7 New Extreme Sports You’ll Be Watching Soon

From ostrich racing to a mash-up of chess and boxing, these off-the-wall sports are on the rise

by Keith Blanchard
October 28, 2016

For a link to the online article, click here: WSJ Article


This high-energy combination of volleyball, gymnastics and soccer is played on a giant inflatable structure with trampolines on either side of a nearly 10-foot high volleyball net. With licenses in more than a dozen countries, this Belgian-born supersport is becoming a global phenomenon.

Ostrich Racing

The flightless birds can run at 40 mph, making them intimidating if ungainly racers, whether alone, with human jockeys, or pulling Ben Hur-style chariots. The races at the 2016 Ostrich Festival in Chandler, Ariz., reportedly attracted 100,000-plus spectators.

Chess Boxing

The ultimate right-brain/left-hook pastime, this is an 18-minute chess game interrupted by five bouts of three-minute boxing rounds. You can win by knockout, checkmate, the judge’s decision or by the clock if your opponent exceeds his time.

Bike Polo

Originated in Sydney, Australia, this rough street game is polo played on bicycles. Crashing is common, and participants board up their spokes so an errant mallet won’t send them tumbling.

Bubble Soccer

Remember Zorbing, the giant hamster-balls that people rolled around in on corporate retreats? Picture team members wearing smaller bubbles on their upper body, and playing full-contact soccer like human bumper cars.

Cloud Surfing

“Wingsuits” lend humans some of the aerodynamic qualities of birds; jumping out of a moving plane provides enough forward momentum to literally surf the clouds.

Drone Battles

Two drones enter a Thunderdome-style battle arena and—after their controllers shake hands—battle to the death. Drone combat and races are sanctioned by the Aerial Sports League.