Extreme ironing (also referred to as EI) is a dangerous sport in which participants travel long distances with ironing boards and clothes to be ironed. A new extreme sport called extreme ironing combines the thrills of an extreme outdoor activity with the satisfaction of an immaculately pressed shirt, according to an organization called the Extreme Ironing Bureau. In part, the media’s interest in extreme ironing seems to be focused on whether or not it is a sport at all. In general, it is considered to be light-hearted and sarcastic. A mountainside, a forest, a canoe, skiing or snowboarding, large bronze statues, the middle of a street, underwater, in the middle of the M1 motorway, race, parachuting, and under the ice sheet of a frozen lake are some examples of where such performances have taken place. Solo or group performances have been given.
History of Extreme Ironing
Tony Hiam started the sport of extreme ironing in the Yorkshire Dales National Park near Settle, England, in 1980. Some people said that extreme ironing began in 1997 in Leicester, England, with Phil Shaw.
Shaw began promoting the activity under the name “Steam” in June 1999. During his international tours, he did this on purpose so that as many people as possible could connect with him.
In 2002, there was the first Extreme Ironing World Championship. Twelve teams from different countries competed to see who could be the best at ironing. During this time, a documentary was made that got a lot of attention.
Phil Shaw wrote a book called Extreme Ironing in 2003, and it became more and more popular. In 2003, a lot of records were set by people who ironed in tough and difficult conditions. At that time, John Roberts, Ben Gibbons, and Christopher Allan Jowsey ironed the Union Jack, which is the flag of the United Kingdom, above the Base Camp of Everest.
This was the highest altitude ever recorded, at 5,440 meters above sea level. The first Rowenta Trophy was held in 2003. It was put on by the SEB Group, which is based in France.
In March 2008, a team of 72 divers ironed clothes underwater at the same time, setting a new world record. In the second half of 2009, a group of 86 divers broke the record.
The Dutch diving club De Waterman officially set a new world record for ironing under water on March 28, 2011. The job was done in an indoor swimming pool by a team of 173 divers.
Extreme ironer Steam retired in 2012 and tried something new: he ran the popular Hal Marathons of Hastings while wearing an ironing board and pressing clothes as he went. On June 16, 2018, in Montegrotto Terme, Italy, famous freediver Roland Piccoli ironed a T-shirt in a pool that was 42 meters deep.
This led to a world record for ironing in the deepest pool in the world (Y-40). Extreme ironing is popular all over the world now, and millions of sports fans like it.
Different Extreme Ironing Styles
Extreme ironing got its start with rock climbing, but as the sport became more popular, new styles emerged. For example, when ironing in the forest style, you iron on the ground, in trees, in rainforests, or in the bush. These places give the ironist privacy and are good for people who are just starting out in the sport.
The water style of ironing, which started in Germany in 1997, is a step up from the forest style. Even though ironing in water seems contradictory and useless at first, Shaw points out that water is usually sprayed from the iron when it is used. He says that water style ironing is just the next step in that process.
Underwater style goes even further with this. For this style, you usually need scuba diving gear and a wet suit to keep you warm in the cold water.
When ironing in the urban style, you do it on the street in front of a lot of people. Even though the Extreme Ironing Bureau calls this style “moderate,” it requires the ironist to use techniques from skateboarding and rollerblading.
The level of difficulty for freestyle ironing is also medium. “Anything goes” with this style. It combines the thrill of an extreme sport with the freedom to move, use your imagination, and be creative. Freestyle ironing has been done while synchronized swimming, jumping on a trampoline, skating on ice, and putting the ironing board and ironist on top of a human pyramid.
A common way to do Rocky style is to climb mountains or cliffs and iron clothes at the top. It has been voted the most popular and has been called the “king of extreme ironing.” Shaw says that extreme ironing purists say this is the only real way to do the sport because it takes a lot of skill and nerve. When a group of ironists from London climbed the French Alps to iron tea towels, this style of ironing became popular. This style needs at least one partner more than any other, both to learn how to climb and to stay safe.
Underground is the last style, in which ironists do their ironing in caves. This is a new style that is slowly getting more and more popular.
Rules for Extreme Ironing
Each participant must use an ironing board that is at least 1 meter long and 30 centimeters wide. There must be legs on the board.
- The real irons made of iron should be used at the event. Plastic irons are not allowed to be used at all.
- The participants can iron any size of clothing, but it should be at least the size of a tea towel.
Sections of the Championship
During a championship, the athletes are judged in a number of different ways:
- Urban Section: In this section, people iron in, on, and around broken cars.
- Water section: People iron on a fast-moving river using surfboards, canoes, or rubber rings.
- Forest Section: It includes ironing in a forest with a steep climb or on top of the trees.
- Lauda Section: It has a climbing wall where people have to climb to a high point and iron a t-shirt.
- Freestyle Section: In this part, the contestants can iron whatever they want, wherever they want. Extreme freestyle ironing doesn’t have any rules about where the event takes place.
Powering the Iron
How the iron works is one of the biggest mysteries for people who don’t work with iron. During a competition, contestants have access to power sources, and each iron is hot enough to iron one shirt. So, part of the challenge is to finish ironing before the iron loses its heat. Even though battery-powered irons are being thought about, they have not yet become commonplace. To heat the iron’s plate, you could also use a generator, a long extension cord, or a Primus stove. The ironing board is just as important as the iron. People have often used makeshift boards, but Shaw says that nothing beats the thrill of getting a full-size board into a unique place.
Safety Rules for Extreme Ironing
Any dangerous sport has many risks. There are some basic ironing rules to follow.
Know your location.
Before doing the sport, you must know the area well so you can prepare for geographical issues. Extreme ironing is a new sport, so experts and beginners must be careful. Stopping yourself from getting worse is crucial. If you want to iron in a giant tunnel, know how to get out, what dangers could happen, and how to handle problems.
Always wear helmets.
Head is most important body part. Extreme ironing takes place in dangerous places where a thick head can’t protect you from injuries like a bad fall. A helmet is required.
When extreme ironing, always have a harness with you. A harness is useful for carrying the ironing board and securing yourself while ironing. This is especially true when ironing sideways on a flat cliff. The sport involves carrying an ironing board, so tie it to yourself. Also used for scuba diving.
Always keep watch.
Spotters watch for problems. Most extreme sports require a spotter, even if it’s not ironing. This allows both sides to act quickly. Aron Ralston didn’t need to cut off his arm to survive. Call your spotter instead. While you wait, he or she can call for help.
Life is the best teacher.
You shouldn’t climb a mountain, scuba dive, or ride a bike without learning the rules. Extreme ironing requires good ironing skills. If you’re a good, licensed scuba diver, ironing underwater would be easier since you’ve dived before. Inexperienced divers may panic during a dive, causing trauma, injury, or death.
Indulging in one’s passions can take many forms. Reading, dancing, and extreme ironing are all popular pastimes for some people. Even if it sounds absurd, the ability to iron your shirts while perched precariously on the edge of a cliff is noteworthy. You should follow these safety precautions and rules if you’re going to attempt extreme ironing.