The term ‘Action sport’ encompasses a wide range of non-traditional sporting activities. ‘Adventure sports’, ‘extreme sports’, ‘outdoor sports’, ‘nature sports’, ‘youth sports’, are often used to refer to specific subgroups of action sports.
Action sports evolved tremendously and gained enormous popularity over the past decades, involving both elite and recreational athletes.
Several remarkable features highlight action sports compared to tradi- tional ones, including:
The role of environmental variables since many extreme performances in sharp contrast to the controlled circumstances of traditional sporting events.
The importance of high-tech equipment and the implementation of inno- vative approaches to the specific performance conduct (e.g., particular life pace management in solo oceanic sailing races).
A greater attention to aesthetic criteria (freestyle) rather than traditional quantitative parameters (distance, time, score, etc.) when assessing performance to such an extent that competition is not at the core of some of these activities.
A marked influence on the collective imagination and the attraction of media interest – a strong appeal that is exploited in marketing campaigns and by the fashion world.
Their solitary nature, usually being practiced alone, sometimes in remote areas.
Action sports may lead to a wide-range of psychological and health benefits and can contribute to counteracting negative health conditions related to physical inactivity.