised training), Karate (Organised training), Kendo (Organised training), Lacrosse, Martial Arts (Organised training), Mountain Biking (up to 2,000m) Paintballing, Parasailing, Parascending (Over water), Rap Running/Jumping (Indoor/Outdoor climbing wall up to 25m), Rugby (Training), Safari (non UK booked), Safari Trekking (non UK booked), Sand Yachting, Sea Canoeing/Kayaking (Inshore), Shark Diving/Swimming (Cage), Shinty, Street Hockey, Surf Life-Saving (organised competition), Surfing, Tough Mudder, Trampolining, Trekking/Mountain Walking/Hiking/Rambling/Mountaineering (in group) all up to 2,000m, Triathlon, War Games/Paintballing, Water Polo, Water Skiing (No jumping), Weight Lifting, Windsurfing/Boardsailing/Sailboarding, Wrestling (Organised Training), Zip Lining/Zip Trekking (booked pre-trip - requires appropriate trekking altitude pack).
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Additional Activity Pack 3 - Adventure Racing (Up to 12 hours), American Football Amateur Match (Organised and with safety equipment), Animal Sanctuary (Big game), Biathlon, Big Foot Skiing, Blade Skating, Breathing Observation Bubble (BOB), Canoeing/Kayaking (White Water grade 4), Canyoning, Cat Skiing, Equestrian, Flying (Crew/Pilot), Flying Helicopter (Pilot), Gaelic Football (Amateur Match), Glacier Walking, Gliding (Non-competitive), Go Karting, Gorge Walking (With ropes), Gorilla Trekking (booked during trip - requires appropriate trekking altitude pack), Harness Racing, Hockey (Ice, with full body protection), Horse Jumping (No Polo, no Hunting), Horse Riding (Eventing), Husky Dog Sledding, Hydro Zorbing, Ice Fishing, Kick Sledging, Land Skiing, Langlauf, Modern Pentathlon, Mono-Skiing, Mountain Boarding, Octopush, Off-road Motorcycling (up to 250cc), Off-piste skiing/Snowboarding (with guide), Passenger Sledge, Power Boating (Inshore), Power Lifting, Quad Bikes (Providing you wear a helmet) Rafting (White Water grade 4), River Tubing, Rodeo, Roller Derby (Safety equipment must be worn), Roller Hockey, Rugby (Amateur Match), Sand Boarding, Sand Dune Surfing/Skiing, Ski Boarding, Ski Bobbing, Ski Dooing, Skiing, Skiing - Nordic/Cross Country, Sledging/Tobogganing, Sleigh Riding (Reindeer, Horses or Dogs), Snorkelling (Outside marked areas and/or without lifeguard present), Snow Biking, Snow Mobile/Ski Doos, Snow Parascending, Snow Scooting, Snow Shoe Walking, Snow Tubing, Snowcat Driving, Speed Sailing, (Inshore), Speed Skating, Speed Trials/Time Trials (Organised not public roads), Summer Tobogganing, Swimming (Outside marked areas and/or without lifeguard present), Swimming off of a boat (Unsupervised and/or no lifeguard), Swimming with Dolphins (Outside marked areas and/or without a lifeguard present), Telemarking, Tree Top Canopy Walking, Under 17 Driving (Not public roads), Zip Lining / Zip Trekking (Booked during trip - requires appropriate trekking altitude pack), Zorb Football.
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Additional Activity Pack 4 - Abseiling (Outdoor above 25m), Blowcarting/Land Yachting/Kite Buggy, Boxing Training (Head guard must be worn), Caving/Pot Holing, Climbing (Rock and Ice - harnessed up to 4,000m), Devil Karting, Dirt Boarding, Fell Running (up to 3,000m), Gorge Walking (No ropes), Heli-Skiiing, High Diving (Indoor/Outdoor swimming pools only, Hurling, Hydrospeeding, Ice Go Carting, Ice Windsurfing, Jousting, Kite-boarding/Surfing, Motorised Buggying, Mountain Biking (up to 3,000m), Paragliding, Paramotoring, Parascending (Over land), Polo, Polo Cross, Rap Running/Jumping (Outdoor above 25m), River Bugging, Roller Skating (24 hour relay), Skeleton, Ski Biking, Ski Blading/Snow Blading, Ski, Joering, Skiing (Snowcat/Freestyle/Glacier), Ski Mountaineering (Up to 4,000m), Ski Randonee, Ski Run/Walking (Up to 4,000m), Ski Touring, Snow Karting, Snow Kiting, Snow Surfing, Trekking/Mountain Walking/Hiking/Mountaineering (In group, up to 4,000m), Via Ferrata, Wake Boarding, Water Skiing, Wind Tunnel Flying/Indoor Sky Diving, Zorbing/Sphering.

What are the most popular extreme sports?

In the UK, there are many spots that are perfect for windsurfing, making it one of the most popular extreme sports. Windsurfing is a cross between sailing and surfing, where the sail is attached to a thin board on which you can travel on the surface of the sea.

Rock climbing is another popular extreme sport; you're attached to a safety rope and from here, you must attempt to climb up the rock provided. Although many people do this on natural features such as cliffs, there are many climbing walls around the UK where beginners can practice

Are extreme sports dangerous?

By their nature and title, extreme sports do carry a large amount of risk if the proper precautions are not taken. However, you can be covered for participation in extreme sports if you take out the right extra sports travel insurance, which can cover you in the event of helicopter assistance or other medical care. You should always wear the correct equipment to protect your body if you fall or something goes wrong. That being said, you should always listen to instructors or guides of whatever sport you're doing. You could end up invalidating your policy if you incur an injury by not using the prescribed safety equipment advised by your instructor. Also, if you're not sure on an activity, don't give into peer pressure, only ever participate in the activity if you feel totally comfortable with it.


Holiday Extras Cover Ltd and Holiday Extras Ltd are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Holiday Extras Cover Ltd 05058680 and Holiday Extras Ltd 01693250 are registered in England and Wales. Registered address: Ashford Road, Newingreen, Kent CT21 4JF.

Holiday Extras is underwritten by Travel Insurance Facilities plc which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered address: 2nd Floor, 1 Tower View, Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent, ME19 4UY. Company number 03220410.