talking about it, so why not Bikwil?
you’ve heard of the term extreme used in connection with certain
sports. It refers to the performing by daredevil people of a land-based,
water or aerial activity that is risk-taking and adventurous. Often the
sole intent of participants is to experience the addictive adrenaline
rush that comes from pushing their own limits of fear and physical
said, doubtless you can detect which of the following is a genuine
Jumping at Niagara Playing the Violin
Mountain Climbing in the Himalayas
over Erupting Volcanoes
on the Sydney Opera House Sails
Kayaking dressed in an Aardvark Costume.
knew all along, didn’t you?
direct and unpretentious definition given in the free Internet
Ironing (or EI) is an extreme sport in which people take an ironing
board to a remote location and iron a few items of clothing . . . EI
supposedly combines the excitement of an extreme sport with the
satisfaction of freshly-ironed clothes.
of you who still think that this is a hoax, let me show you a few sites
devoted to this phenomenon. First, though, a little background.
Ironing was invented in his back yard by a Leicester man named Phil
Shaw. The year was 1997. According to The Guardian, it soon took
on the character of traditional British eccentricity, being at first an
underground organisation. But by 2002 it had become a global challenge
(having been promoted single-handedly around the world by Shaw),
especially after he ran into some German tourists in New Zealand with
whom he founded Extreme Ironing International. It now has competitive
devotees everywhere — Austria, Australia, Croatia, Chile, Germany, New
Zealand, South Africa, U.K., U.S. . . . As of 2003 there were about
1,000 of them worldwide.
sort of stunts do these extremists perform?
flying a Luftfahrzeug microlight aircraft
water at a depth of 101m, in the sand arch of the Blue Hole, off the
from the Tyrolean Traverse, Wolfberg Cracks, Cederberg, South Africa.
will it all end?
“ironists” often give themselves appropriate nicknames. Phil Shaw calls
himself Steam, his original Leicester housemate Paul used the name Spray
and there are others today (men and women) going by monikers like
official Web site, Extreme
Ironing Bureau, offers most of the information you’ll ever need.
Obviously, you must look at all the photos in the Galleries, read the
Reviews and Forums, select your Downloads and get the book, the DVD and
the calendar from the Shop. Links and Search facilities are also
there is an Aussie Web site —
Extreme Ironing Oz.
consist primarily of photos of daring young folks in action, but these
pics are well worth your attention. Also of special interest at the site
are the humorous quotes. Here are two:
ironist known as Permanent Press Release:
want to have the first Iron in space — in space, no one can hear you
steam . . .
man calling himself Jeremy Irons:
since it has now become a worldwide sport, it may be pursued by the
Olympics. But I think it has a wider appeal and an EI Olympics will
eventually eclipse the existing games. As conventional sports become
boring and tedious, they will have to add Ironing as part of their
discipline. Then we’ll see EI taken to the level of world domination.
We’ll see the Millions in sponsorships and Prize money. This will be
followed by corruption at all levels and sex scandals, followed by the
EI Enhancing Drugs . . . I can’t wait !
that for an idea whose time has come? Extreme Ironing in the Olympics.
But no longer an idea, it’s now an Urban Myth, and rumoured all over the
Net, for example:
Britain’s success at the rowing in Athens, five times Olympic gold
medalist Sir Steve Redgrave has backed extreme ironing to become an
our local readers will have recently seen Australian daredevil Frinkle
Wee performing in the Grose Valley (N.S.W.), where he demonstrated his
death-defying base-jump ironing ability. It was shown, in June 2004, I
think, on the ABC’s popular culture TV programme Mondo Thingo.
those not in the know, like me, the acronym B.A.S.E. stands for
Buildings, Antennas, Spans and Earth, the four types of platforms used
in this sport — a form of parachuting.)
international Web sites include
Ironing Team Austria
Ironing on Pikes Peak, Colorado.
just watch out! Other extreme sports are on the march, such as
Extreme Accounting. Some
people even claim that there are such pastimes as Extreme Croquet,
Extreme Unicycling and Extreme Wheelbarrow. Should I believe them?