Kiiking: Estonia’s Extreme Swing Set

Remember when we were kids playing on the swing set and we’d try to swing so high that we’d fly over the top bar and come down the other side? No, I never made it either. But in Estonia, they’ve taken a childhood dream and made it an extreme sport.

It’s called kiiking. Using a special swing with steel arms instead of chains, the kiiker stands on the swing and pumps back and forth until he or she gets enough momentum to make a full 360-degree turn. The best kiikers can go around several times. The longer the shaft of the swing, the harder it is, and according to the “Guinness Book of World Records,” the record for kiiking is with a 7.02-meter (23-foot) swing used by Andrus Aasamäe of Estonia on August 21, 2004.

Kiiking has taken off in the Baltic states and in Scandinavia. Here we show a video of the Estonian army taking a little time off from defending the nation to practice kiiking.

World’s Highest Swing

A few weeks ago, we told you about the World’s Highest Swings. Spotlighting swings in Zambia, New Zealand, and South Africa, the swings we mentioned all involved substantial free falls and wide, pendulous arcs.

However, it appears that the Chinese — unhappy with not being able to lay claim to the “world’s highest swing” title — have recently installed a swing 700 feet above Harbin City. The swing, imaginatively called “Game for brave people,” allows participants to swing out over the city for a bird’s eye view. Unlike the other swings, this swing is more like a swing on a swingset: easy swing out, easy swing in — except you can’t use your feet to stop you if you get going too wild.

Sure hope there’s a seat belt.