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5 Extreme sports for women

Whitney Coy is a freelance writer and editor based in Columbus, OH, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She writes frequently for SheKnows, as well as several other websites. She writes on topics including parenting, trav...

Boys not allowed

Are you a lady with a taste for adventure? Try your hand at extreme sports! This little corner of the sporting world has long been dominated by men, but that’s changing fast. Women are gaining ground and showing men how it’s done in this popular genre that demands not only a high physical ability, but also a complete mental understanding.

Female surfer

There are a lot of extreme sports out there. Are you happiest when neck-deep in the ocean? Find an extreme sport that will let you spend the day in the water and soaking up sun. More of a land-lover? Choose one that lets you get your hands dirty. Pick one sport or pick many. No matter what you choose, give it your all and prove to women – and men – everywhere that we're more than just delicate flowers.

1Surfing

You don't have to be a California girl to take up surfing. It's the perfect excuse for a vacation, or even a daytrip to the shore if you're close enough, but don't think you're going to pick it up the first time you try. Surfing requires a lot of balance, but it's mainly about timing. You have to catch the wave at just the right moment, and the only way to figure that out is through practice.

Why you should surf >>

Most tourist towns on the coast offer several surf instruction businesses. If you don't want to shell out big bucks to learn this new sport, get yourself a board and dive in – just make sure to start with baby waves! It's the perfect way to spice up a day at the beach, so grab your gear and get your feet wet.

2Snowboarding

Strap yourself to a board and hold on – this ride isn't for sissies!

If warm weather isn't your thing, maybe you'd like to play in the snow? Snowboarding, the extreme sister to skiing, has been around since the 60s, but didn't start gaining steam until the 90s. It's still dominated by men, but women have been making appearances more frequently, even at professional competitions.

Start off by free-riding, which basically means going down a simple hill. Once you get the hang of it, add in jumps, twists, flips and anything else you're brave enough to handle!

3Mountain biking

Easy as riding a bicycle? Not this sport!

Mountain biking is a sport you can do pretty much anywhere in the world, at nearly any difficulty level. Start out on a gently sloping wooded path and work your way up to a treacherous mountainside terrain. Pick up a mountain bike for low cost at your local super center, or splurge for a professional level ride at a specialty shop. Your level of involvement is totally up to you. It's a great way to work up a sweat (and work on those glutes!) while seeing the sights. Just keep in mind that wherever you go, you have to get back!

Cycling: A beginner's guide >>

4Roller derby

Strap on your padding and your helmet, because this one's going to hurt!

The roller derby is gaining in popularity fast, and this sport is totally ruled by women. While it does exist on a professional level, amateur teams are much easier to come by and there are probably a few in your area.

This indoor sport involves two teams of skaters. The skaters circle the track, with the scoring player of one team earning points for skating past members of the opposite team. It may sound easy, but the roller derby isn't for the faint of heart. It's full contact and it's known to leave a mark!

5White water rafting

You're going to need a few friends to pull this one off! White water rafting involves riding an inflatable raft through rough, rushing waters. You and a group of friends navigate a river or other fast-moving water using paddles, with a guide leading the way.

Tips for choosing the best sports bra >>

Always wear your safety equipment, because rafting can be dangerous. Don't attempt this sport without a guide. It takes a lot of skill to get out of tricky situations, and still waters can become viscous in just seconds. Don't plan on staying dry – you'll likely end up soaking wet, even if you don't capsize.

More sports on sheknows

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Why women suffer more knee injuries

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