Turning Housework into a Extreme Sport

Let's face it, the thought of the clothes piling up in the laundry, just waiting to be washed and ironed, send a lot of us into a state of absolute dread. So it might surprise some of you who find this chore rather boring and mundane that ironing has been turned into an extreme action sport that is spreading across the globe.

Known simply as Extreme Ironing, this sport combines the dull housework chore of ironing with adventure and action, revolving around the concept that participants take an ironing board to a remote location and iron. These places could include climbing halfway down a cliff-face, high up in the canopy of a tree, in a cave, on a river, on a roof, in the snow, or even underwater. The only limits are your imagination. This extreme sport can be undertaken by individuals or in groups.

Extreme Ironing originated in England in 1997, when founder Phil ‘Steam’ Shaw came home from work, and when faced with his pile of ironing, and preferring to instead go rock climbing, decided to combine the two activities together, and a new extreme sport was born. Phil Shaw then embarked on an international tour to promote this sport across the globe. In the video below, you can see some amazing and extreme places participants have taken Extreme Ironing to.

Extreme Ironing

Spinoffs From Extreme Ironing

Bungee Ironing

As Extreme Ironing became known, it inspired other branches and spinoffs, such as Bungee Ironing, which incorporates bungee jumping and ironing, and is probably considered the greatest thrill in Extreme Ironing. It takes determination, precision, a high level of committment to achieving the extreme, as well as a high level of craziness!

Bungee Ironing

A documentary called ‘Extreme Ironing: Pressing for Victory’ was created by Channel 4 in Britain, causing the sport to gain international attention. It followed the British Extreme Ironing team’s efforts in the first International Extreme Ironing Contest in Germany. The event was held in 2002, and competing countries included Austria, Australia, Chile, Croatia, Great Britain and Germany. There were five Extreme Ironing Sections that each team were tested in:

Urban – this involved ironing in, on or around a broken down car.

Water – Located at a river, competitors could use surfboards, canoes or rubber rings to demonstrate their extreme ironing technique.

Forest – Competitors had to involve tree climbing.

Rocky – A purposely built climbing wall, where competitors had to climb and then iron a shirt.

Freestyle – In this section, anything goes.

Competitors were judges on both their creativity in being extreme, as well as their abilities in ironing the clothes. Two teams from Great Britain claimed the gold and bronze team medals, while German and Austrian competitors picked up the individual prizes. 

The tagline for this sport suggests that Extreme Ironing is "the latest danger sport that combines the thrills of an extreme outdoor activity with the satisfaction of a well-pressed shirt", so maybe next time you are staring at the mounting pile of clothes waiting to be ironed, you’ll add a little excitement to the chore and give Extreme Ironing a go.