There are lots of non-traditional sports out there, but one that takes competition to a new level is Extreme Ironing. Basically, people compete for records by ironing in the most extreme conditions. For instance, there are records for the most extreme ironing under water and ironing while skydiving.
The History of Extreme Ironing
The sport of Extreme Ironing was created in Leicester, England, in 1997 by Phil Shaw (Nicknamed “Steam”). Phil was tired of coming home to a pile of ironing after working all day in a knitwear factory and wanted to enjoy the sunshine. That’s when he got the idea to combine the two — ironing and outdoor recreation.
Phil recruited his housemate Paul (Nicknamed “Spray”) and the pair embarked on creating new records and recruiting participants. The growth rate was slow, but in 1999, Extreme Ironing was picked up by a group of Germans and Extreme Ironing International was established. Since then, Extreme Ironing has become recognized around the world as an extreme sport.
How to Participate
All that’s needed to participate is an ironing board and an iron. Participants are encouraged to begin the same way as “Steam” and “Spray” — in the safety of a garden under the sunshine — and then move on to mountainsides and other extreme areas. The possible records are left up to the imaginations of the participants (You need to contact the Extreme Ironing Bureau for official approval).
Of course, participants need to remember to always wear the proper protective gear when pursuing new records in Extreme Ironing, such as helmets and pads. The ironing needs to be extreme to count, and ideas can be found on their official website.
You can check out the official rules of the Extreme Ironing Bureau and browse some of the records and photos at www.extremeironing.com.
Check out more photos in the official Extreme Ironing Bureau Photo Gallery.