The Ultimate Adventure Teen Bucket List: 11 Must-Try Extreme Sports and Where to Do Them

Two people climbing atop a large rock formation in Utah.
Photo Courtesy: Gunjan Prakash

If you’re looking for an exhilarating activity with your teens, look no further than extreme sports! From surfing and white-water rafting to skydiving and rock climbing, there are plenty of ways to get your adrenaline pumping. However, nothing brings the whole family together like heart-racing action in the great outdoors. And what’s more, there are some amazing locations around the world that are perfect for trying out extreme sports. In addition to rounding up some locations, I’ve provided a section with some helpful tips that can help you and your loved ones avoid serious injuries. Here are some top picks for the best extreme sports and locations to do them with teens! 

Location, Location, Location… It Matters!

A young girl holds the hand of a surf instructor while walking toward the water in Costa Rica.
Photo Courtesy: Lisa Lossie

Before trying extreme sports with your teens, there are a few things to know. (The epic views and great fun can wait!) First, before you travel with teens, make sure your teen is comfortable with the idea of doing an extreme sport. Second, you’ll need to find the best location for the activity. You’ll most likely be spending a fair bit of energy, time, and money. All for the purpose of engaging in a few adventures with you and your young ones. There is one vital factor to keep in mind.

Location matters! Catching waves in Canada? Sounds horrid, right? Allow me to modify an old adage: There is a time and the right place for everything. For some of these adventure sports, you’ll be traveling around the world. I can’t imagine many thrill seekers will be pleased with going on a trip to the wrong place. The right location gives you the best experience of whatever extreme activity you are engaging in. With this in mind, let’s explore your future bucket list add-ons!

Best Extreme Sports and the Top Locations to Do Them with Teens

Most teens are naturally drawn to extreme sports because of the rush of adrenaline they provide. However, it’s also important to research and pick a place suitable for your family’s lifestyle and skill level. Here are some of the best extreme sports for teenagers, along with our top picks for the best location to do each one! 

READ NEXT: 21 Vacations With Teens And Tweens In The United States That Are Sure To Impress

Surfing

A teen girl on a surf board catching a wave, one of the best extreme sports to do with teens on a family trip.

Hang ten! Actually, don’t; that maneuver is for advanced surfers only. Love summer? If so, then there is no better sport for the thrill seeker within you. Parents love surfing with their teens for several reasons. For one, the fundamentals of surfing translate well to many other sports. Also, the benefits that your kids reap will stick with them well into their adult lives. Sure, your children will probably fall. However, what better way to teach them to jump back up and give it another go?

Most people worry about losing sight of their teens. We’ve all heard horror stories. Nonetheless, there are various places within Maui, Hawaii, and Siargao Island that are beginner-friendly. Here, you can enjoy tiny waves and small bumps. In fact, Siargao Island is known as the surfing capital of the Philippines. For a nation comprised of thousands of islands, that’s one impressive feat. No wonder it’s one of the best vacations to take with teens!

I’m not suggesting that your teen take on the monsters of Nazaré, Portugal. Practice first. As their balance improves, so too will their confidence. With both on an upward trajectory, your child is sure to be in a better mood. Even adults gain much from surfing. Cardiovascular fitness, anyone? I just hope you’re able to push past the leg pain. It’s a lower-body workout like no other!

Best Places to Go Surfing with Teens Around the World

  • Maui + Oahu, Hawaii – Oahu is the birthplace of modern surfing and offers some of the most famous surf spots in the world, such as Waikiki Beach, Banzai Pipeline, and Sunset Beach.
  • Jeffreys Bay, South Africa – Jeffreys Bay is one of the best right-hand point breaks in the world, with world-class waves such as Supertubes, Tubes, and Point.
  • Byron Bay + Gold Coast, Australia – With over 57 km of coastline, Gold Coast is known for its long, sandy beaches and great surf spots, such as Burleigh Heads, Snapper Rocks, and Kirra Beach.
  • Siargao Island, Philippines – Siargao Island is a hidden gem with some of the best waves in Asia, such as Cloud 9, Jacking Horse, and Quicksilver.
  • Santa Cruz, California – Santa Cruz is home to some of the best waves on the West Coast of the United States, such as Pleasure Point, Steamer Lane, and The Hook.
  • Tamarindo, Costa Rica – Tamarindo is a beautiful beach town with great waves for beginners and experienced surfers alike, such as Playa Grande, Playa Tamarindo, and Playa Langosta.
  • Bali, Indonesia – Bali is a surfer’s paradise, with some of the best waves in the world, such as Uluwatu, Padang Padang, and Canggu.

Book your Oahu: Surfing Lessons for 2 People (ages 12+) using GetYourGuide.

Rock Climbing

A teen girl rock climbs on a family vacation.

Rock climbing is one of the best extreme sports out there for teens. It’s both physically and mentally challenging and provides an opportunity to push oneself to the limit and overcome fears. See that mountain? You can scale it! I’ve had plenty of friends try out rock climbing. Amazing! Fantastic! These are just a few of the adjectives thrown around whenever we talk about the subject. It’s truly a puzzle found only in nature.

Additionally, there is no puzzle more beautiful than Railay Beach, Thailand. Even if you have a headache, the breathtaking emerald waters and lush mountains of Railay beach will make it all better. While there’s too much struggle for my liking, I must admit it’s a great sport. Teens can especially gain muscle strength. What surfing is to the lower body, rock climbing is to the upper portion. 

If you’re older, rock climbing can also help you in big ways. The main areas that experience a boost in strength are the hands and fingers. Our grip gets weaker as we grow older, and rock climbing is a fantastic fit for that! 

Best Places to Try Rock Climbing with Teens Around the World

  • Squamish, Canada – Climbers from around the world seek Squamish as a climbing destination due to its granite cliffs and bluffs overlooking the scenic Howe Sound. Many consider it one of the most picturesque and accessible rock-climbing destinations in the world.
  • Joshua Tree National Park, United States – this national park is well-known for its traditional-style crack, slab, and steep face climbing options. Plus, there are options for all ability levels with more than 8,000 climbing routes, as well as bouldering options.
  • Yosemite National Park, United States – Yosemite is a top location for rock climbers, with its granite cliffs and stunning landscapes. El Capitan is the most famous climb in Yosemite, but there are plenty of other great climbs for all skill levels.
  • Railay Beach, Thailand – Railay Beach is a paradise for rock climbers, with its limestone cliffs rising from turquoise waters. The area has over 700 climbing routes, with many suitable for beginners.
  • Gimmelwald, Switzerland – Gimmelwald is a small village in the Swiss Alps with stunning views and challenging climbs. The area has over 500 climbing routes, with many suitable for all skill levels.

Click here to read 21 Vacations With Teens And Tweens In The United States That Are Sure To Impress

Skateboarding

A teen boy skateboards on a half-pike course, one of the best extreme sports to do with teens on a family trip.

How could any teen resist the lure of skateboarding? It’s one of the best extreme sports out there – and it’s SO much cooler than, say, golf or tennis. Of course, you shouldn’t just visit any skate park. Grinds and face plants should only be experienced within the best grounds. Why break a leg at your neighborhood park? Wouldn’t the Venice Beach Skatepark be a much better option?

If sunshine isn’t your thing, Burnside Skatepark in Portland, Oregon, the skateboarding hot spot, is secluded in the best way possible. Tucked under a bridge. Like a troll. Due to its cultural significance, every skater must make the pilgrimage to Burnside skatepark. It’s got plenty of variety to keep you entertained. A trip to the Skatehalle Berlin is another great way to get in your teen’s good graces.

As for skateboarding itself, it shouldn’t be hard to get your teen interested. Frankly, a vast majority of skateboarders that I see around are teenagers. Its history, full of rebellion, attracts those looking to express themselves and stay in shape. Skateboarding also lends itself well to self-expression. Just about every part of the board can be customized. The deck, trunks, and wheels. What’s more, Christmas shopping just got a whole lot easier. It’s a chance to be yourself, all while getting a great lower-body workout. In other words, skateboarding is the perfect extreme sport for your teens! 

Best Places to Go Skateboarding with Teens Around the World

  • Venice Beach, California – Venice Beach Skate Park is a famous destination for skateboarders, with its ocean views and unique features, including a snake run, bowl, and street section.
  • Burnside Skatepark, Portland, Oregon – holds deep cultural significance for skateboarders and is a must-visit destination in the United States.
  • Skatehalle Berlin, Germany – famous for its state-of-the-art designs and challenging courses, teens can hone their talents amongst new friends and mentors.
  • Vans Skatepark, Orange County, California – Vans Skatepark is a massive indoor skatepark with various features, including a vert ramp, street section, and bowl.
  • Barcelona, Spain – Barcelona is known for its street skateboarding scene, with many famous spots such as MACBA (Museum of Contemporary Art Barcelona), Sants Station, and Paral·lel.
  • Southbank Skate Park, London, UK – Southbank Skate Park is one of the oldest skateparks in the world, located under Queen Elizabeth Hall in the Southbank Centre.

Here are 10 Exciting Things To Do In Los Angeles With Teens and Preteens This Summer!

Snowboarding and Skiing

Boy skiing with red helmet while on a vacation for family skiing in Alpendorf.

What could be more extreme than hurtling down a mountainside on a snowboard or skis? It’s no wonder teens love snowboarding and skiing – it’s the ultimate thrill ride! While contemplating skiing vs snowboarding differences, I’m sure your teen will love the freedom and power that snowboarding can bring them. The self-expression of skateboarding married with speed and varied terrain – what a perfect combination! At first, it’ll be a trial to maintain yourself upright. Once past this rough start, the rest starts to fall into place.

In regards to skiing family vacations with teens, Europe is the final destination. Iconic places such as Verbier, Switzerland, and the French Alps are topping several lists. Having more of a background in snowboarding, California had long been my stomping ground.

Despite this, it must be acknowledged that other countries have much better resorts. My dream location is nestled in the far east. Niseko, Japan, is undoubtedly one of the best places to go skiing in Japan with families! Its reputation for constantly snowy conditions, many English speakers, and deep, powdery slopes with stellar dendrite (incredibly fluffy snow) make it a top pick for anyone seeking a winter getaway. Don’t forget to slap on a pair of insulated pants (preferably something with DWR coating)! 

Best Places To Go Skiing Or Snowboarding With Teens Around The World

  • Whistler Blackcomb, Canada – Whistler Blackcomb is the largest ski resort in North America, with over 8,100 acres of skiable terrain and various slopes for all levels.
  • Chamonix, FranceChamonix is a famous ski resort in the French Alps, known for its challenging slopes and off-piste skiing.
  • Verbier, Switzerland – Verbier is a famous ski resort in Switzerland, known for its extensive ski terrain and challenging off-piste skiing.
  • Niseko, Japan – Niseko is a popular ski resort in Japan, known for its deep powder snow and stunning views of Mount Yotei.
  • Jackson Hole, Wyoming – Offering two mountains (Apres Vous and Rendezvous), Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is famous for steep skiing and stunning views. Here teens and their families can enjoy 2,500 acres of skiable terrain, 3,000 backcountry acres, and more!

RELATED: Where To Ski In Europe With Kids: The Best Countries And Why

Mountain Biking

A teen boy races through a wooded path on a mountain bike, one of the best extreme sports to do with teens on a family trip.
Photo Courtesy: Tim Foster

Even the most accismus teenager won’t be able to turn down an afternoon mountain biking! A perfect amalgamation of the extreme and the great outdoors, not much is required to get started. Even less is asked for in regard to acumen. Surely, everybody knows how to ride a bike! All it takes is a few gear switches and a ramp. The rest is a story told between you, your ride, and the air. It’s also great for cardio exercises and even better for endurance training. Biking is already a blast in the city, of course, that fun would be multiplied when far from home.

Plus, you’ll get plenty of fresh air and a chance to navigate some serene nature. Frankly, I find mountain biking to be a calming experience. Sure, the terrain may get rough, but the action itself is soothing. For some, however, it’s also adrenaline-pumping and exciting. And it can be done in some of the most beautiful locations in the world! My personal pick for a mountain biking vacation would be Whistler Mountain Bike Park. Situated in Canada, this mountain bike park comprises several trails. Each one cuts through impressive woodlands.

Best Places to Go Mountain Biking with Teens Around the World

  • Whistler Mountain Bike Park, Canada – Whistler is a world-renowned mountain biking destination, with over 80 miles of trails and a variety of terrain for all levels.
  • Chiang Mai, Thailand – Doi Suthep and Doi Pui, Chiang Mai’s twin peaks, have many biking trails that teens and their families will love. In fact, these legendary trails entice riders from across the world all year round. 
  • Fruita, Colorado – considered one of the premier mountain biking spots in the US- offers an ideal terrain combination for riders of all skill levels and abilities.
  • Finale Ligure, Italy – Finale Ligure is a popular mountain biking destination in Italy, with over 100 miles of trails and stunning coastal views.
  • Moab, Utah – Moab is a famous mountain biking destination in the USA, known for its challenging trails and stunning red rock scenery.
  • Sedona, Arizona – Sedona is a popular mountain biking destination in the USA, known for its stunning red rock formations and challenging trails.

Book Your Moab: Mountain Bike Half-Day Tour (suitable for all abilities).

Bungee Jumping

A teen bungee jumps from a bridge, one of the best extreme sports to do with teens on a family trip.

Bungee jumping is one of the most popular extreme sports, and it’s not hard to see why! There’s something exhilarating about freefalling from a great height, even if it is with a bungee cord attached to your feet. And while some people might think it’s a bit crazy, bungee jumping is relatively safe when done with experienced operators and proper equipment. While I refuse to go bungee jumping, it won’t be hard to convince your teens to try this out. I’d wager that they’ll be the ones trying to convince you! 

Admittedly, there are some pretty awesome places to bungee jump off of. The Macau Tower in China instantly comes to mind. This flashy beauty is among the world’s top ten tall sightseeing towers. Macau is already a city of exuberance and wonder. I’d say the best way to experience such a location would be to bungee jump! If I had to bungee jump, I’d do it off of the Victoria Falls Bridge in Zambia/Zimbabwe

Best Places to Go Bungee Jumping with Teens Around the World

  • Queenstown, New Zealand – Queenstown is known as the world’s adventure capital and has several bungee jumping sites, including the Kawarau Bridge, the world’s first commercial bungee jumping site.
  • Macau Tower, China – The Macau Tower is the highest bungee jumping site in the world, with a height of 233 meters. It offers a thrilling freefall experience for bungee jumpers.
  • Bloukrans Bridge, South Africa
  • Victoria Falls Bridge, Zambia/Zimbabwe – The Victoria Falls Bridge is located on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia and offers a stunning view of Victoria Falls. It is also one of the highest bungee jumps in the world.
  • Bloukrans Bridge, South Africa – The Bloukrans Bridge is located on the Garden Route of South Africa and is one of the highest bungee jumping sites in the world, with a height of 216 meters.
  • Europabrücke Bridge, Austria – The Europabrücke Bridge is located in Tyrol, Austria, and is the highest bridge bungee jumping site in Europe, with a height of 192 meters.
  • Perrine Bridge, Idaho – The Perrine Bridge is located in Twin Falls, Idaho, and offers a scenic view of the Snake River Canyon. It is also a popular bungee jumping site in the United States.

Base Jumping

A teen girl base jumps from a cliff.

Base jumping is one of the most extreme sports in the world. It involves jumping from a very high place, usually a cliff or bridge, and using a wingsuit/parachute to slow your descent. Is base jumping dangerous? To a degree, but so is everything else on this list. It’s perennially at the top of my bucket list and the closest you will ever feel to being a superhero! Casually glide through the sky, cut around mountains, and jet through loops and natural rock formations. If your teen doesn’t want to do this, then perhaps a trip to the doctor’s office should be in order!

For me, base jumping is something that has to be done in the Nordic wilds. Kjerag, Norway, is the locale for wingsuit action. Jagged cliffs and naturally formed archways abound here, with moody skies as your backdrop. If you still have the gliding itch and Norway is too far, don’t worry! There are plenty of base jumping offerings within the United States, including in Moab, Utah, one of the best vacation destinations for teens!

Best Places to Go Base Jumping with Teens Around the World

  • Kjerag, Norway – Kjerag is a popular base jumping destination in Norway, known for its stunning views of the Lysefjord and challenging jumps.
  • Lauterbrunnen Valley, Switzerland – Lauterbrunnen Valley is a popular base jumping destination in Switzerland, with stunning cliffs and a supportive base jumping community.
  • Interlaken, Switzerland
  • Moab, Utah – Moab is a popular base jumping destination in the USA, known for its stunning red rock formations and challenging jumps.
  • Perrine Bridge, Idaho – Perrine Bridge is a popular base jumping destination in the USA, with a supportive base jumping community and stunning views of the Snake River Canyon.
  • Benidorm, Spain – Benidorm is a popular base jumping destination in Spain, known for its high-rise buildings and challenging jumps.
  • Beachy Head, England – Beachy Head is a popular base jumping destination in England, known for its stunning cliffs and challenging jumps.

Skydiving

Two men tandem skydive amongst the clouds, one of the best extreme sports to do with teens on a family trip.

There’s something about skydiving that just screams adventure. Maybe it’s the freefalling through the air part, or maybe it’s the fact that you’re leaping out of a perfectly good airplane. Either way, it’s definitely an extreme sport that always seems to be at the top of teen bucket lists and choices for the best vacation experiences for young adults. For me, skydiving is another ‘no thanks,’ but I seem to be an outlier. Everyone I run into these days wants to go skydiving, so I’m sure your teen will be no different! 

It’s the perfect way to get your adrenaline pumping and to feel like you’re really living life to the fullest. Plus, it’s a great way to see some amazing views – especially if you’re lucky enough to do a tandem jump with an experienced skydiver. There are many skydiving clubs and schools around the country, so finding a group to jump with is easy. And there are plenty of beautiful locations to do it in, from coastlines to mountain ranges. No wonder skydiving is so popular for social media shoots, which I’m sure your teens will be interested in! 

Looking for somewhere to go skydiving with teens? Well, that’s what the Perris Valley in California is for! A sleepy town parked between much more populated areas, it’s a great skydiving location for those who don’t wish to travel far. If you are fortunate enough to have the time and money, may I suggest Fox Glacier in New Zealand? It’s a wonderful isolated stretch of land, quaint but not completely cut off from the rest of the world. Fox Glacier is also one of the most accessible glaciers in the world. 

Best Places to Go Skydiving with Teens Around the World

  • Fox Glacier, New Zealand – Fox Glacier is a popular skydiving destination in New Zealand, with stunning views of the glacier and the surrounding mountains.
  • Wollongong, Australia – At the Wollongong dropzone, teens and their parents will experience a 15,000 ft tandem freefall. This means, guaranteed thrills and wonderful views of the ocean. Some skydivers have even spotted dolphins and whales!
  • Dubrovnik, Croatia – Known as one of the premier skydiving locations in the world, Croatia provides exhilarating skydiving adventures and magnificent views.
  • Perris Valley, California – This exciting destination is one of the best-known skydiving sites in the world (and a favorite amongst Hollywood stars). There are a variety of options here, including solo and tandem jumps.
  • Monterey Bay, California – Skydiving over Monterey Bay offers stunning coastline views, including the iconic Monterey Bay Aquarium.
  • Puerto Escondido, Mexico – Skydiving in Puerto Escondido offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the beaches of Oaxaca.
  • Hawaii, USA – Skydiving in Hawaii offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, lush rainforests, and the iconic Diamond Head crater.

White-Water Rafting

A family white water rafts down a raging river, one of the best extreme sports to do with teens on a family trip.

White-water rafting (or even kayaking) is one of the best extreme sports out there, and teens absolutely love it! You get thrust into an intense situation, but unlike skydiving, you can actually dominate your environment and expertly navigate tumultuous waters. Not only is it an adrenaline-pumping activity, but it’s also a great way to bond with friends or family. And there are so many amazing locations to do it in! Ride through a jungle, around ravines, or through raging waters. For nature lovers, there’s nothing better than spending a few days floating down a river surrounded by stunning scenery! 

Costa Rica is a common destination for rafting enthusiasts. Here, you’ll find lots of great rapids and rivers (challenging enough to keep your attention), as well as a good amount of instructors and trainers to choose from. Costa Rica is also a relatively affordable place to visit and English-friendly. If you’d rather go white-water rafting surrounded by stunning red rock scenery, check out the Grand Canyon in Arizona! 

Best Places to Go White-Water Rafting with Teens Around the World

  • Ayung River, Bali, Indonesia – The Ayung River in Bali offers a thrilling white-water rafting experience through lush rainforests and stunning scenery.Costa Rica
  • Nepal – Families will find the thrill of a lifetime rafting the rivers of Nepal, which descend faster and further than most rivers worldwide. The exhilarating rapids are ideal for rafting with dare-devil teens.
  • Grand Canyon, United States – The Colorado River is one of the world’s most popular white-water rafting destinations, with stunning views of the Grand Canyon.
  • Kicking Horse River, Canada – The Kicking Horse River in British Columbia, Canada, offers a thrilling white-water rafting experience with stunning views of the Canadian Rockies.
  • Río Pacuare, Costa Rica – The Río Pacuare in Costa Rica offers a thrilling white-water rafting experience through lush rainforests and stunning scenery.
  • Noce River, Italy – The Noce River in Italy offers a thrilling white-water rafting experience through the stunning Dolomite Mountains.

Kitesurfing

A teen boy kite-surfs in blue ocean waves.

Kitesurfing is quickly becoming one of the most popular extreme sports among teenagers. Pulling you through the waters with a massive kite, this exhilarating sport allows you to glide on a wakeboard-style board at high speeds, perform cool tricks, and feel the adrenaline rush that comes with doing something extreme. It turns you into a bridge, connecting the sky and sea. There hasn’t been a single clip of kitesurfing that I’ve seen that has been boring! 

Imagine turning yourself into a sailboat. Sounds fun, doesn’t it? With many extreme sports, there’s always that one place that has become synonymous with the activity. For kitesurfing, I’d say Cumbuco, Brazil, is its match. No one does summer fun more bombastic than Brazil. The reason kitesurfers flock to Cumbuco is its simplicity. A quaint village that is comforting yet unobtrusive, you can expect an atmosphere further enhanced by endless sand dunes. Strap into a board, grab hold of the handle, and get whisked away into the sea! 

Best Places to Go Kitesurfing with Teens Around the World

  • Dakhla, Morocco – For those new to kitesurfing, Morocco has great conditions for learning the sport, featuring reliable wind and calm waters. And, Dakhla offers one of the top kiteboarding destinations in the world.
  • Cumbuco, Brazil – Cumbuco is a popular kitesurfing destination in Brazil, with ideal conditions for beginners and advanced kitesurfers.
  • Cabarete, Dominican Republic – Cabarete is a popular kitesurfing destination in the Caribbean, with warm waters and consistent winds.
  • Le Morne, Mauritius – One of the top destinations for kitesurfing in the world because there are options for all abilities, featuring a variety of flat waters, easy waves, and thrilling barrels.
  • Tarifa, Spain – Tarifa is known as the kitesurfing capital of Europe and offers ideal conditions for kitesurfing, including steady winds and warm weather.
  • Maui, Hawaii – Maui is a popular kitesurfing destination in the United States, with consistent trade winds and warm waters.

Windsurfing

A teen girl windsurfs amongst the ocean surf.

Windsurfing is kitesurfing’s cooler cousin. Another extreme sport glued onto my bucket list, this sport sees you riding atop a surfboard with a giant sail attached. You grab onto the said sail, steer into the waves, and propel yourself into the air. Windsurfing is a challenging sport that requires balance, coordination, and strength, but it’s also fun and exciting. And what teenager doesn’t love getting out in the sun and enjoying the fresh air? Plus, the learning curve isn’t as difficult as you would think. However, be sure that you and your teen are strong swimmers. (Frankly, that goes for all of the water sports on this list!) 

As for where you should windsurf: Tarifa, Spain. Tourists adore Tarifa, Spain, for three simple reasons. Frequently fierce winds make it perfect for kitesurfing. The Guzman Castle is as majestic as it is historic. Finally, its waters are home to varied marine life. This municipality also has an excellent beach, perfect for water-based extreme sports with teens!

Best Places to Go Windsurfing with Teens Around the World

  • Maui, Hawaii – Maui is known as one of the top windsurfing destinations in the world, with consistent winds and warm waters. Kanaha Beach Park and Ho’okipa Beach are popular spots.
  • Tarifa, Spain – Tarifa is a popular windsurfing spot in Europe, with strong winds and beautiful beaches. Playa de Los Lances and Playa de Valdevaqueros are two great spots for windsurfing.
  • Sylt, Germany – This German destination provides enthralling waves and long sandy beaches. Waves can be intense on the west side. Families learning the sport prefer the east side, offering calmer mudflats for beginners.
  • Lake Garda, Italy – Lake Garda is a beautiful lake in the north of Italy that offers excellent windsurfing conditions. The consistent winds and beautiful scenery make it a popular spot for families.
  • Leucate, France – Leucate is a beautiful coastal town in the south of France known for its excellent windsurfing conditions. The area has several excellent options for windsurfing, including La Franqui and Leucate Plage.
  • Bonaire, Caribbean – Bonaire is a small island in the Caribbean that offers excellent windsurfing conditions, especially for beginners. Lac Bay is a top spot for windsurfing.

Best Tips for Trying Extreme Sports with Teens

A family white water rafts down a river together.
Photo Courtesy: Gunjan Prakash

Extreme sports are a great way to get tweens and teens active and excited about something new. They can be a bit daunting at first, but with the right preparation and attitude, they can be a blast for families! Here are some tips for getting started with extreme sports with your teens! 

  • Wear a helmet. Mountain biking through a smooth road? Strap a helmet on. Even when cliff camping or heli-skiing. Protect your noggin. The cardinal sin of any adrenaline junkie is forgoing the helmet.
  • Moreover, be sure to dress appropriately. When white water rafting, leave the cotton behind. Trust me. I’ve gone kayaking before in jeans and a cotton shirt. It’s great fun until you’re soaked to the bone, the sun starts going down, and it feels like winter in July. Mesh and polyester will get you through any water-related adventures.
  • Lastly, be aware of your surroundings. In the world of adventure sports, everything is dynamic. A simple slip in focus will send you or your teen to the ER.

Read our article to plan an Exciting Washington, DC, Field Trip Itinerary For Families With Tweens and Teens!

What I’d Do First

A mom and her three kids throw snow in the air, while skiing in Zermatt together.
Photo Courtesy: Linsey Stuckey

As a writer with Extreme Nomads, I’ve got a predilection for extreme sports. Suffice it to say that if it were up to me, I’d never leave the slopes. Naturally, snowboarding and skiing are more my style – crushing through fresh pow at high speeds, a feeling unparagoned! Nevertheless, I empathize with those that can’t stand the cold. In that case, I’d recommend windsurfing. Tarifa, Spain my locale of choice, where majestic waters meet pure white sands. Throw in a tired parent and a disgruntled teen, and you’re practically there. For any true adrenaline junkies, you must try white-water rafting. It’s an exhilarating experience, especially in a captivating location like Bali, Indonesia! 

My Final Thoughts

Two teen boys and their dad windsurf in the ocean on a sunny day.
Photo Courtesy: Brett Jordan

From traveling on dirt tracks to cliff jumping into the cool waters, there are more than enough options to get you and your teen into trouble. Many teens might say no to regular hiking along broad, flat paths. However, the same can’t be said for extreme sports. Adventure sports are perfect for cutting loose and bringing your family closer together. Always keep in mind that location matters. How much of an adventure you truly have depends on where you are choosing to engage with your sport of choice. Transcendent experiences abound! Additionally, if your teen isn’t impressed, then at least you had a good time.

Here are 15 Exciting Outdoor Gifts For Kids!

Happy Travels!

Kayakers embark on a lake journey, with mountains in the background.
Photo Courtesy: Lynette Johnson

We hope you liked this guide to the Best Extreme Sports and Locations To Do Them With Teens by our contributor Matt Bryan from Extreme Nomads! Whether you want to hit the slopes or go soaring through the air, so many adventures await your family worldwide. Enjoy these extreme sports with your teens! 

Meet the Author, Matt – a true lover of the great outdoors. Skiing, biking, backpacking, running, traveling – you name it, he does it. For him, the world is his playground, and nothing beats the thrill of exploring nature’s wonders! Matt isn’t just any ordinary thrill-seeker, though. With a background in journalism, he has covered everything from sports to food. But his real passion lies in sharing his knowledge and experiences with others, which is why he predominantly works as an English teacher. He spends over 100 days a year putting gear to the test, making sure that he’s always equipped with the best tools to help him navigate and conquer whatever Mother Nature throws his way.

His dedication to his craft is truly inspiring, and it’s clear that his love for the outdoors runs deep. Whether he’s carving through fresh powder or hitting the trails for a weekend adventure, he is always pushing himself to new heights, and his passion is contagious.

*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some attractions, accommodations, or things to do on this list may be closed. Please ensure availability before making your decision. 

*This post may contain affiliate links that may earn us a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links in no way inform the hotels, sights, products, or other recommendations included in our articles. All opinions and recommendations expressed here are compiled from submissions submitted by the generous members of our Families Who Love To Travel community.

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While Vail is known for its world-class skiing, there are plenty of other family-friendly activities for kids, non-skiers, and those Read more

A mom holds her young toddler up to look at a tiny sculpture, as part of a tour in Budapest.
A Local’s Guide To The Best Things To Do In Budapest With Kids

Budapest is an amazing city with plenty of things to see and do, and it's even more fun when you're Read more

A woman showing off a fish she caught fishing in the Midwest with kids.
A Guide to the Best Family Fishing Vacations in the Midwest

Between Missouri, Michigan, and Minnesota, the Midwest offers all kinds of fishing opportunities for families. It’s an especially great opportunity Read more

Tourists gathered while sightseeing in Lisbon on vacation
Our Lisbon Family Vacation

Families Love Travel contributor Dana Arnold shares details of her recent Lisbon family vacation, including her favorite activities and restaurants.

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Families Who Love to Contribute

Our contributors are dedicated to sharing some of the best tips for traveling with children! Often parents recounting first-hand experiences, contributors of Families Love Travel present a unique view on the destinations they’ve visited, the cultures they’ve been immersed in, and the memories that have prevailed to tell the story. We open our platform to anyone interested in contributing to our website (and welcome suggestions on how to make vacationing with kids all the more smoother!) Families Love Travel’s growing community could not be possible without each and every one of you.