This Popular Sport In Germany Takes Sitting To The Next Level

As we all know, a sports enthusiast doesn't necessarily make a keen sports player. Often, the most dedicated fans of baseball, basketball, football, and so on, are found at home, roaring at professional athletes from the comfort of their couches. Big matches are community events, often marked with the consumption of lots of beers and snacks.

In 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that the Super Bowl is the nation's second-highest day of food consumption (no prizes for guessing the first), and that, per the National Chicken Council, Americans consumed an astonishing 1.25 billion chicken wings over that weekend in 2014. In short, there's no need to adhere to the strict and exacting dietary regimes of some professional athletes to enjoy their craft.

With sports being all about community and inclusivity, though, it's vital that those who aren't inclined to run, dribble, shoot and leap with furious energy can join in too. For many such people around the world, the sport known as extreme sitting is perfect. There's no better way to combine that passion for competition with that equal passion for having a good sit-down. But, extreme sitting isn't nearly as comfortable or effortless as you might think.

How extreme can sitting be?

Extreme sitting is known in Germany as hockern, according to Wired. Participants wield a Sporthocker, a curious sort of conveniently-portable stool. While sitting on a stool may not sound as extreme as, say, bungee jumping, there's a unique sort of magic to hockern.

What's extreme about it? Well, Wired goes on, the actual act of sitting on the stool is only the end of a performance. All manner of acrobatic moves can and will be performed prior to this finisher itself, but it's a vital element. You don't have to be lying prostrate with a can of Duff beer like Homer Simpson (and there's no room to luxuriate like that on a Sporthocker), but you must sit after your run of moves.

According to the Daily Mail, the athletes of this riveting sport are known as hockerers. The tool of their trade, the Sporthock itself, is no ordinary stool. Its small form and soft rubber finish make it tough but easy to transport. Hockerers, according to the outlet, throw their Sporthocks, balance on them, vault over them, and generally incorporate them into the action in any way they can. In a similar fashion to parkour, any area can be a perfect setting for extreme sitting, providing the sit-ee has the vision and creativity to pull off something impressive.

Where will extreme sitting go from here?

The brilliant notion of hockern was made a reality by Michael and Stephan Landschütz, two brothers from Germany, according to the Sporthocker website. The sport is all about performance, building on what you could pull off with your Sporthocker previously, and the official store reflects that. Surf wax is available with which to prime your trusty stool for a better grip, as is a handy strap with which to conveniently transport it anywhere. The urge to hockern can hit at any time, after all.

The appeal of hockern is easy to see. It's an excellent spectator sport, it's fun to join in, and there are no strict rules or regulations. As the Landschütz brothers explained (via ispoBrandNew on YouTube), it's simply "about making as many tricks as possible with the Sporthocker." The freeform nature of it all is intoxicating.

The brothers went on to state (via ispoBrandNew on YouTube) that "the scene is growing in Germany and in Europe," perhaps buoyed further by the freedom of expression offered by the range of different designs and colors Sporthockers are available in. In essence, it's a sport very similar to skateboarding, in that tricks can be chained together, performed on the fly, and become increasingly more elaborate and/or potentially dangerous as a person's skills improve. Whether it will go on to enjoy such enduring popularity remains to be seen.