Train surfing – Get ready to push your limits!

Usually an illegal sport, train surfing is the act of climbing on the outside of a moving train, tram or another rail transport. This type of extreme sport was made popular in Germany in the 1980s, where it was widely known as “S-Bahn Surfing”. Unfortunately, this phenomenon was then forgotten, but in 2005 it was rediscovered by a group of adrenaline enthusiasts from Frankfurt, Germany. The leader of the group who called himself “The Trainrider” surfed the fastest train in Germany, the InterCityExpress, which triggered a a genuine phenomenon among adolescents. In 2008, forty teenagers died in Germany because of train surfing, but surprisingly, this activity is not considered illegal in this country. However, train surfing is very popular all over the world, but it is also illegal in many countries, including Australia, India, Indonesia, Russia and U.S.A .

 

In most countries police officers and guards patrol the railways in the attempt to prevent this practice and arrest train surfers if they are spotted. According to the laws and regulations of different countries, train surfers can be fined for different amounts of money and even imprisoned for a certain time frame. However, statistics in many countries reveal that train surfing is the favorite extreme sport for many adrenaline junkies who have absolutely no problem with the risks incurred by this practice. Despite the huge fines, the jail time and all the other risks, train surfing is still highly appreciated and increasingly popular, especially on thoserailroads where the trains are overcrowded. Train surfing is also known as train hopping or train hitching and it is also confused with freight hopping, which refers to the practice of riding on the outside of a freight train. To that extent, the major difference is that train hopping can be practiced on any type of train and unfortunately, it remains a dangerous and even life-threatening activity given the high risk of death and injuries from falling of a moving train.

 

The reasons underlying the impressive popularity of train surfing are quire obvious: sometimes you actually need to lose your mind in order to free your soul. Adrenaline enthusiasts don’t flood only the scene of typical extreme sports, but they are everywhere for they need to live new, exciting and memorable experiences and achieve the ultimate and completely natural “high”. When experiencing an adrenaline rush, a human being’s reflexes operate at their most optimum level, causing what is widely known as “The Batman Effect”, a feeling of invincibility that comes with a heightened sense of awareness and an extreme boost in concentration. This intense reaction is complemented by a by rapid blood flow to the muscles and a sudden boost of oxygen to the lungs, which eventually generate a dramatic increase in physical performance. Adrenaline enthusiasts are in constant lookout for dangerous activities for these give them an almost surreal feeling of happiness, power and freedom. Train surfing is one of those extreme sports that add a new dimension to everyday life, making teenagers push their limits beyond the boundaries of conventional and safety and releasing their soul’s energy. Everything they have lived until then vanishes, that particular moment of freedom is the only that counts and it is worth the risk.

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