SETTING RECORDS is a big part of sports and a goal of most athletes. But some athletes want their names in record books so badly they chase records in bizarre sports many of us have never heard of and fewer of us care about, like these ones:
1. STATIC APNEA WORLD RECORD
Static apnea is a fancy way of saying “holding your breath underwater.” People probably only say “static apnea” because telling people you’re the world record breath-holder is way less impressive.
I mean if you say you’re the world record holder in static apnea you get at least one follow up question before you’re dismissed.
Anyway, static apnea is a technique freedivers use to help build their lung capacity. And since they were competing with each other anyway (for the pearls!) they started competing to see who could hold their breath longest, too.
The current world record holder is Branko Petrovic, with a time of 12 minutes 11 seconds. Which is impressive if mostly pointless.
2. ENDURANCE TREADMILL RUNNING
Christopher Bergland is one of the world’s foremost ultra-endurance athletes. Which is another way of saying he’s a total masochist. Ultra-endurance athletes compete for extremely long periods of time. Like DAYS at a time.
Bergland is the three-time winner of the world’s longest non-stop triathlon, the Triple Iron Man, and he’s also the world record holder in endurance treadmill running, covering a distance of 156.76 miles in 24 hours.
Why would anyone want to run in place for an entire day?
Maybe because being the world recorder holder of something completely insane is better than being the world record holder of shit all?
3. SPEED BRICK BREAKING
Not only is speed brick breaking a real thing, it has its own worldwide association, The World Speed Brick Breaking Association.
Prior to the associations founding there were no regulations on types of bricks broken, thus no “true” records.
According to association standards—it’s important to have standards—the world record for most bricks—cement slabs of 1 in. x 8 in. x 16 in.—broken in one minute is 584 set by Kevin Taylor.
That’s a lot of wasted bricks. And one pair of sore hands.
4. 200 MP/H BADMINTON SMASH
Now most of us have tried playing badminton, in high school gym class or over a few drinks at a backyard barbeque. And no doubt most of us have discovered that it is pretty tough to smash that little birdie—or shuttlecock if you’re into proper nomenclature.
It just doesn’t move that quickly no matter how hard you hit it right? Wrong.
Turns out top-flight badminton players can smash the shit out of a shot. Chinese badminton super star Fu Haifeng once smashed a shuttlecock 206 mp/h.
Imagine trying to return that birdie after a couple wobbly pops.
5. SPEED SKIING RECORD
The goal of speed skiing is, as the name suggests, to ski at the highest speed. It’s for skiers who don’t like turning, who just want tuck and go dead straight really fast. Like really, really fucking fast. Like 156.2 mp/h fast.
Although that is the world record, set by Simone Origone back in 2006, usually speed skiers only reach speeds of over 140 mp/h, which is also completely ridiculous.
Oh, did I mention you get to dress like a Stormtropper? That’s cool.
Speed skiing should only be attempted if you have excellent balance, a serious need for speed and willingness to break every bone in your body in spectacular crashes.
6. 36-FOOT SHALLOW POOL DIVE
Shallow Pool Diving is exactly what it sounds like, or would be, if it was called Shallow Pool Bellyflopping.
Competitors “dive” (throw themselves) from a freaky height into kiddie pools filled with very little water.
Darren Taylor, or “Professor Splash,” as he prefers to be known, is the current world record holder with a dive of 36 feet into just one foot of water.
According to the Professor, the key is too get as flat as possible to disperse the impact. In other words the key to shallow pool diving is not to dive.
How do you even get into that?
7. 100-METER DASH ON FOUR LEGS
Known as The Monkey Man, Kenichi Ito of Japan is the fastest man on four legs. Sorry, freak fans, he doesn’t actually have four legs. But with a time of 17.47 seconds, he holds the world’s fastest time in the 100-meter dash using all four limbs.
You can watch his record-breaking “run” here:
See how excited Ito was to break his own record. Sure, maybe no one else in the world is trying to run like a monkey but that doesn’t mean Ito isn’t happy to be the fastest one doing it.
It’s good to have goals. Even moronic ones.