Catching Some Air
You love skateboarding, but hate to give up kitesurfing. High-diving is a blast, but you’ve always wanted to try the Brazilian martial art known as capoeira. A rollicking outdoor concert is just your thing, but not if it means you can’t spend all day on a jet ski. How is an intrepid adrenaline adventurer supposed to choose? At the White Air Extreme Sports Festival, you don’t have to. The only problem you’re likely to have is deciding which adventure to have first.
The 3-day festival is held each year in early autumn on the scenic shores of England’s southern coast. Past festivals have taken place on the Isle of Wight and at Brighton Beach; check the website for the next festival’s dates and locations.
If you’re at all into outdoor sports with a guaranteed rush of excitement, you’ll be in your element at White Air. Roughly 40 different activities are represented at the event. Some such as mountain biking and surfing are well known; for others, such as bocking, parkour (see ), and slackline, you might need an extreme-sports glossary. (Bocking, also known as powerbocking or powerizing, is running with large curved stilts that act as springs. Parkour involves running, jumping, and clambering across a landscape riddled with obstacles. Slacklining is a balance sport using a thin, flat nylon web; it’s similar to tightrope walking except the line stretches, allowing for bouncing and other gymnastic moves.)
As you might expect at an extreme sports event, the crowd skews young, and there’s a palpable sense of carefree fun in the air. Most of the sports at White Air allow newbies to try the activity through the festival’s Have a Go program; just sign up for a free lesson through the website. And don’t miss out on the rest of the fun—each year, high-energy bands from the U.K. and beyond perform at the festival. —ML
White Air Extreme Sports Festival (www.whiteair.co.uk).
When to Go: Sept/Oct. Check website for exact dates and location.