Are you looking for an adventure sport that takes you from the laundry room to the worldâ€™s tallest peaks, the deepest oceans and everywhere in between? Then you need to try extreme ironing.
Yes, you heard right. Extreme ironing. The sport started in 1997 when a British knitwear factory worker decided to combine work with his favorite hobby, rock climbing. Phil Shaw passionately traveled the world in 1999 to promote the sport. While traveling through New Zealand, he met German tourists. That meeting led to the first Extreme Ironing International group. Today, youâ€™ll find extreme ironing events, competitions and opportunities all around the world.
Where to Go
Solo and group participants iron from parachutes, white water rafts and snowboards. They also iron near national monuments, in freeway medians and on canoes. Really, you’re only limited by your creativity. Do the sport anywhere you want, or explore three top spots that add unique stunts and bump up the extreme factor.
In England, train for the Sky Diving Championship. Thatâ€™s right, youâ€™ll sky dive and iron at the same time. As a member of a league, youâ€™ll earn points for creativity and style during competitions.
In Egypt, discover extreme ironing in the middle of the desert when you dive and iron underwater in the Red Seaâ€™s Blue Hole. The locationâ€”and the ironingâ€”are just what your adventurous personality craves.
In Nepal, carry your ironing board as you hike up Mt. Everest. There are thousands of lower peaks around the world, but theyâ€™re definitely not as extreme.
How to Get Started
Find an extreme ironing league, partner or location by searching the sport online. And if you donâ€™t find anything locally, start your own group. Besides your ironing board, battery-powered iron and a few pieces of wrinkly clothing, you only need your adventurous personality and a likeminded friend or two.
What to Pack
Of course, an ironing board tops your packing list, but youâ€™ll need stunt gear as well. Make sure to safety test your canoe, SCUBA gear or mountain climbing tools before you leave for your adventure.
Next, pack your passport and any other travel documents if youâ€™re traveling overseas. And no matter where you enjoy your sport, youâ€™ll want a reliable travel insurance policy. It ensures you can obtain medical treatment for minor and major injuries or accidents during your adventure.
In addition to your sports gear and important documents, pack a suitcase with other necessities. It will include clothes that are culturally appropriate and comfortable for the climate, toiletries and sturdy shoes. Youâ€™ll also want to pack a first aid kit with prescription medications, pain relievers and basic supplies that treat minor ailments, scrapes, burns and cuts.
Finally, remember to pack your camera, laptop and cellphone. You canâ€™t enjoy the sport without letting everyone know how much fun youâ€™re having!
When you take up extreme ironing, the skyâ€™s the limit, literally. Simply pack up your ironing board and head to the mountains, desert or ocean down the street or around the world. So, where will extreme ironing take you?