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Kiiking - a second between heaven and earth

Better than sex, but not as good as narcotics was said out loud by a
guy who had just tried an Estonian extreme sport called Kiiking for the
first time.


Kiiking is an extreme sport that started off
in Estonia in 1997. It's a sport based on simple swinging, but it
provides a lot more to both the spectator and the swinger. The swinger
stands on a trapeze-like swing and tries to swing over the top bar. The
swing can be lengthened to make swinging over the cross bar as
difficult as possible. Currently the highest swing that people have
really been able to take over the cross bar, is 7m and 1cm. Women's
record is 5.91.

After talking to Ado Kosk, the inventor of this
weird sport, it turned out that Kiiking is actually nothing new for the
crazy Estonians. Allegedly the first sport picture in Estonia was
painted already in the

Ado Kosk, the inventor

beginning of the 19th century, and this was a picture about a guy swinging with a wooden swing over the top bar.


However, Kiiking in its current form started in 1997, but since then
much has hanged. The swings are now made of metal and more attention is
being paid to the safety issues of the sport. The swinger's hands and
feet are tied in order to prevent him from getting injured.


Currently this is really an Estonian sport. At the same time also
foreign people have tried it out here, but the results haven't been too
impressive. Estonians themselves have managed to get listed in the
Guiness book of records with the result of 7.01. Finnish record is
5.01, France 4.0, Italy 4.50, USA 5.31, Latvia 4.41. So there's still
lots of room for improvement in every side of the sport.

Due
to the young age of kiiking and increasingly more competitors, the
kiiking results are constantly improving and when also other nations
join us, to what great heights young and strong people can take the
results. (www.kiiking.ee)

Ado Kosk definitely encourages
everyone to have a look and try it out. The Kiiking swing prices start
at about 1500 EUROs and the Estonian Kiiking Federation has just gotten
ready with 25 new swings and most likely all of them will be sold
abroad to popularize the sport all over the world.

Profile of
an ideal swinger? It came out that ideal swinger weighs 75-85kg and
that's it. The length of a person doesn't really matter according to
the inventor. It takes strength and lots of stamina to actually make
good results with swinging. Plus you need to have good technics. One
can pump for hours and eventually accomplish nothing but a red face Ado
Kosk added.

What might the future of Kiiking bring? No one
knows, but to grow it needs more publicity in foreign countries.
Estonia with just 1.5mln people is not a big enough audience for a
sport like that. It needs to grow and to do that it really needs to go
across the borders. The current world record is 7m and 1cm. However, in
the opinion of the inventor the records could easily go up to 9m and
even more. Maybe one day it will be an area for olymics, Who knows?


It is a sport for the true adrenaline enthusiasts who respect the
extreme sides of life..Imagine yourself 12 meters high, your eyes
staring at the top bar of the swing from above. You have just stopped
in that position for couple of seconds and you're about to swing down
again any second. Now feel it. It's truly amazing!



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