Extreme Sochi: Top adrenaline activities guide

Ria Novosti/Mikhail Mokrushin
Sochi travel guide for those that want to part with anger, fear, shame and regrets.

Extreme entertainment is one of the most effective ways of safely living through your negative emotions. I decided to check if Sochi really is one of the best places in Russia to blow off steam.

New Zealand’skingofextreme
One of the safest, strangest and coolest ways of titillating one’s nerves was invented back in the 1980s by AJ Hackett, a young construction worker from New Zealand. In Sochi Skypark I learned that Hackett’s passion for extreme sports became his career after he discovered one Trinidad Island ritual.

After tying long vines to their feet, local men jumped headfirst from 35-meter high wooden towers. Since ancient times islanders had believed that these fearless jumps would bring a heavy crop of sweet potatoes.

After his first jump almost 30 years ago Hackett decided that everyone should experience what he had felt. First of all he turned to the Department of Science and Industrial Research of New Zealand, where he got help in inventing a mathematical formula and producing a durable and safe rubber rope for jumping from bridges. There are now eight parks in the world featuring the AJ Hackett brand.

Extreme Skypark in Sochi

Photo credit: RIA Novosti/Mikhail Mokrushin
Skypark AJ Hackett opened in Sochi, Russia a couple of years ago. It is located in Akhshtyr Gorge in the Mzymta River valley on the way to Krasnaya Polyana in the midst of an old-growth forest. Here you can find buxus colchica (aka Colchian boxwood), jasmine and rhododendrons.

The central place in the park is occupied by a 439-meter long Skybridge – the longest suspension walking bridge in the world. The first thing I did was take a thrilling walk across this structure. At a height of 207 meters above sea level I saw the Caucasus Mountains on one side and the Black Sea coast on the other side. I felt my anxiety gradually giving way to delight.

I did not go in for the real adrenaline buzz. However, I did find out that the highest swing in the world, SochiSwing (170 meters), is one of the highest bungies in the world and that the MegaTroll attraction, which allows participants to achieve speeds of up to 150 kilometers per hour, are all located in Skypark

With my own eyes I saw a man who decided to jump from one of the world’s highest bungies at a height of 207 meters. At first he looked prepared and serious; he told everyone that he would not get scared or scream. But when he, meticulously tied by all possible types of dynamic ropes available, stumbled down like a rock falling out of the sky, even I just being a spectator, stopped breathing for a second. The man screamed. And I am sure that all of his negative emotions came out through this scream, because when he was lifted back up he looked happy and enlightened.

Photo credit: RIA Novosti/Mikhail Mokrushin

The Liana Cave leads to a via ferrata (protected climbing route equipped with steel cables that runs along the route and is periodically fixed to the rock) designed to help those that are not into wild jumps above mountain gorges. Apart from thrilling gigantic attractions, there are many other pleasant places in Skypark, such as the Mowgli adventure park, an interactive museum of international bungee jumping, an 18-meter high rock-climbing wall that is 1200 square meters in area, sightseeing platforms with a great view of the sea and mountains and a restaurant on the edge of a canyon.

You can enjoy other extreme sports in Sochi, such as kitesurfing, diving, canyoning, rock-climbing, speleo hiking and riding around in jeeps. Other ways to get an adrenaline rush at sea include windsurfing, wakeboarding or classic surfing.

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