Extreme Sports

Thrills in The Golden State


California is the most populous, wealthy state in the Union, and it’s home to an assortment of opportunities for thrill seekers, daredevils, and adrenaline junkies to find any number of challenges, to test both their physical and mental fortitude. 

Numerous mountain ranges, such as the Cascades are rife with opportunities for climbing and conquering new heights. They also offer a range of other opportunities, such as skiing – one famous skiing route, the Squaw Valley at Lake Tahoe, offers the chance at a 3,000 foot vertical descent. More ‘modest’ activities include taking the scenic route to the famous Big Sur waterfall along the Ewoldsen Trail, a nearly five-mile hike. For an option that’s less physically taxing, but perhaps more psychologically intense than them all is skydiving. Even if you haven’t skydived before, there are numerous programs offering ‘ learn to skydive ca ‘ services. 

In the Golden State, traditional mountain climbing opportunities abound, but it has its own unique rock-climbing opportunities at Joshua Tree – a famous location with countless granite rocks, worn by the ages to the point of possessing many natural handholds that a child could scamper up. Besides those rocks that you can climb blind, there are 8,000 official climbing routes where help of a guide and equipment are required, for your own safety. 

California is also famous for its waves and surfer culture, and the beaches of the state offer waves suitable to any skill level. You’d want to start off on the gentler waves of places like Malibu if you have no experience, but the experienced or bold can attempt the larger, more impressive waves at other beaches like Huntington Beach, ‘Surf City USA.’ 

Most of the events gone over so far are fairly simple, logistically speaking – you show up at the location and you go hiking, or you or you hire a guide and rent some simple equipment – skydiving needs to be set apart from these at this point, in that jumping out of a plan is one of the greatest adrenaline rushes one can experience, with an incredible sense of danger necessitating that it be taken somewhat more seriously than a long hike. Even though it is entirely safe to tandem jump with an experienced guide, little can compare to the absolute thrill, terror and excitement of leaping from a plane leagues off the ground. 

If you’ve never skydived before, it can seem daunting: the first step is to know what you want and to plan accordingly. California is the ideal location to start, with twice or more skydiving drop zones as compared to every other state except Florida. Once you’ve begun looking into specific companies, prices for a tandem drop are usually in the vicinity of $200, with an additional $150 charge for video and pictures. If you wish to go a step further, many companies offer opportunities to become a licensed skydiver for a modest charge, allowing you to pursue the intense sport or even work in the industry.