10 Sports Fit For Geeks

10 Sports Fit For Geeks

Sports and geeks generally go together like oil and water. Like milk and OJ. Like two positively charged magnet ends. Except when it comes to the following, that is…

1. Segway Polo

The king of geek sports. Wealthy nerds ride around a field on Segways hitting a ball with a mallet in a high-tech perversion of the sport of Kings. Considering the Segways can hit speeds of up to 20km/h, and each team has five players on the field at any time, there’s the potential for some fairly major Segway pileups. It’s also one of the few sports where Apple founder Steve Wozniak could be a poster boy, which makes us admire the man all the more. [Segway Polo]

2. Powerbocking

Strap yourself into a pair of spring-loaded stilts, and you’re suddenly transformed from mortal man to mortal man with a pogo stick on each foot. But you’ll feel like a superhero. With the ability to jump up to 1.5 metres into the air and run up to 20km/h with 2.7-metre strides, it’s not a sport for the uncoordinated or lazy. But then again, sport in general isn’t for the uncoordinated or lazy, is it? [Powerbocking]

3. Chessboxing

It’s like chess—the original nerd sport—but with added punching to spice things up a bit. With 11 rounds, alternating between four minutes of speed chess and three minutes of belting the living shit out of each other (with a minute between each round to change gear). To win, you must either KO your opponent in the ring or checkmate him on the chessboard. It actually has a governing body—the World Chess Boxing Organisation—whose motto is “Fighting is done in the ring and wars are waged on the board.” Kinda makes you want to take up the sport, doesn’t it? [Chess Boxing]

4. Zorbing

Imagine you were a hamster. In a hamster ball. Rolling down a hill. In New Zealand. That’s essentially what Zorbing (or ‘sphereing’) is all about. You hop inside a big plastic ball, generally around two metres in diameter, which sits inside another ball about three metres wide. Between the two is a layer of air, which acts as a cushion for bumps and jolts, and hundreds of small ropes. Then you roll down a hill, or around a flat surface, or even on water, while all the people around you look and laugh at you for being stuck in a bubble voluntarily. [Zorbing]

5. Extreme Ironing

This one’s fairly self-explanatory. It’s ironing clothes, but it’s Extreme. Competitors take their ironing boards and creased business shirts on the road to crazy places, like on the back of a bicycle, freefalling from an aeroplane or diving underwater. Not too sure how you’re meant to use an iron underwater, but that’s the crazy thinking needed if you’re going to be an extreme ironer… [Extreme Ironing]

6. Dirtsurfing

When the waves are too small or you just don’t feel like peeing in your wetsuit to keep warm in winter, there’s the Dirtsurfer. A cross between a bike and a skateboard, the Dirtsurfer lets you carve it up on solid ground any time of the year on any type of terrain, so long as it’s sloped. And you’ve got a deathwish — don’t forget the deathwish. [Dirtsurfing]

7. Train surfing

If you’re stupid, have no fear of death and like trains, you’ve probably thought about Trainsurfing. Apparently popular in South Africa and Germany, it involves riding on the top of moving trains or subways. As you can imagine, it’s generally illegal, although that hasn’t stopped it from becoming a bit of an online phenomenon thanks to the rise of video sharing sites. There’s also a rather good chance you’ll end up dead, so don’t do it. [Train surfing]

8. Disc Golf

Why play boring old golf when you could be throwing a frisbee? With pretty much the exact same rules as golf, except without the need for clubs, balls and checkered pants, Disc golf has you trying to get a frisbee into a basket with the fewest number of throws. Because even the laziest of us can throw a frisbee, it has a really low barrier to entry, which makes it perfect for the geekier among us. [Disc Golf]

9. Professional gaming

There’s a very, very small percentage of gamers who are good enough to make a career out of it, especially in Australia. Even if you constantly destroy your friends in COD4 on Xbox Live, you’re probably not good enough to turn professional. But if you are skilled in the way of the joystick beyond mortal men, then there is the potential to make millions in corporate sponsorships and gaming competitions. Overseas, that is. Here in Australia, pro gaming is a second rate—albeit totally nerdtastic—sport.
[Professional Sports]

10. Geocaching

Like a super high-tech treasure hunt, Geocaching involves a geocacher hiding a small waterproof container at particular GPS coordinates, which other geocachers then try to find using a GPS receiver. In each container is a logbook and pen, as well as a piece or two of low-value treasure which you can trade with if you discover the bounty. There are a heap of variations to make it a more exciting sport, although it’s mostly just a geeky way of playing with GPS receivers… [Geocaching]

Playing with balls is Gizmodo AU’s week-long look at the technology behind the sports we love, from the jerseys to the balls and everything in between. Go the Wallabies!