Super Swinging



push extreme extreme sport
arm extend addictive
host ground adrenaline
try high (2) try their luck
rope anchor manage (2)
iron gender loop-to-loop
invent grow up function
boast muscle playground
thigh ensure meeting place
derive warm up degree (3)
secure impress coordination
length strength handstand
hold perform benchmark
height personal afraid of heights
timing believe record-holder
afraid title (2) record (3)
rotate workout centrifugal
force row (3)





One big push — and you’re off.

This is kiiking, an extreme sport from Estonia. It’s like swinging, except you go much higher — even over the top.

You hold on to metal arms that extend up to eight meters.

“This is like…you want to come down, and you have so much energy…and adrenaline. This is really good. It’s like getting high without drugs. It’s addictive.”

On this day, Jerba Kendi, a village 100 kilometers south of the Estonian capital Tallinn, is hosting a kiiking competition.

Men, women and children try their luck on the swings of different heights that are anchored on the ground with ropes.

This unusual sport derived from regular swinging was invented in 1996 by Estonian Ado Kosk.

“I’ve been familiar with swings since I was a child. Where I grew up, there were iron loop-to-loop swings which really impressed me. So I had the idea of building a swing like this; and these village swings served as models.”

Swings enjoy a long tradition in Estonia. These drawings date back from the nineteenth century. Each village used to have their own swing, which functioned as a meeting place.

Many of these traditional swings are still around today.

Alari Vahtre lives in Tallinn. He tried kiiking four years ago. The Estonian capital boast plenty of swings.

Here in the playgrounds, children learn the basics of kiiking.

“From here, children learn the basics of how to use their hands and legs. Of course it’s fun and with fun comes sports,” says Alari.”

Back in Jerva Kandi, they insure that the athletes’ hands and feet are well secure. That’s because centrifugal force makes it hard for them to hold on.

Even if it looks dangerous, organizer, Ants Tamme, says kiiking is a safe sport.

“Everybody can do it: from a small child to a basketball player. The age is not important. The gender is not important. Kiiking as simple as it seems is harder than you can imagine. It’s more extreme, but safe enough to try and for everybody to try.”

It’s important to warm up in advance as kiiking give the back and thigh muscles a real workout.

For the women, the arms of the swing are up to six meters long. That’s like performing a handstand more than ten meters above the ground.

“I’m afraid of heights, but nobody believes it,” says Mirjam Pedaja, a kiiking competitor. “Really. But when you are on the swing, you forget it.”

Here seven athletes manage the loop-to-loop with a swing length of more than six meters. That takes strength, coordination and good timing.

In the end, world-record holder Ants Tamme beat his personal best — but lost his title. A professional rower from Jandi, managed a 360 degree rotation with a length of 7.08 meters.

That’s five centimeters higher than the previous benchmarks set in 2012 — a new kiiking world record.


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1. Kiiking comes from swinging. Is this true or false?

2. How is kiiking different from regular swinging?

3. Kiiking is fun, thrilling and exciting. Is this correct or wrong?

4. Are swings a tradition in Estonia or are they a recent introduction?

5. Only children do kiiking. Yes or no?

6. Is kiiking safe or dangerous? Is it an extreme sport?

7. The woman is afraid of heights. Is this right or wrong? Is she afraid of kiiking?

8. Are there kiiking sports competitions?
A. I have tried kiiking before. True or false?

B. I like to ride on swings (I used to ride swings as a child). Yes or no?

C. Would you or your friends like to try kiiking?

D. Are there any extreme sports or interesting activities in your city or country?

E. What will happen in the future regarding extreme sports?

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