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10 Best Colleges for Extreme Sports Enthusiasts



While most colleges offer programs in football, soccer, basketball and other more run-of-the-mill sports, far fewer have courses and groups embracing students who prefer more thrill-seeking athletics. Even fewer are located in places where students can easily access (some of) the best skiing, surfing and mountain biking in the world. We’ve compiled a list here of some schools fitting the bill for students looking to enjoy extreme sports. Whether because of their location, the courses they offer or a combination of both, these selections may prove ideal destinations for students needing an adrenaline rush in their downtime.

  1. University of Hawaii

    Hawaii is an amazing destination for students looking to soak up the sun in near perfect weather year round. It’s also a great place to find some of the best extreme sports locales in the world, especially if you like surfing. Oahu’s north shore is known for its amazing waves and sits just a short drive from the Manoa campus. If surfing’s not your thing, there are plenty of other extreme sports to keep you busy, including hiking, zip lining, rock climbing, SCUBA diving, snorkeling, windsurfing, mountain biking and more. Hawaii isn’t just a tropical paradise; it’s an extreme sports heaven as well.

  2. Oklahoma State University, Stillwater

    While Oklahoma State in Stillwater doesn’t offer the plethora of extreme sports opportunities that Hawaii does, it is a great place to head if you can’t seem to get enough motocross. Stillwater is home to three motocross parks: Area 51 Motocross Park, Cooperland Raceway and Stillwater Motorcycle Park. That’s a whole lot more motocross than most other cities can boast, and could make it the ideal destination for students wanting to train at some of the nation’s best tracks.

  3. Granite State College

    North Conway, NH, consistently ranks near the top of lists featuring the best places for outdoorsy types — perfect for extreme sports enthusiasts who can’t get enough nature. It’s also home to Granite State College, so students can blend activities like rock climbing, mountain climbing, ice climbing and kayaking with getting an education. And if you get tired of all that extreme action, you can take a relaxing hike through the over 700,000 acres of protected land in the Mount Washington Valley.

  4. University of Colorado at Boulder

    There aren’t many schools in Colorado that would prove a bad match for a student who loves extreme sports, but Boulder is perhaps one of the best. From sports taking you to the great outdoors like rock climbing, kayaking and skiing, to those employing man-made materials like hang gliding, bungee jumping and parachuting, students can find just about every kind of thrill imaginable within a few miles of campus. Additionally, it isn’t hard to locate like-minded students on campus, as there is a large number of organizations dedicated to sports like snowboarding and hiking.

  5. University of Oregon, Eugene

    Anyone who has ever visited Oregon knows that the state is chock full of natural beauty and people who can’t get enough of it. A great location to call home while exploring the wilds is the University of Oregon in Eugene. Not only is the school situated in a great place to take advantage of the state’s natural sights, it’s also full of students who’ll want to join your adventures. In fact, it even boasts one of the largest outdoor pursuits programs in the US, offering courses and expeditions that will let you explore Oregon’s back country, become a trained rescue responder or get the skills you need to survive in the wild. If that’s not enough, students can do everything from bungee jump to rock climb in the areas surrounding campus.

  6. University of Nevada, Las Vegas

    Las Vegas is known as a city of extremes, so it should come as no surprise that the surrounding areas are full of great activities for thrill seekers. Students at the University of Nevada need only find a car and head just off of campus to enjoy some of the amazing extreme sports benefits this school offers. Rock climbers scale the pink sandstone of the Cloud Tower in Red Rock Canyon National Park, mountain bikers explore the wilds of Zion National Park, white water rafters find exciting rapids on the Colorado River and snowboarders spend winter on the slopes of Mount Charleston. The city also hosts a yearly sports and music festival called Extreme Thing, where students can check out bands and pro BMX bikers.

  7. Boise State University

    This Idaho school was embracing extreme sports early on, with an equipment rental program that started almost 20 years ago, allowing students access to whitewater rafts, kayaks, canoes, snowshoes, climbing gear and other outdoor essentials. Today, that program has evolved, now allowing credit for participating. Boise State also sponsors a number of trips each year that get them involved not only with extreme sports (like surfing, caving and rafting, to name a few), but also other students. In recent years, the school has even held a film festival dedicated to extreme sports footage to raise money for new facilities — a testament to the enduring popularity of outdoor activities.

  8. Garrett College

    Even if you love extreme sports, you probably weren’t aware that you could actually major in them — but Garrett College in McHenry, MD is one such school offering a chance to do just that. It actually hosts a degree plan in adventure sports, training guides to work in the hospitality industry and helping others enjoy the athletics they’re so passionate about. With classes on whitewater rafting, kayaking and snowboarding, it could be an amazing way for those interested in extreme sports to make them more than just a hobby. Of course, for students wanting to major in something else and still enjoy sports on the side, the school offers a range of degree plans; you can still take those super fun classes for elective credit.

  9. Southwestern Michigan College

    Southwestern Michigan College may not be situated in an ideal spot for all extreme sports, but the school makes up for it by offering a range of relevant courses. Students can sign up for classes that will train and prepare them to whitewater raft in West Virginia, rock and mountain climb, snowboard, ski, canoe, hike and even sea kayak– all for college credit! The two-year school is also located near a number of lakes, offering other great opportunities for students who like water skiing or parasailing.

  10. University of California, Los Angeles

    While driving on the freeway might be considered an extreme sport in LA, there are plenty of other (more fun) ways to spend your campus time engaging in more traditional activities. UCLA is world-renowned educational institution, but that doesn’t mean students don’t know how to have a good time. Located close to the beach, students can grab their surfboards and take to the waves for a little surfing. Head in the other direction, and LA is home to mountains perfect for a little hiking and mountain biking, and there are numerous marked trails of which anyone can take advantage. Students will also find a number of on-campus organizations that support just about every extreme sport out there, from kayaking to parkour. Better yet, LA has been home to the summer X-Games since 2003.

This article was brought to you by Jennifer from Online Colleges

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