Lifestyle

Thursday 18 September 2014

Adrenalin junkies

Deirdre Reynolds meets Ireland's daredevil outdoor adventure enthusiasts

Stressed out? Bubble baths are for losers -- for the ultimate in forgetting your troubles, try jumping from a plane, showing the waves who's boss on a board or getting up close and personal with a cliff-face.

At least, that's the advice of Ireland's adrenalin junkies -- who are sure to be in paradise at the inaugural Adventure Weekend, starting today at the RDS.

With more than 150 exhibitors and a demo area, the three-day event taking place at the famous Dublin venue showboats Ireland's most thrilling and terrifying outdoor activities, including zorbing, extreme trampoline and slacklining.

Meanwhile, a derelict Antrim quarry at Magheramorne is set to become a £9.5m (€10.7) extreme-sports mecca -- including an Olympic-standard BMX track, the UK's longest zip line and Ireland's first permanent bungee jump platform.

"Even in a recession, the adventure industry here is thriving," says Ronan Healy, founder of The Adventure Weekend.

"From coasteering to bungee jumping, we Irish really are a fearless lot," he says.

"And with the best surf and stunning mountains, we've got an incredible amount to offer adventure tourists.

"If we play our cards right," Ronan Healy adds, "Ireland can become the New Zealand of the Northern Hemisphere."

The Adventure Weekend runs at the RDS, Dublin from 20-22 May. See www.theadventureweekend.ie

Irish Independent

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