In no way related to the hula hoop, the name of this ancient sport literally means ‘‘to slide into the pit’’ in Hawaiian. A favourite pastime and cultural icon of native Hawaiians for over 1000 years, everyone in Hawaii did papa holua until about 200 years ago when missionaries came to the island and forced them to stop, calling it a ‘‘dangerous and barbaric’’ tradition. But what is so dangerous about papa holua you ask? Well first a warning: those of you with kids (either the young or grown-up variety) who are into skateboarding, snowboarding and other ‘‘extreme sports,’’ do not let them hear about papa holua as it holds the same appeal as these extreme sports. In papa holua, participants rode a 12-foot long, 25kg ‘‘sled’’ the width of a ski down a rocky slope. But that’s not all – riders would run a few steps with sled in hand, then dive chest-first onto the papa holua for their facefirst ride down the mountain. Some riders would even be crazy enough to ride standing up. The sleds have been known to make it up to speeds of 65km per hour, a rather nerve racking ride we would imagine, being only 4 inches off the ground. There have been recent attempts to revive this dangerous sport, with a professor at the university of Hawaii teaching over 150 students the art of building and riding a papa holua and has built over 100 himself. It is believed the sleds were originally used as tools to move tree logs and were then adapted to be used in a ritual where Hawaiians put their lives in the hands of the gods. Local Hawaiians are being encouraged to hold their own papa holua competitions once again.