Extreme Ironing : One Step Up from Rhythmic Dusting

15 Apr 2009

Extreme Ironing (or otherwise referred to as EI) is a two tier sport that covers the elements of extremeness and performance at the same time. The basic gist of this extreme sport is to iron several items of clothing in a remote location. As explained on the official website, extreme ironing is “the latest danger sport that combines the thrills of an extreme outdoor activity with the satisfaction of a well-pressed shirt”.

Some of the locations that extreme ironing has been performed are in an arctic forest, in canoes, while snoboarding, on top of large statues, in streets, while parachuting, underwater, ice covered lakes, and on a cliff. While normal ironing is seen as a trivial chore, extreme ironing is one of the most dangerous sports in the world. It is advised to never attempt Extreme Ironing in dangerous places if you are just beginning.

The History

The band Monster Magnet first introduced the concept of extreme ironing in their 1995 single “Negasonic Teenage Warhead” which showed the band members performing ordinary activities on asteroids. However, the sport came into the main stream in Leicester, England in 1997 when Phil Shaw started ironing in his back garden. One day, it clicked and Shaw managed to combine the sports of rock climbing and ironing, creating a new extreme sport. In 1999 Shaw began an international tour to promote the new sport of extreme ironing. From Fiji to South Africa, extreme ironing began to branch off and become more established and developed. A new form of “bungee ironing” became prevalent in New Zealand.

A documentary entitled Extreme Ironing: Pressing for Victory was produced in Britain which followed a British Ironing team’s effors in the international extreme ironing contest in Germany. In March of 2008, 72 extreme ironing divers ironed under water to set a new world record for people ironing underwater at one time.