Super Modified Shovel Racing

The X Games…the adrenaline fuelled action games in which every sport can and should be qualified as EXTREEEEEEME!

We’re talking skateboarding, BMX, Moto X and Rallying. Even better is the Winter X games with snowboarding, skiing and snow mobiles. All dangerous sports in their own right, they arguably fit the persona of what makes the X games deserving of the X. The above are all sports that we here at Life Experiences endorse, as they make life that little bit more interesting. I’m not encouraging you to try flips and 360s but these sports are at least worth trying once. However, there’s a life experience and then there is sheer stupidity/madness…whatever you want to call it, there was one sport that was even too extreme for these games.

Prepare yourself for Super Modified Shovel Racing!

To give you a bit of background Shovel racing developed from a subculture that began in New Mexico’s ski resorts in the 70s, when lift workers realized that they could get around the resort by using their shovels. This led to the eventual progression of modifications which turned the sport from simple shovel racing into a different beast entirely. Now, before you say that this doesn’t sound that exciting, remove the picture of someone sliding down the mountain on a shovel from your head, as you have the wrong idea of what makes this such a dangerous life experience. Although this indeed the origins of the sport, it was the X games of 97 where Shovel racing took a dangerous turn, as this was the year it officially became Super Modified Shovel Racing. This was in this year that the modifications to shovels had become so far removed from the origins of shovel racing that the sport was taken out of the games altogether. The accidents came thick and fast, with the final nail in the coffin for the sport coming after the crash of Mr. Strader, a 42-year-old radio producer. He was so seriously injured, cracking his sternum, bruising his heart and breaking his jaw and leg that he had to declare bankruptcy as he couldn’t pay his medical bills. Ouch, A sport certainly only for the mad and/or the brave.

As the above video compilation highlights, you can see why this was a much loved spectator sport for its one (official) year in existence at the X games. However, the enjoyment towards it reminds me of how Romans enjoyed watching the carnage taking place in the coliseum. Without doubt Super Modified Shovel Racing is a great example of when a life experience can go too far in in its search for thrills. Is it wrong that there’s a crazy person inside of me that can’t help but feel I’d love to give it a go one day?

Most Probably…

harry (7 Posts)


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