Parkour to Power Kiting: Extreme Sports in London

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Kitevibe in Richmond Park

Inspired by last weekend’s World Freerun Championships or the forthcoming Red Bull X-Fighters at Battersea Power Station?

Or perhaps you read about London’s increasing number of Urban Explorers: people who enjoy delving into the city’s nooks and crannies, taking photos of the capital’s abandoned sewers, factories, and underground passages. We’re not going to suggest anything illegal like that, but…

If you’re up for a new challenge, why not have a go at some of these extreme sports in London?

Power Kiting
This fast-growing sport involves being pulled along by a kite while sitting in a kite buggy or standing on a landboard. Kitevibe offers lessons with qualified instructors in Richmond Park.

Hash Running
Hash running is loosely based on hare hunting. One or more hashers lay out a trail which the rest of the group follow. Runs tend to begin and end in the pub; hashers often describe themselves as “a drinking club with a running problem”. The London Hash House Harriers organise runs in London parks.

Orienteering involves navigating your way between various control points, using a unique  map to find the best route. It’s great for all fitness levels as you can run, jog or walk your way around the course. London Orienteering Klubb runs regular courses in Trent Park and Hampstead Heath.

Watersports in London
There’s a surprising array of water-based activities in London. Learn to sail at BTYC Sailsports Club on Welsh Harp Reservoir; try kayaking on the Thames; or look out for a new surfing centre in London from 2011!

Extreme Fitness
Military fitness classes are taught by ex-forces instructors, who’ll keep you on your toes as you do press ups, sit ups, squat thrusts and running. British Military Fitness and Army Boot Camp Fitness run regular group classes in London parks.

Parkour (similar to freerunning) is the art of moving gracefully through your environment. Urban Freeflow were instrumental in bringing the sport to the UK. Set up by Paul Corkery (known as Ez), the group is now the world’s largest parkour organisation, offering a variety of classes, workshops and events.

The skatepark in Meanwhile Gardens was one of the first concrete skateparks in Europe. It opened in 1976 and remains a place of pilgrimage for skateboarders. Nearby, state-of-the-art BaySixty6 has revolutionised the scene. Other skating hotspots include Cantelowes Skatepark and the undercroft beneath the Southbank Centre, where skaters have gathered since the 1970s.

More ideas? Let us know your favourite adreneline-fuelled sports in London.


  1. Jobo Leisure says:

    Great may be interested in our shop, which has a wide range of power kites and kite buggies

  2. Stephan Bucher says:

    Good suggestions Hannah! I can’t wait to try out some of these extreme sports on my next trip to London! There are also a number of great indoor climbing centres – quite extreme!

    • Hannah says:

      Climbing seems to be increasingly popular in London these days. Good suggestion.

      Make sure you come back to London soon and try them all out!

  3. Sport Picks says:

    Power kiting looks awesome especially after watching some videos about it. Can anyone try this sport or is it really hard to pick up and master?