Do you like to walk on the wilder side of the concrete jungle? Are you always in pursuit of the next rush of adrenaline? Do you always crave a new and exciting challenge? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you might be an adrenaline junkie.
Luckily for you, NYC has a ton of sports opportunities for all sorts of extreme athletes. From daring physical tests of strength to mind-bending virtual thrills, there’s always a way to get your adrenaline fix in the big city.
If you’re searching for the ultimate rush, this NYC extreme sports guide has you covered. First, we’ll get to the bottom of why so many of us feel drawn to risky situations. Then, we’ll talk about a few extreme sports options in NYC and how to get in on the action. Keep reading to find out where you can find your next heart-pumping adventure in NYC.
Why Extreme Fun Is Becoming a Bigger Craze
Do you feel like there’s no way you could ever get enough adventure in your life? If you seek thrills like it’s your job, you’re not alone — and science might be able to explain it. Researchers have found that those constantly on the lookout for the next adrenaline rush don’t just crave it, they thrive on it.
In the 1980s, psychology professor Frank Fraley first used the term “Type T” to describe thrill-seekers and those who seek variety, novelty, risk, and intensity. Since then, studies have confirmed most Type T people were born that way and can’t help but long for excitement and meaningful challenges. From a biological standpoint, both the amount of white matter in the brain and levels of specific neurochemicals, such as dopamine and testosterone, affect your natural inclination to enjoy taking extreme risks.
The rest of what contributes to someone’s thirst for adventure is psychological and related to personality. Most daredevils are energetic, creative, independent, and self-reliant. When we conquer daunting challenges like swimming with sharks or riding a giant rollercoaster, we feel confident and in control of our fate — we overcame the terror and proved we can survive intense conditions. This sensation floods us with a rush of adrenaline that makes us ecstatic enough to take more risks.
Nowadays, there are more ways than ever to seek exhilarating thrills in a safe environment. From escape rooms to simulators, the extreme fun craze has caught on across the nation. There are different types of extreme fun — some prefer the feeling of being scared silly, while others lean toward completing seemingly insurmountable feats. It’s only a matter of figuring out what adventure you’re most interested in and what kind of risks you’re willing to take.
5 Adrenaline-Pumping Activities in NYC
With so many extreme sports options, it can be hard to know where to begin. To help you decide where to start your thrill-seeking journey, we’ve put together a list of the top five adrenaline-pumping activities in NYC. This list includes a little something for everyone, from exciting ventures for the younger generation to more extreme undertakings for those a little bit older.
Get one step closer in your pursuit of the rush by check out these five awesome activities for adrenaline junkies in NYC.
1. Axe-Throwing Competitions
What could be more daring and exciting than hurling axes through the air? It might sound like an activity that went out of style with the Vikings, but axe throwing has been steadily growing in popularity across the United States and recently became an official sport. In particular, this extreme sport has quickly become a favorite way of testing strength and accuracy, especially among the younger generations.
Axe throwing is similar to darts in the sense that you compete with another player for points by throwing a sharp object at a target. The notable difference, of course, is that axes are much larger, sharper and heavier than darts. To prevent any injuries, axe-throwing competitions take place in cages, which create a secure environment and make the sport very safe.
The exact rules of axe throwing may differ depending on what facility is hosting the tournament, but most stick to the World Axe Throwing League’s (WATL) official rulebook. These rules are fairly standard, and most axe-throwing venues, like Live Axe, abide by them.
In a traditional axe-throwing competition, two players will face off against each other in the cage simultaneously, but each will take aim at a separate wooden target. The bullseye on the target consists of four rings with a tiny circle drawn on each side of the top section between the two outermost rings. These two circles are the killshots.
Each player gets 10 turns within the game, alternating who throws each time. The champion is the thrower with more points at the end of the 10 rounds. You’ll earn points for each turn based on where your axe lands on the bullseye.
Here’s what each axe position is worth.
- Outermost ring: 1 point
- Second outermost ring: 2 points
- Third outermost ring: 3 points
- Fourth outermost ring: 4 points
- Bullseye: 6 points
- Killshot: 8 points
It’s essential to note that the killshot is only an option during the fifth and 10th turns, and the player must call their shot before hitting it to earn the eight points. If there’s a tie after 10 rounds, the game goes to sudden death, where only killshots count for points.
These are the WATL’s official rules of axe throwing, but there are variations to the sport such as duals, calling targets, cornhole, around the world, and even humans vs. zombies. No matter which way you pick to play, this daring game of skill and strength is the perfect heart-pumping sport.
2. Skydiving Over the Skyline
For some thrill-seekers, flying is the ultimate sensation. But since we can’t sprout wings like a bird, skydiving is the next best thing. And if you’re going to skydive, you might as well do it over some gorgeous scenery like the NYC skyline. Long Island Skydiving offers tandem jumping for first-time jumpers and veterans alike, conveniently located only 50 miles from the heart of the city.
If you’re a novice, you’ll need to complete a training course, and you might even have to pass written and practical tests before boarding the plane. These tests aim to give you the confidence you need to use sound decision-making skills throughout your first skydiving experience. Your first jump will be a tandem jump with an instructor, which should alleviate any first-jump jitters. Knowing you’re in the instructor’s capable hands, you can relax and soak up the sky!
Keep in mind that anyone interested in skydiving in the U.S. needs to meet the basic safety requirements outlined by the United States Parachute Association in their Skydiver’s Information Manual.
3. Laser Tag
If you’ve ever seen the classic NYC-set show “How I Met Your Mother,” you know laser tag is fun for the young and old alike. A competitive game of laser tag will give you the same adrenaline rush of accomplishing a secret assassin mission with the added fun of neon laser lights. Work with your teammates and get strategic about your plan of attack to combine the thrill of charging into battle with the unending satisfaction of outwitting your opponents.
Laser tag makes an ideal game to play with friends, family, and even co-workers because it encourages teams to work together and come up with imaginative solutions. Depending on the theme of the laser tag venue you choose, you could be fending off zombies, dodging laser beam land mines, or racing around famous New York City landmarks. There are tons of great laser tag options in NYC, but some of our favorites include Area 53 Laser Tag, Indoor Extreme Sports, and Bowlmor Chelsea Piers.
Regardless of which venue you choose, laser tag proves the rush of adventure and childlike excitement of dodging lasers doesn’t have to fade, no matter how old you get.
4. Go-Kart Racing
Go-kart racing is another exhilarating sport for both the young and young at heart. If you want the same adrenaline rush of being a high-speed NASCAR driver at Daytona without undergoing years of intensive training, go-karting is your new go-to activity. Most commercial go-karts can reach speeds fast enough to make your pulse quicken, with the fastest go-kart in the world accelerating to 60 mph in just 1.5 seconds.
If you’re looking to take your go-kart game to the next level, you can search for go-kart racing leagues near you. Most areas have youth go-kart racing organizations and many have leagues for adults as well. Top-quality go-kart race tracks in NYC include Karts Indoor Amusement Center, which paints their go-karts to look like mini NASCAR racecars, and Grand Prix New York, which features year-round go-kart racing excitement along with other attractions like a daring ninja course and bowling lanes.
Whether you’re a serious racer or a more laid-back go-kart enthusiast, a trip to the go-kart tracks will be sure to scratch your adrenaline itch. Just make sure that everyone meets the age and height requirements if you plan on taking any younger thrill-seekers along for the ride.
5. Experience Thrills in Virtual Reality
With modern technology, you don’t have to physically play an extreme sport to experience a heart-pounding adrenaline rush. Thanks to virtual reality, you can feel the same sensations of walking a plank off a skyscraper without risking an 80-story plummet to the streets below. Virtual reality also lets you become someone else for a while by choosing your character before beginning your simulation.
Virtual reality doesn’t have to be a solo adventure. Invite some friends to share in the excitement and work as a team to overcome life-threatening situations. At Escape Virtuality in NYC, you and your squad can take on The Raft, a cooperative virtual reality game that challenges players to work together to survive attacks from vicious supernatural beings coming at them from every direction.
Escape Virtuality also offers an immersive virtual reality experience with an omnidirectional treadmill specifically designed to give players full range of motion while making them feel as if they’re inside the simulation — now that’s futuristic.
How to Get Involved in an Axe-Throwing Sports League
If you’re seeking a tight-knit extreme sports community along with some thrills, consider getting involved with an axe-throwing sports league. Signing up for a league gives you a weekly source of excitement and a reliable source for tracking your axe-throwing stats to measure your improvement as the weeks go on. As the first axe-throwing venue of its kind in Manhattan, Live Axe is a perfect spot for joining an official axe-throwing league in NYC. Memberships in the the Live Axe league are open to anyone over age 18 at a flat rate of $175.
Once you enter the World Axe Throwing League, you become eligible for the National Axe Throwing Championships. Your local axe-throwing league will meet once per week and give you a specific number of competitive throws each time — we recommend showing up on time or early if you want to get in any practice throws. After you’ve completed all your throws, the league will tally up your overall score at the end of the night to keep track of your individual record, rather than how well you did compared to your opponent. Those with the top scores after the regular season will advance to the Axe Throwing League Championships.
Even if you don’t bring home the championship trophy, you’ll still gain strong friendships from joining an axe-throwing league. Getting more involved with the sport will introduce you to people with similar interests and the same taste for adventure in a fun environment. Whether you’re meeting new friends or signing up with a group of old ones, there’s nothing like throwing some axes with people while enjoying some good brews together. We wouldn’t be surprised if your axe-throwing competitions become the highlight of your week!
Try One of NYC’s Newest Extreme Sports at Live Axe
If you’re searching for a new thrill in NYC, book your axe-throwing session at Live Axe today. Reserving your time slot at Live Axe will ensure you get plenty of turns in the cage, plus expert advice from an experienced coach. After you fall in love with the sport, you can sign up to join the official axe-throwing league at Live Axe to continue sharpening your skills.
For more information about joining an axe-throwing league in NYC and releasing your inner Viking, contact Live Axe today.