When it comes to thrill-seeking, nothing beats the adrenaline rush that extreme adventure sports bring. Although they are considered high-risk activities, plenty of people are willing to try them out and pursue them as hobbies — with some even doing it full-time as a career.
Why do people engage in extreme sports despite the risks?
Extreme adventure sports are very different from all other regular sports you can think of. There are certain risks involved in it. It’s not like baseball, where one of the potential risks is getting hit with a fastball that registers 100mph on a Stalker baseball radar gun. Nor is it like basketball, where you can get injured on a bad play or get hit with a hard foul.
The risks present in extreme sports are much more um, extreme. Thus the name extreme sports. And no, we’re not just talking about the usual X-games like BMX, wall climbing, or longboarding.
We’re talking about some of the more dangerous stuff that thrill-seekers like to do — things so dangerous and potentially fatal that the adrenalin rush one gets is on a whole different level.
But why would these people engage in something life-threatening? What do they get out of it that keeps them coming back for more? What makes them want to go faster, further, and higher?
If you follow Sigmund Freud’s work, you’re probably familiar with his supposition that we all have an instinctual death wish. While folks may not engage in extreme sports to commit suicide, the extraordinary high they get from overcoming and surviving each outing is more than enough to draw them in.
The awareness that what they are doing could get them injured or worse makes surviving it even sweeter. Doing it successfully is considered a superhuman feat. Jumping off skyscrapers or swimming with sharks is not for the weak of heart after all.
What are some of the most dangerous extreme sports today?
Extreme sports, just like any physical activity, vary in degrees of difficulty. For instance, in-line skating and wall climbing can be done in secure environments to ensure participants’ safety.
However, not all extreme adventure sports provide the same level of protection. As mentioned earlier, there are definite risks involved. And some of them can be really dangerous, like the ones we’ve listed below:
Skydiving is already considered one of the riskier extreme sports today. However, compared to base jumping and wingsuit flying, it pales in comparison. It has been documented that between the two, the death rate is 1 in 60 participants or 1 in 2400 jumps.
When it comes to diving, scuba diving is not without risks but is still considered generally safe for participants. Cave diving, on the other hand, is a lot more dangerous as it entails going deep into uncharted territory in cramped conditions with very low visibility.
While surfing is a fun recreational activity that’s also physically challenging, some surfers are looking for something a bit more challenging and quite dangerous. Big-wave surfing is something these guys prefer to do. While it generally involves surfing at the lower end, the dangers are still very real. The force of the waves coming down is enough to break boards and injure people. There’s also the risk of the waves pushing a surfer recklessly spinning deep into the sea, which has drowned and already killed countless lives.
Free solo climbing
Wall or mountain climbing is typically done with harnesses, ropes, and other protective gear to keep a climber as safe as possible. However, at one point, someone thought about doing all of that sans equipment and gear. This resulted in an upgraded, albeit more dangerous, version called free solo climbing.
Ever since it started, plenty of free soloists have successfully scaled tall buildings, skyscrapers, and even cliffs. However, not all of them have made it to the top in one piece, as numerous deaths have already been reported. Despite the dangers, free soloists continue to spring up from different parts of the world as the sport gains greater traction and popularity.
If you’re considering doing something a bit more physically challenging than the sports and activities you’re used to, try your hand at some of the easier — and safer — extreme sports. If you’re going for the riskier ones, we recommend that you only do so under the guidance and supervision of trained professionals. There’s no sense in injuring yourself or risking your life just because you’re looking for an adrenaline rush.