James Bond is one of those people you’d probably hate in real life, because he’s good at everything! Sports, games, most physical activities, he’s just naturally good at it all. I actually always wondered how he stays so good at everything, so that he can use his skills under extreme duress at a moment’s notice. Does he have to be constantly practising on motorbikes and driving skid pans on his days off? Does he stay up into the wee hours of the morning practising his casino skills, just so that he can nonchalantly impress the ladies when he’s in a real life game? These things do cross my mind. Here’s a list of just some of the things that he’s good at, the swine.

Let’s start with Bond’s extra-curricular evening activities. Bond enjoys a flutter, there’s no getting round that. In most Bond films he is seen in a casino environment. It just so happens that all of his villains are sophisticated socialites who are good at card games, and it just so happens that Bond is the same. A match made in heaven. I’d love to see a Bond origin story where he see him learning how to play cards with a bunch of his Navy mates in a cigarette smoke-filled basement.

Baccarat – Dr No, Thunderball, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and GoldenEye
Baccarat is a card game that not many people these days may know much about, but it certainly was the sophisticated game of choice in the 60s and 70s for the James Bond films. He plays it in several films and is pretty good at it, although I’m still not sure how much of the game is luck.

Poker – Casino Royale
For the modern retelling of Bond with Daniel Craig in the title role, they changed the game up a bit and used Texas Hold ‘Em Poker as the game of choice, to cater for a more modern audience, as Texas Hold ‘Em was very popular at that time. Bond shows us his poker face and his skills to win the massive pot in the very cool poker scene.

Craps and Roulette – Diamonds are Forever
Bond goes to Vegas. I’d love to watch a film just about his trip there. I’d imagine he’d be in heaven. Gambling, booze and women. He plays Craps and Roulette in Vegas. Good to see him showing us his skills at other games.

And here are some other games that he plays in different movies.

Backgammon – Octopussy
Blackjack – Licence to Kill
Gin Rummy – Goldfinger
Sic Bo – The Man with the Golden Gun


Driving – Every film
Bond obviously has to drive like a maniac in most films, due to having an awesome car, but he is a very good driver. I guess some people are just naturally good at that, so I’ll give him that one. And I’m sure he gets a lot of time to practice diving. That’s a bit easier to practice than some of the other activities below. And I’m pretty positive that if Bond gets caught speeding he can probably get out of it pretty easily. He’s got a licence to kill, so I’m sure he also has a licence to get away with speeding.

Skiing – The Spy Who Loved Me, The World Is Not Enough and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
He does some pretty impressive skiing at the start of The Spy Who Loved Me. That is one of the best cold open scenes of any Bond film, where he shots at the baddies while skiing backwards and ends up jumping up the cliff with the Union Flag parachute. I can imagine that he does go on ski holidays when he gets vacation time, as I bet he’s a bit of an adrenaline junkie. I think he also skis in The World Is Not Enough and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

Snowboarding – A View to a Kill
I always liked this scene in A View to a Kill. A helicopter explodes above him and one of the landing skids flies off and lies next to him. Bond, being the multi-skilled improvisor that he is, takes this landing skid and starts snowboarding with it. Cue cheesy Beach Boys surf music. 

Surfing – Die Another Day
Speaking of surfing, this was perhaps one of the weirdest scenes in a Bond movie. Would SAS type people actually surf into enemy territory in that way, rather than swimming or scuba etc? Pretty radical if so. It’s obviously awesome to look at, and I love to think that Bond is a good surfer, but I just always thought it was funny to think that surfing had to be one of the skills that secret service agents had to learn. I’d love for Bond to start grinding on a skateboard in the next film.

Pilot – You Only Live Twice
I’m not quite sure if Bond is a fully fledged pilot but he can certainly manage to fly this little autogyro thing called Little Nellie. Another string to his bow. I could certainly imagine this one was part of his official training though, rather than just an extra activity he does on the side.

Rock-climbing – For Your Eyes Only
Perhaps rock-climbing would be something he would be trained in too, I’m not sure. But he certainly puts it to good use in For Your Eyes Only. This scene is still pretty tense all these years later. Perhaps not quite as tense as the opening scene of Vertical Limit mind you!

Parkour – Casino Royale
I’m not sure if Parkour would be officially trained but Bond is pretty badass at it in Casino Royale.

Golf – Goldfinger
I’m totally not surprised that Bond is a good golfer. Probably plays off scratch and is a member of all the big courses. I can imagine this is how the winds down after all his adrenalin-filled antics.

Bungee Jumping – GoldenEye
I’m sure bungee jumping is a walk in the park for Bond, even off a humungous water dam. I’d love to see him do it amongst the tourists in NZ, whilst on holiday.

Speedboat – The World Is Not Enough
I’m sure there’s a real knack to driving a speedboat fast, but Bond certainly has it. He’s from the Navy I guess. The scene on the Thames from The World Is Not Enough is pretty cool.

Tank – Goldeneye
If there was a knack to driving a speedboat there really must be a knack to driving a bloody tank. And that’s more army territory but Bond is still equipped to do it. I really love this scene actually, when the Bond theme kicks in, and Pierce Brosnan really throws his whole body into making the tank turn.

Motorbiking Tomorrow Never Dies
Another Brosnan one here. Pretty great motorbike skills. Perhaps he owns a motorbike and regularly hones his skills here, because this one certainly feels like one you have to keep practicing in order to do some of the rooftop stuff that he does in this scene.

Fencing – Die Another Day
Brosnan again? And another surprising one. Did he learn fencing at boarding school perhaps? Is there nothing Bond can’t do?

Drinking – Every film
Perhaps the extra-curricular activity that Bond is best at is drinking. And he enjoys the good stuff. He obviously regularly drinks Vodka Martini shaken, not stirred, but he seems well versed in other, not so common drinks too. Perhaps the most impressive Bond skill scene of all is how, in You Only Live Twice, he is able to detect the temperature of sake right down to a decimal point. Impressive Mr Bond, most impressive.