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Extreme Sports in Seattle

By Ken Wilson,

Snowboarding in Seattle

If you live in the Seattle area of Washington State, or are simply visiting, where do you go to get an adrenaline rush that only an extreme sport can give you? Well, in the winter time and even early spring months, within an hour of Seattle is Snoqualmie Pass located on Highway 90 in the Cascade Mountains, offering all levels of skiing and snowboarding. Just a little farther out is Stevens Pass located on Highway 2, and 3 hours to the north is Mt. Baker, a well known mountain in the world of snowboarding. Other resorts within an hour or two of Seattle include Crystal Mountain, Mission Ridge, and White Pass.

Mountain biking in Washington State

There are many places for mountain bike riding, and some of the best riding in the Seattle area is known by locals. Rather than publish these places here, we suggest calling bike shops in different cities (Seattle, Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, Everett, and Bellingham) and talking to shop owners and employees, and just asking them for some leads on some great places to ride, for example Sea Tac and Mukilteo (two cities offering areas to ride known by locals, but unknown to most visitors from out of the area).

Wakeboarding Seattle area lakes

Wakeboarding is a sport unknown to a lot of people, even in our area. Maybe you've heard about wakeboarding, maybe you've seen it on TV on a channel showing extreme sports, but to actually be present when some live wakeboarding is taking place is a privilege most people go without. One reason is this: A lot of people live in and around Seattle, and most of the lakes during the summer months are teaming with people.

The typical summer day has too many boats out on area lakes, and too many boats mean that the wakeboarding is not going to be that great. So a lot of experienced wakeboarders are out early in the morning, or later in the evening, after the crowds have died down and the lake is relatively flat (waveless). That is the prime time for wakeboarding. Some will even go so far as to put on wet suits and start the season early in the months of March and April (the water in Washington State is still cold typically this early in the season).

If you want to watch wakeboarding events, contact local cities like Redmond (Lake Sammamish) and the city of Lake Stevens to talk to their parks department to find out when wakeboarding tournaments will be taking place. Lesser known lakes for wakeboarding include Big Lake (just south of Sedro Wooley, 90 minutes north of Seattle, and Lake Tapps, about an hour south of Seattle.

As someone who's wakeboarded in the area, I spent most of my time on Lake Stevens, except for the occassional trip over the Cascade Mountains to Eastern Washington, and vacations on the Columbia River (Crescent Bar) and Lake Chelan (but even as late as the last weeks of May Lake Chelan was cold).

What Seattle has for MMA / Mixed Martial Arts

There's quite an MMA following in the Seattle area, with professional fighters with world acclaim either training in the area, or running their own gyms and turning out their own fighters. Matt Hume and Josh Barnett were known well in recent years for their records as professional fighters and operate AMC Kickboxing in Kirkland. Charles Pearson, a former champion of North America for pankration (the original "term" for MMA) runs a well-known gym in Everett, where he also works as a fight promoter for area MMA events. Kids and young men (and even young women) from around the area have walked into these gyms and been turned into trained fighters. Another local guy by the name of Otto Olson (from Everett, approximately 36 years old) has taken third place at the Abu Dhabi world submission wrestling championships. There are many more names to list of local fighters who have gone big and still train or run their own gyms in the Seattle area.

Skateboarding and BMX around Seattle

Your best leads for getting information on skateboarding and BMX racing in Seattle are going to be from area shops like 35th North Skateboard Shop down on Pike Street (downtown Seattle) and Harvey's Bike Shop in Lynnwood on Highway 99. Nowadays many towns and cities have areas designated for skateboarding, where people who understand the sport (and now work as builders of skate parks) actually come in and help design and build these kind of parks. BMX racing still takes place, and any shop owners who advertise at these events or help promote these events are going to be able to tell you the times and places to watch or to compete.

MX and ATV, look outside Seattle

While there are a lot of dirt bike and quad owners in the area, there just aren't that many places to ride. Private tracks are one way to ride, and other ways include trips out of town to large riding areas. Because these places are subject to closures (due to laws being passed on noise, for example), it is best to call area dirt bike and ATV dealers and ask to talk to someone in the know about where to ride. The best riding is going to likely take place east of the mountains, but even areas like Moses Lake may not have the accessibility once offered in past years. In some cased this may be due to alcohol and recklessness and people being hurt and so areas being closed by park / state officials. There are plenty of sanctioned races going on though in places like the Tri-Cities area of Eastern Washington as well as in Washougal, a city in southern Washington.
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