Indoor Rock Climbing Tips

If you are someone who is interested in adventure sports or extreme sports, especially something like rock climbing, but cannot take out time to go rock climbing outdoors or live in an area where there is no rock landscape that will allow you to indulge in such an activity, then indoor rock climbing is a very good option for you. There are many people who live in cities and towns, who are opting for indoor rock climbing as an alternative to the outdoor version of the same. While the difficulty level never matches up to the hurdles that you will face outdoors, the practice and the physical exertion are good pros that work in its favor. Using experts tips while pulling yourself up these artificial structures will ensure that you do not hurt yourself. Most of the structures that are used for indoor rock climbing are made to resemble the terrain of mountainous structures, They are generally high walls with holds, and pockets and knobs for footing. Wood is the material that is used mostly to make these structures, while the holds are generally made of plastic. This sport is perfect for beginners, as it allows them to practice the same in an environment that is controlled and under the supervision of trained instructors.

How to Improve Yourself

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that it is an extremely physically-exerting activity that needs you to be fit. Pay attention to the techniques that will make climbing up easier. Try and always climb the wall with a buddy or in the presence of a trainer or an instructor. When at a class do not get intimidated by the rock climbing lingo that everyone seems to use. Once you understand these different terms, you will be using them as well. There is some important gear that needs to a part of your kit, which include a harness that you can rent at the place where you are climbing, proper shoes, proper clothing that is not very tight, a chalk bag, water, etc.
It is extremely important that you perform stretching exercises and warm up before you start climbing an indoor wall. As with any other exercise, rock climbing when your muscles are tight affect your performance.
Before you start climbing a wall, it is important that you map out the route that you want to take. This will ensure that you make the right moves while climbing the wall.
Do not exert all your forearm strength when you grip to steady your balance, as your forearm is generally the first to tire. Save up on the strength that you put on your grip.
Work on improving your sense of balance and work on finding your center of gravity. This will help you balance your movements on the wall. If you keep your body close to the wall, then your center of balance will be more than your center of mass which will lessen the pressure on your grip
Use your legs as much as your arms, to ensure that the weight is balanced evenly.
Use your arms to balance and shift weight, but not to hold your weight. If you need to use the strength of your upper body, then try and finish that part of the route faster.
Work on those muscles that are used the most while rock climbing, as this will ensure that the climber can use his body weight more effectively. Do not try and climb the rock in one go. In fact, map the entire route with rests in between to ensure that you do not exert yourself completely.
If you get stuck while climbing the wall, keep encouraging yourself, so as to get over that block. Don’t stress out if you get stuck. You will manage to climb the wall eventually with perseverance.
It is important to have correct breathing technique. Breathe from your stomach and through diaphragm. This will relax your body effectively.
When climbing a wall indoor, try different structures every time, or at least different routes so as to not become complacent about your abilities. Push yourself to do it better and faster. If you fall, remember it will only drive you to do better. Learn from other climbers who work on the same structures, as they will be able to give you some good tips that are useful. Even just watching them will teach you more about the techniques that should be used. Rock climbing, whether indoor or outdoor, once learned with proper techniques, is a great sport that can help in building your endurance levels.

Skateboarding Tips for Beginners

skateboarding

Skateboarding, in simpler words, is the activity of riding a skateboard. A skateboard is basically a rectangular plywood piece (deck), which is fitted with four small-sized wheels on the underside. Nowadays, new versions are available with many other optional components. It is viewed by many as a recreational activity or a type of extreme sport. Rarely, it is used as a means of transportation. A person participating in this activity is called a skater/skateboarder.

This sport is and has been a favorite with extreme sports enthusiasts. It has fascinated several youngsters over the last few decades. According to a survey conducted, majority of the skateboarders are males under 18 years of age. The growing popularity of this sport does not mean that there is no risk involved. If you are a first timer, then you should follow certain safety measures.

Tips

» The first step is selecting the right board and proper gear. As a beginner, you should choose a thick and heavy deck with less curvature. With such a board, you are less likely to slip off, and it is easier for you to keep control. As you become better, you can switch to a thin and concave deck.

» It is always advisable to check the trucks of the board. If they are very tight, loosen them by unscrewing the kingpins. After doing so, make sure the kingpins are fitted properly. A well-fitted truck will help you to turn easily, thus minimizing the risk of falling. Speaking about protection gear, you should purchase good quality skating shoes, helmet, wrist brace, and elbow and knee pads.

» The next step is to make yourself comfortable with the skateboard. You can place it on a non-slippery surface (grass or carpet), and try to stand or jump on it. Be comfortable with the shape and size of the deck and learn some basics such as placing your feet in varied positions and balancing on front and rear wheels.

» Once you are comfortable with that, you can decide your stance or skating style. In general, there are three stances, viz., regular (skate with the left foot forward), goofy (skate with the right foot forward, and mongo foot (push with the back foot, instead of the front one). Always stand in your most convenient style and try to push forward. If possible, do not follow the mongo style, as it takes a longer time to learn.

» In the initial days, practice by pushing off on an even surface or at the most, a shallow hill. You may fall from the board while pushing off, but try to relax and imagine that pushing off is like taking a normal step. Maintain balance and push your foot as you do while walking. Another trick is to start pushing off as powerfully as you can. You can ride until the skateboard stops naturally.

» The next tip is to push yourself carefully while riding, before you run out of speed. You can learn to turn left and right by putting more of your weight into the heels. As you practice regularly, you will be able to take sharper turns. Last, but not the least, you will need to learn how to stop the skateboard. The easiest and safest way of stopping it is footbraking. Footbraking involves taking off the back foot and grinding it onto the ground. There are other stopping methods such as heel drag, bail, boneless, and powerslide.

It is advisable not to try any tricks or fast-paced skating, before getting a command over the basics. Once you are confident about the twists and turns, you can practice other tricks such as ollie, kickflip, magic flip, etc. Have patience and keep trying again and again. Remember that, failure is the first step towards success.

Safety Tips for Skydiving

Safety first is a rule to live by in any activity but with extreme sports, safety becomes a very prominent issue. Each extreme sport has its own set of rules and safety guidelines that should be followed to reduce the occurrence of injury or fatalities. Below is a listing of some rules and tips, that should be followed in the sport of skydiving.Extreme sports are called extreme for a reason: they push you to your physical and mental limits in terms of exertion and strength. They are also often more dangerous than your average game of football. But the thrill and the uniqueness of such sports is like no other. That being said, one such extreme sport that challenges an individual’s sense of fear, at the same time fulfills an elemental dream of man (to fly), is skydiving.

Skydiving isn’t just falling out of a plane with a parachute on. It’s more like “falling with style” where an exact science and technique goes into the jumping, deployment of the parachute and landing. Agreed it is not the safest of sports but the occurrence of fatalities while skydiving has been greatly exaggerated, with a fatality rate of 0.0001% or approximately 1 death in every 100,000 jumps. However, it is better to be safe than to be sorry, so below are some safety tips for skydiving, to make each jump a safe experience.

Safety Tips and Advice for Skydiving
Safety is not just the technique or method of jumping but rather is made up of a number of factors listed below.

Attire
Jumpsuits are meant to keep your body warm and protected against the frigid, cold air at high altitudes. They are also durable enough to prevent scratches and bumps on landing. However, depending on what form of skydiving and your expertise level, the material of the jumpsuit differs. So consult with your trainer or an experienced jumper as to what jumpsuit best suits your skydiving style. Do not experiment on your own.
Check your jumpsuit for holes or tears. Make sure it fits properly and there is no way for air to enter it. Always try on the suit prior to jumping well in advance, to ensure it is in good condition.
Wear a helmet when skydiving. No jump is 100% risk-free and a helmet can go a long way in minimizing injury. Make sure your helmet is open faced but protective and sturdy. Check its shock absorption factor. It should fit your head and not feel heavy or very large or too small and tight. Do not take it off at any time during the jump.
Goggles are not mandatory but are an extra safety measure to protect one’s eyes during the descent. Gloves should only be worn if you are comfortable using your equipment with them on. Wear durable shoes with firm soles and grip, such that during the descent, you can touch the ground without causing any harm to your feet. Make sure all such attire is comfortable and will not hinder you during your jump.

Equipment
The altimeter is a specialized piece of equipment that measures your height above the level of the ground and can also predict your speed of falling. You can opt for a visual one, which should be worn on the wrist or the front of the torso. Check the visibility of the display, its durability, analog or digital display and ability to measure pressure. You could go in for an audio altimeter that is worn inside your helmet and will inform you of the decrease in altitude as you fall. These altimeters have pre-set alarms that indicate when you should deploy your parachute.
An Automatic Activation Device (AAD) is a must have and any proper school, training institute and instructor will advise you of the importance of this piece of equipment. This device is a small computer that keeps an eye on your height above the ground and how fast you are descending. It calculates the optimum height when the parachute should be deployed for a safe landing and if you, the jumper, fail to do so at the right time and height, the AAD will open the chute for you. The AAD is a lifesaver and calibrating it on the ground, checking its functioning prior to a jump and buying a good model is your way of ensuring a safe jump.
Your parachute is connected to you by a harness. Make sure your harness fits you properly and is sturdy and tough, without any wear and tear. Have a supervisor or instructor check your harness prior to a jump. Keep a hook knife on you, any time that you skyjump. In case of an emergency, where the main part of the parachute (canopy) will not open, use the hook knife to cut it away.
Do not compromise on the quality of your skydiving equipment and making any changes or tweaks in them should only be done if sanctioned by an instructor or recognized expert in your skydiving team or class. Maintain such equipment in good condition.

Miscellaneous
Be informed about the skydiving process. Ask a lot of questions and do not choose the first skydiving school or institute you see. Instead, visit different schools or go for a demo class on the ground, talk to instructors and ex-students on your own. Check the licensing of the school, what safety programs and measures are implemented and check the school’s skydiving history, with respect to fatalities.
Do not be too enthusiastic or overexcited to jump. Choose the right skydiving style based on your experience. For new jumpers, it is best to opt for the tandem style of skydiving where the instructor and you have the same chute and he/she controls the diving experience. Until you have experience or until your trainer feels you are ready, do not jump on your own.
Prior to a jump, whether for the first time or the umpteenth time, eat a light meal. Check your equipment and pack your parachute under the watchful eye of your instructor.

For first time sky jumpers, along with ensuring physical safety prior and during your sky jump, your mental attitude should be strengthened and prepared for the experience. However, as your skydiving experience builds up, you can ignore safety procedures and become careless and this can turn dangerous, not only for you but for your fellow jumpers as well. Keep safety first and jump with ease, by making sure all safety checks and procedures have been carried out well in advance.

Ice Skating Tips and Techniques

Ice skating is an exciting and aesthetic sport which evolved in the European nations of Netherlands and Scotland. Originally, it was used as a means of transportation across frozen lakes and ponds in winters.
Ice skating enthusiasts use skates with steel blades to slide on the ice. The first ice skates were made in 3000 BC. Honed animal bone was used in making these skates, and it was attached to the shoes with leather straps. In fact, the origin of the word ‘skates’ is Dutch. They used to call it ‘schaats’, which means ‘leg bone’. Iron blades were first made and used in Holland, in 1250 AD. It garnered popularity as a winter sport among the Europeans in the 17th century. The International Skating Union is the authoritative body governing the sport, and oversees all the international ice skating competitions.

The Beginner’s Guide to Ice Skating
Always get an expert coach to assist you with the basics. A good coach helps minimize the risks involved, and also ensures you learn the correct way of skating. It is important to understand that ice skating doesn’t come naturally to everyone. A beginner has to learn it by getting used to the ice rink. It is a safe option to rent the skates initially, and get acquainted with this sport. If you remain interested in the sport, it is best to buy your own pair with a proper fit.

Tips For Beginners
Ice skating looks graceful and easy, but is a very strenuous sport. Beginners may suffer from sore muscles after the first couple of skating sessions. However, this is a normal phenomenon, and after a few practice sessions, the muscles will get stronger and the pain will recede. It is also important to relax and avoid locking your knees. Remember that ice skating is a graceful sport! The knees should be bent to avoid falling or tripping backwards.

Patience and determined efforts are necessary to master this sport. Initially, many people find it difficult to find their balance on the skates. The time taken to get used to using them is different for each individual. Learning the first moves can always be crude, but never get discouraged. Regular practice will ensure gradual, graceful, and deft movement.

The most important aspect of mastering this sport, is learning how to fall. In fact, it is sort of a ‘requirement’ when getting used to it. There are certain ways in which you can minimize chances of an injury while falling. Preferably, use the best quality equipment or protective gear, which consists of a helmet and pads for the wrists, knees, elbows, hips, and tailbone.
When falling forward, keep your chin up; and when falling backward, press your chin into your chest. Relax your body as much as possible, because a stiff body is more likely to get injured than a limp one.
Try not to let your knees, elbows, or wrists hit the ice surface first. Try to land on your bottom, and tuck your arms in while falling, to avoid getting run over by the other skaters.
If you are using an outdoor surface, make sure it’s hard enough to avoid falling through the ice, especially on frozen lakes or ponds. Professional guidance is a must.
Another important area to master for a novice, is how to stop. A simple snowplow stop involves skating forward, pushing the legs apart away from each other. This should be done by bending in your knees and leaning back slightly. The shoulders should be straight, facing forward, and the arms outstretched.

Marching on the ice surface before gliding is a good way to learn balance and to gain familiarity with the skating surface. Start gliding after familiarizing with the conditions by mastering the two-foot glider first. Stand away from the edges of the rink or obstacles in order to avoid getting hit, and also try to learn without support. Once you balance yourself on your knees, move your right foot forward and keep your left foot at an angle of 45 degrees with respect to the right one. Slowly, begin to move forward by slightly bending in the knees, and moving the left shoulder ahead, followed by the right, and so on. Once two-foot gliding is learned, start with stroking, by starting with short and quick gliding sessions.

The swizzle involves propelling forward without lifting your feet. The toes point outwards and heels are together. Slide the feet apart, and then bring the toes in together. The motion should replicate the design of an hourglass.