Extreme Sports

Carmen talks to a white-water rafting expert and a parkour enthusiast.

Do the Preparation task first. Then watch the video. Next go to Task and do the activity. If you need help, you can read the transcript at any time.


Before you watch 

Think about the following questions:

  • What extreme sports do you know?
  • Have you or has anyone you know tried an extreme sport?
  • What are the most popular extreme sports in your country?

Now, watch the video to find out more about extreme sports.



Extreme sports are popular all over the UK. Not just in the mountains of Snowdonia or Scotland. But what attracts people to these sports? Is it adventure or danger? 

People who enjoy fast and dangerous sports, like white-water rafting, are called thrill seekers or adrenalin junkies.

I’m at the National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham in the centre of England and this is the white-water course. Seven hundred metres of foaming water with drops or rapids. And the skill is to stay afloat in the rough water. 

I’m here to meet Pas Blackwell, a white-water rafting expert, and to find out why so many people enjoy the thrills and spills of this extreme sport. 

Carmen: Hi, Pas.

Pas: Hi, Carmen.

Carmen: So this is a specially built course, but you raft on rapids all around the world. What do you most enjoy about white-water rafting?

Pas: I really enjoy being outdoors and on the water. I really enjoy the freedom of just you and nature and I really enjoy the challenge.

Carmen: So why do people like dangerous sports?  

Pas: I think people like to push themselves - to see how far they can go – to really test themselves, against the elements, water and air.

Carmen: So, are you an adrenalin junkie?

Pas: I don’t think of myself as an adrenalin junkie, but I do really enjoy the rush of trying to get from the top to the bottom and get through situations that occur out on the river.


In the countryside there are lots of wide open spaces and lots of extreme sports to choose from. But what do adrenalin junkies do in the city? Well, parkour, sometimes called free running, is becoming popular in London.

Parkour started in France. And the idea is to get from one place to the other as fast as possible; jumping and climbing over whatever is in the way. So I’ve come to a parkour class in West London to find out what it’s all about. Rebecca Ahmed has been doing parkour for more than a year.

Carmen: So Rebecca, why do you like parkour?

Rebecca: It’s really fun, it’s original and it keeps me fit. That’s why I come.

Carmen: Do you need any special equipment?

Rebecca: Not really, we just use what’s around us like steps, railings and trees, but as long as you’ve got a good pair of trainers, you’re fine

Carmen: Is it difficult? 

Rebecca: I wouldn’t say it’s difficult – it’s more about the fear. If you’re not scared you can do it.

I’m not sure I’ve got the balance for parkour. Extreme sports can be dangerous, but they’re also lots of fun. 

Task 1

Vocabulary Task

Choose the right group for each of the words.


Task 2

Listening Task

Watch and listen.

Choose the correct answers, according to the video.


Take your language skills and your career to the next level
Get unlimited access to our self-study courses for only £5.99/month.

Language level

Submitted by Toan0312 on Thu, 09/05/2019 - 05:13

I like extreme sports.In my vacations it's what I do ,but I'm very afraid of parkour, i was hurt myself because try to play it. But the other stuffs are pretty amazing.

Submitted by Emmy on Thu, 02/05/2019 - 14:27

That sounds interesting! I am very afraid of adventure sport but i want to try playing it once times

Submitted by atiyeh89 on Wed, 03/10/2018 - 12:46

Hi. I cant understand the meaning of "SPILL" in this article!!...enjoy the thrills and spills of this extreme sport...

Hello atiyeh89,

A 'spill' can mean a fall, which is what I think it means here, i.e. when someone falls out of the raft, or perhaps when the raft turns upside down.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Nguyen thi Hai Huyen on Tue, 27/03/2018 - 04:10

can help me: Thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies

Hello Nguyen thi Hai Huyen,

A thrill seeker is a person who tries to find excitement in their life by doing risky or dangerous things. An adrenaline junkie is a person for whom the rush of adrenaline which comes when we are in danger is like an addictive drug, making them have to do more and more dangerous things to feel satisfied.



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Akbar Safi on Wed, 05/04/2017 - 05:39

For task 1, only two fillings are available for the 6 items. I can't see other 4?

Hello Akbar Safi,

The task here is a grouping task, so you need to put each items into one of the two categories. To do so, just click on an item and then click on the group where you think it belongs. Do this for each item in turn so that you end up with two groups.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by freddy77 on Sun, 02/04/2017 - 16:54

Dear supporters, In task 1, when I click on one word it appears in the gap, but when I click on another word the word from the gap gets back in the row above, (I can put only one word in the group) I can't finish the task, please help.

Dear freddy77,

What you have to do is click or press on the small hands in the boxes to move the words. For example, if you move 'drops' into the second box and then want to move 'foaming' there, too, you must click or press on the small hand in the 'foaming' box and then click or press on the small hand in the 'drops' box. Then, both of them should stay where they belong.

It's a bit difficult to describe, so if you need me to explain it again, please ask.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Tuan Hung on Tue, 21/02/2017 - 02:16

Hello, can you explain the meaning of the phrase " I really enjoy the freedom of just you ".

Hello Tuan Hung,

Here Pas seems to have left out the word 'being' – in other words what I think he means is 'I really enjoy the freedom of being just you and nature'. We often leave out words that we think are redundant (this is called 'ellipsis') and I think that must be why he's left it out here.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team