We're just over one week away from Red Bull Crashed Ice in Belfast on February 20 & 21 but are you fully aware of what the event actually is? Because you should be.
Crashed Ice (Red Bull Crashed Ice) is a world tour in the winter extreme sporting event, ice cross downhill (or downhill ice cross), which involves downhill skating in an urban environment, on a track which includes steep turns and high vertical drops.
That's what Wikipedia will tell you, but really it doesn't give you the whole story. The bigger picture, as we saw it when we went down to Belfast for the qualifying event, and from watching the Saint Paul stage already completed so far this year, is the very essence of extreme sports.
Ridiculously tough athletes hurling themselves down a stupidly fast course that has been purposefully designed to cause carnage, does that sound like something you might be interested in?
Here are 8 reasons why you need to check out Red Bull Crashed Ice when it hits Belfast in February.
The Incredible Speed
Only the fastest skaters from the qualifying time trials have been invited to compete at this year's Crashed Ice World series, and they can reach speeds of up to 70kpm on the ice. That is just ridiculous. Now stick four super competitive skaters side by side on the track and watch the madness unfold.
Some Seriously Big Air
One of the most spectacular sights of the Crashed Ice event is when the skaters take flight over one of the numerous jumps that have been incorporated into the track. Seeing a skater linger in the air after hitting a jump at break-neck speed is a mind blowing experience.
It's A Full Contact Sport
You know what that means... HITS! And lots of them. While nobody wants to see anybody get injured, any extreme sport worth it's salt will have it's fair share of "HOLY SH*T!" moments, and Crashed Ice has them in abundance.
The Amazing Track
The Stormont Parliment Buildings will be transformed into a Crashed Ice circuit, and that is going to be something special. Red Bull go big when it comes to things like this, and if the other stages we have seen previously, such as Saint Paul, Minnesota (seen above), and Moscow are anything to go by, then we are in for a real treat.
The Price Of Admission
Tickets for Red Bull Crashed Ice are £11 for adults, £5.75 for kids, or £28 for a family of four, that is not too shabby. The latest word from Red Bull is that tickets are nearly sold out, so if you want to take in this incredible event you should act fast. You can buy your tickets from Ticketmaster.ie by clicking here.
This Is The First Time The Event Has Been Held Outside Of A "Winter-Sport City"
Red Bull Crashed Ice is a major pull for Belfast. Normally reserved for locations that are synonymous with winter sports, Belfast represents the first stop in a city that isn't known for it's escapades on snow and ice. Despite the Belfast Giants and their Elite League matches hosted in the Odyssey Area (which you should really experience if you haven't already), Britain and Ireland don't normally showcase events like this, so you really should it when you have the chance.
The Crazy Characters
Red Bull Crashed Ice will provide it's share of laughs as well, as you have to be at least a little bit crazy to even consider competing in this sport. Also, if the qualifiers are anything to go by, then you will love some of the custom jerseys.
This Is A Truly Unique Experience
There's no other event out there like Red Bull Crashed Ice, that lets you get so close to such intense on-ice action. It's dramatic, it's an adrenaline rush, and it's incredibly rare to get this type of thing on these shores.