The Coolest Sports You've Never Heard Of

Nick Dimengo@@itsnickdimengoFeatured ColumnistMarch 27, 2014

The Coolest Sports You've Never Heard Of

0 of 15

    Peter Komka/Associated Press

    While we're all familiar with sports like basketball, football and baseball, there are plenty of other ones which aren't as popular.

    And since someone had the imagination to think up some of these crazy sports, I figured it'd only be fair to show them off for you all to see.

    Even though they aren't as well known, that doesn't mean that these sports aren't as dope to both watch and play—so you might want to take some notes.

Honorable Mention: Ultimate Frisbee

1 of 15

    I know that ultimate frisbee is a sport plenty of you have either heard of or actually played, but I had to add it as my first sport here because it's often overlooked.

    Playing it throughout my college days, it takes aspects of flag football and puts athletic, speedy players out on a soccer field to jump and dive for a floating disc.

    It's a hell of a lot of fun, so stop being "too manly" to play it.


2 of 15

    For all those people out there who have really solid hand-eye coordination, floorball might be the sport for you.

    That's because it's like lacrosse and floor hockey on steroids, as players use a similarly curved stick to freestyle and maintain control of the ball, while trying to score in the opponent's net.

    Created in the 1970s, it's actually getting so popular that the sport is making a push to become an Olympic sport in 2020.


3 of 15

    At first glance, this might not appear to be so cool.

    But as someone who saw a dude do this for an entire 13.1 miles during a half-marathon, I can admit that it's a hell of a lot more impressive when seen in person.

    Some people struggle with the simple act of running—not judging or naming names—and there are tons more who can't juggle. Put them together, though, and you've got this sport that is just another way for someone to show off their talents as they race against competitors.

Chess Boxing

4 of 15

    Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images

    The game of chess is one that requires patience, strategy and skill—but why not have two players whacking each other across the face, too?

    That's what chess boxing does, as it takes the same skill set the usual game does, but adds in a physical element that leaves the players black and blue, as participants win by way of either the chess game or knocking their opponent out.

    Plus, it makes anyone who was in the Chess Club in high school pretty damn cool.

Cliff Tenting

5 of 15

    If you're afraid of heights at all, then I'd recommend staying away from the sport of cliff tenting.

    But if you like the idea of not only rock climbing up a steep mountain, but also sleeping in a tent that's literally hanging by an anchor that climbers nailed into the side of that mountain, then this might just be for you.

    I'm not so sure I feel great about this idea, but I'd be willing to try it assuming I give it a few test runs on an indoor rock climbing wall first.

Ice Boating

6 of 15

    Who says we all have to wait for warm weather to go sailing?

    If you've ever needed a reason to get out on the lake and catch some breeze, ice boating might just be your new sport, because it's the exact same concept as regular sailing—except done on ice.

    With a frozen lake, a boat and skate-like runners rather than a keel, sailing can become a year-round sport.

Swamp Soccer

7 of 15

    Getting down and dirty never hurt anyone, so why not take the sport of soccer and play it in a giant pool of mud?

    That's what swamp soccer (or football) does, as players abide by the exact same rules as normal soccer—except without all the stability of a grassy field to play on.

    Hitting the showers after a match probably never felt so good.

Wife Carrying

8 of 15

    Of course someone invented a sport that requires husbands to prove that chivalry isn't quite dead yet.

    With their wives strapped over their shoulders and down their backs, men carry their spouses over a number of obstacles in a race against other teams.

    While no one can really enjoy carrying another human being on their back, at least the prize is totally worth it—the winner gets to drown themselves in beer.


9 of 15

    Yeah, regular skiing or snowboarding can be exhilarating, but you know what makes it even more wild? Using a parachute-like kite and wind power to go both up and down hills.

    That's right, snowkiting is so dope that it gives a rider more options than just going down hill and trying to stay on their feet, allowing them to literally soar up or down a slope while doing 360s and other stunts.

    Just make sure you don't let go of that kite handle, or things might be a little dicey.

Tour De Franzia

10 of 15

    I'm not sure why so many people haven't actually heard of—or more importantly, participated in—this sport?

    As one can probably tell by the name itself, it requires a few boxes of the classiest wine around, Franzia, some bi- or tricycles and a hell of a lot of safety equipment.

    The object is for a team to drink the boxes of wine as fast as possible, then to race on bikes around a predetermined course.

    If you're a college kid or have been a camp counselor and haven't done this before, shame on you.

    Just be prepared to be sore the next few days afterwards from all the spill you'll undoubtedly have.

Seepak Takraw

11 of 15

    Anything with the word "raw" in it usually means that it's pretty damn cool—which is the case for the sport, Seepak Takraw.

    Using a ball made of dry palm leaves, players pass the thing around using anything but their hands, trying to kick it on the other side of a dividing net for points—much like volleyball.

    As the video shows, the sport requires a lot of flexibility, so make sure to stretch beforehand.


12 of 15

    If you're not one with great balance on a surfboard, then might I recommend trying out the sport of handboarding instead?

    Using miniature surfboards attached to either one or both hands, people glide across the water by simply riding the wave while paddling.

    Yeah, it's pretty similar to normal bodyboarding—except a hell of a lot more extreme.


13 of 15

    Greg Baker/Associated Press

    I thought avoiding tacklers in football was tough.

    Then again, I had never heard of the Indian wrestling sport of Kabaddi, which sends one player called a raider into a group of seven opposing players who try to prevent them from getting back to their own side—all while holding their breath.

    Essentially, the raider is thrown into a lion's den and is forced to duck and weave to their home side to get points without any help from teammates.

    This sounds both exhausting and nearly impossible—yet a hell of a lot of fun.


14 of 15

    Have you ever wondered what it would be like to play underwater hockey?


    Well anyone who has jumped into the deep end with their snorkel and mini stick to play the game of octopus has.

    That's because the sport is played while two teams of six push around a puck at the bottom of a swimming pool.

    So for those who can't quite skate, maybe this is the best way to scratch your hockey-playing itch.


15 of 15

    I honestly have no idea what took people so long to create this game, as it's played on a giant trampoline and combines elements of volleyball, soccer and gymnastics into one sport.

    With teams hopping up and down on the inflated and springy playing surface, they do flips and other ridiculous kicks in a crazy battle to prevent the ball from landing in an unoccupied spot—like volleyball.

    Seeing how fun this looks makes me want to book a trip down to Brazil to play it.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.