HOW: A chopper carries you to remote mountains or backcountry that isn't otherwise accessible. Once you've reached your destination, grab your pack--and partner!--to trek into the wild. You can do it MacGyver-style and bring your own camping and cooking gear (don't forget the duct tape!). Or join a heli-hiking tour group, most of which offer modern accommodations and a well-stocked bar.
WHERE: Canadian Mountain Holidays in B.C.'s Rocky Mountains
HOW: The love child of snowboarding and waterskiing, wakeboarding is cottage country's hottest thrill. You'll need a wakeboard, a powerboat driver and a whole lotta core strength to pull yourself upright as the boat gains speed and tows you in its wake. Once you're standing, try mastering hilariously named tricks like the Dum-Dum, G-Spot and Slurpee.
WHERE: West Lake Wakeboard School, Prince Edward County, Ont.
3. Stand-up paddleboarding
HOW: Stand-up paddleboarding (a.k.a. SUP) emerged in Hawaii in the 1960s but has recently come into its own, winning the hearts of extreme sport enthusiasts around the globe. Unlike surfing, SUP is easier to learn because you use a paddle to propel yourself across the water. You also have better visibility than classic surfers, which means you can catch more gnarly waves. Along with an exhilarating rush, this adventure will give you a wicked core workout!
WHERE: Potomac Paddlesports in Washington, D.C.
4. Whitewater rafting
HOW: A small group of thrill-seekers pile into an inflatable raft and navigate their way through raging, white-capped rapids. An experienced tour guide steers you through rough waters as you encounter various levels of torrents. Keep your life jacket fastened and remember that capsizing is half the fun!
WHERE: Eau Vive on Quebec's Rouge River
HOW: Canyoneering is an ideal adventure for indecisive folks because it's a grab bag of activities: hiking, jumping, stream splashing, rappelling, swimming and climbing. The goal is to explore a canyon using technical gear, such as ropes and harnesses, to help you rappel waterfalls and steep canyon walls. Expect to encounter rapids, creeks and stunning views as you descend the canyon and wield its crevices and waterways.
WHERE: Zion National Park in Utah
HOW: Calling all couch potatoes: This is the adventure for you! Since zip‑lining is gravity-fed, this adrenaline-pumping activity has a high thrill-to-effort ratio. Get strapped into a harness, pray you don't smack into the trunk of a cedar tree and let gravity do its thang. Glide over creeks and mountains and get that extreme-sport high without breaking a sweat.
WHERE: Blackcomb Mountain in Whistler, B.C.
HOW: What's so terrifying about jumping out of a plane?! If you're a skydiving newbie, you'll do a tandem jump with an expert instructor. Strap yourself into a harness, buddy-up with the pro and take the plunge. Free-fall through the sky until your parachute opens and you gracefully float back to earth--although your head will likely still be in the clouds after such a sublime rush!
WHERE: Pacific Skydiving in Oahu, Hawaii
HOW: Surfing has maintained its cool status since splashing into mainstream American culture in the 1950s. Before you hit the waves, practice the prone and stand-up riding positions on the beach. When you're ready to hit the surf, tackle your first few waves laying on your belly. Once you've mastered riding prone, try pulling yourself upright to catch a wave and you'll be hanging-10 like the pros in no time (er, kinda).
WHERE: One Life Surf School in Lawrencetown Beach, N.S.
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