25 Athletes Redefining “Extreme” on Instagram

25 Athletes Redefining "Extreme" on Instagram

Adrenaline junkie? Head to Instagram and you’ll find real-life action heroes jumping out of planes and throwing down big tricks on the slopes. From epic, gravity-defying videos to barrel-of-the-wave POV pics and underwater shots, these definitely aren’t your average sweaty selfies! To honor the fearless individuals who inspire us to live on the edge, we present 25 of our favorite extreme athletes on Instagram. Let these 25 daredevil ‘grammers motivate you to take your fitness to new heights. Did we miss any of your favorite GoPro ‘grammers? Let us know in the comments below.

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1. Ninja SUP

Paddleboard push-ups are no sweat for “Mighty Kacy,” the first woman to qualify for the finals of the hit TV show American Ninja Warrior.  Drop down and give us 10 more! For more exercise ideas from Kacy, check out her favorite bodyweight moves here.


2. Kite Rite

Accomplished kiteboarder Damian Leroy gets some airtime in this sick POV shot. When you see kite racing in the 2020 Summer Olympics, you’ll have this athlete to thank! He showcased the sport in front of the International Olympic Committee in 2012.


3. Sky High

You might get vertigo watching Brent Witt cruise above the earth in a red squirrel suit. This professional skydiver’s feed is filled with breathtaking shots of his adrenaline-packed antics.

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4. Wake ‘N Lake

Want to catch a ride without getting wet? Follow pro wakeboarder Melissa Marquardt, who’s been shredding around the globe for over 10 years. She’s proof that ladies can drop big tricks!


5. Hello Moto

Pro motorcross rider Nate Adams burst onto the competitive scene at the tender age of 18, and he’s been racking up accomplishments — including gold medals at the X Games and Gravity Games — ever since. His Instagrams give you a sneak peek into this daredevil’s gravity-defying lifestyle.


6. Hole in One 

Swing by pro golfer Michelle Wie’s Instagram feed for some footage straight from the green. She demonstrates perfect putting form in the timelapse Instavid above.


7. Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah

Sometimes freestyle mountain biker Aaron Chase gets air without his wheels. We wouldn’t mind zipping along with him through Whistler, British Columbia.


8. Board Bunny

From this vantage point, we feel like we’re shredding the slopes right alongside Olympic Gold Medalist Jamie Anderson! Her ‘grams of yoga poses and rad mountain runs  inspire us to get outside and push our limits.

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9. Ride the Tide ‘Till Dusk

What’s almost as beautiful as riding the perfect wave? Snapping the perfect sunset shot of the perfect wave, of course. You might have spotted some of digital artist Robbie Crawford’s work in Urban Outfitters, but you can get your fill of stunning California sunsets on his Instagram feed, too!


10. K9 Tug of War

Champion longboarder Harley Ingleby moved his GoPro from his board to his pooch and our hearts melted. Check out a game of tug of war in the Instavid above.


11. Urban Skimboarding

This photo from Brazilian pro Lucas Gomes makes us want to stop scrolling IG and start skimming! And the stunning capture has the best of both worlds: Beautiful beach and the buildings of Rio in the background.


12. Under the Sea

Hold your breath — you’re going underwater in this GoPro vid. Olympic snowboarder Elena Hight trades snow for sea on her trip to Hawaii, where she filmed this majestic snorkeling adventure.


13. Snow Kayaking

Baby on board! World freestyle kayak champion Nick Troutman is all smiles when taking his son out for a ride in the snowy Loveland Pass in Colorado.


14. Surf’s Up

Champion surfer Lakey Peterson has taken women’s surfing to new heights since she landed the first aerial maneuver in an amateur surfing event for women when she was just 14. Peep her carving up some barrel waves in the vid above.


15. Slack Attack

Free spirit and free skydiver Kristian makes slacklining look easy, but we know better. The killer sunset is no match for this athlete’s core strength and balance.

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16. Speed Flying

Soar through the air with the greatest of ease alongside world-class paragliding pilot Marshall Miller. He’s well-versed in all things airborne and adrenaline — including BASE jumping, skydiving and speed flying, a hybrid sport that combines elements from parachuting and paragliding.


17. The Air Up There

Heights ain’t no thing for Gaby James, a rock climber who posts about her adventures on the blog Dirt Barbies. We don’t doubt she’s got the skills to get to the top before the sun goes down!


18. Way Off BASE

Try not to feel exhilarated looking at this ‘gram. Experienced BASE jumper and skier JT Holmes drops into the fjords of Norway.


19. Boarding School-ed

Rage with Sage on his gnarly IG feed. We can’t take our eyes off this shot of the Olympic Gold medalist grinning while upside down in mid-air.


20. BMX Heroes

This skydiving pro BMXer sure knows how to snap a shot. The photo above is Kris Fox warming up at the bowl at the Van Doren Invitational, a pro skateboarding competition.


21. Rapid Fire

This isn’t your grandma’s canoe trip. Pro whitewater kayaker and filmmaker Rush Sturges blasts through the Black Mass on the Misstassibi River in Quebec in this epic pic.


22. High on Life

Got a case of wanderlust after look at photographer Tomas Havel’s feed? Us, too. BRB, going to go plan a hiking trip to Norway!


23. Tricks On A String 

Hit the ocean swell in the video above. Pro kiteboarder Jake Kelsick gets airtime while kiting, and with this POV, we can pretend we’re out in the sunshine with him.


24. Jump Around

Dreaming of a white winter even though it’s only September? Peep this ‘gram from champion freeskier Bobby Brown to get your fill of powder and big jumps.


25. Hounding the Trails

Drop onto the trail with Wayne DeVingo and his yellow labs via his adventure-packed IG feed. Looks like a tail-wagging good time to us!


BONUS: Surfing Pig!

When pigs fly? How about when pigs surf? If you don’t believe us, check out the feed of Kama, a pig who catches waves in Hawaii. Babe’s got nothing on this hog that can hang ten.

Originally posted September 2014. Updated August 2015. 

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