Extreme Sports & Adventure
photo © Elina Orpana
Extreme Sports & Adventure in Finland
Finnish athletes tend to do rather well when there’s an element of danger, as can be seen by the number of Finnish drivers who have won the World Rally Championship or have become Formula 1 champions, or when you consider their success in the sport of ski-jumping. The inherent fearlessness of the average Finn probably accounts for the number of excellent facilities across the country for those who like Extreme Sports.
Dirt Jumping and MotoCross
There are plenty of circuits for Dirt Jumping and MotoCross fanatics across Finland. One of the most popular is the Josemora circuit west of Mikkeli, which is home to Heikki Mikkola, one of the most popular and successful motocross racers of the 1970s. Over the course of his career, Mikkola, known as the Flying Finn, won numerous national titles, 32 Grand Prix races, and 4 World Grand Prix titles.
Other fine circuits are Kaanaan Moottorikeskus, located halfway between Tampere and Ruovesi; the Krouvinummi circuit, east of Uusikaupunki; the MentalMC MiniMX Park, north of Keuruu; the Hummastivaara Park, just outside Raahe; the Iinatti Circuit, south of Oulu; Kaakamo Park, located halfway between Kemi and Tornio; Kurkvuori track, near Imatra; the Vantaan Vauhtikeskus, north of Helsinki; and the Yteri Motorcycle circuit outside Pori, where you can also test your Speedway and Enduro abilities.
BMX, Skateboarding & Skate Parks
Skateboarding has become a very popular pastime with Finns over the years, as can be seen from the fact that there are about 20 outdoor skating rinks in Helsinki alone, including the recently opened rink in the Youth Park of Pihlajamäki. The other rinks in the capital are: Eira, Ponkes park in Merisatamanranta; Eläintarha skateboard park (Micropolis) in Nordenskiöldinkatu; Hermanni Arabia in Vallilan Park near Kustaa Vaasan tie and Koskelantie crossroads; the Herttoniemi and Hilleri play park at Hillerikuja 6; Herttoniemenranta and Tuorinniemi Park at Agnetankuja 4; Kannelmäki and Trumpetti play park at Trumpettikuja 6; Kontula skateboard hall at Emännänpolku 3; Kontula and Kelkkapuisto at Porttitie; Lauttasaari and Nuori Suomi park at Lahnalahdentie 2; Länsimäki and Rajakenttä at Säilätie 31; Malminkartano skate park at Ruosilanmutka; Maunula Play park at Metsäpurontie 13; Meilahti and Tullinpuomi play park at Mannerheimintie 81; Pihlajamäen nuorisopuisto at Jengipolku 8; Pohjois-Haaga in Aino Ackté park in Ohjaajantie 28; Tattarisuo Skatepark at Tattarisuontie 28; Suutarila in Tullikirjurinpuisto at Lyhtytie 5; Vuosaari in Haruspuisto at Harustie 5; and Vuosaari in Lohikäärme play park at Satamasaarentie 5.
There are plenty of skateboarding facilities outside of Helsinki too. The best of these parks are the Kotkansaari and Karhuvuori parks in Kotka; the Lapila park in Kerava; Hovinsuo skatepark in the Hintta district of Oulu; Savilahti Park in Kuopio; Yrttisuo Park in Jyväskylä; Vapis Park in Tampere; Kupittaa Park in Turku; Laune Park in Lahti.
Of course, The same facilities and skateparks are also used for BMX riding.
There are 38 designated mountain bike trails in Finland, ranging in difficulty from easy to difficult, with distances ranging from just under 3 miles to almost 74 miles long.
The best of these tracks can be found at Kauppi takaapäin near Sunninmäki, Länsi-Suomen Lääni; Hallila Bike Park near Partola, Hame; 50 Randonnee, osa 2 near Toivio, Länsi-Suomen Lääni; 50 Randonnee, osa 1 near Partola, Hame; Palauttava kauppareissu near Koivistonkylä, Länsi-Suomen Lääni; Talvi-TdT 2010 near Petsamo, Hame; JOU-06-09 near Pohjois-Hervanta, Hame; Ketunkivenkangas near Lappi, Hame; Kyröskoski near Koivistonkylä, Länsi-Suomen Lääni; Isojärven kansallispuisto near Kylämä, Länsi-Suomen Lääni; Jännä valolenkki near Veisu, Hame; Ketunkivenkangas near Lappi, Hame; Tour de Tampere 2009 Ajokoirat near Lappi, Hame; TdT 2009 suunnitelma ‘kisakuskit’ near Lappi, Hame; TdT2009 iltapäivä near Nirva, Hame; Sappee MTB Marathon near Mäkipää, Länsi-Suomen Lääni; Jämijärvi-Tampere near Sydänmaa, Länsi-Suomen Lääni; Tampere-Jämijärvi near Koivistonkylä, Länsi-Suomen Lääni; Kyötikkälän XC-rata near Metsäkulma, Hame; Pirkkala-Nokia near Lappi, Hame; Melo near Hyhky, Hame; and Roineen kierto near Koivistonkylä, Länsi-Suomen Lääni.