There are sports that are relaxing, there are sports that are challenging, there are sports that are adventurous, and then there are sports that actually flirt with death! These are the planet’s 12 most dangerous sports – not for the faint-hearted!!
1. Sky Diving
What: This adrenaline-pumping sport requires you to plunge from an aircraft and live through the free fall before you land using a parachute. A lot of people get cold feet a second before their turn to proceed out of the aircraft into nothingness. It is one of the most extreme recreational sports and takes a lot; I repeat a lot of guts to nail it.
Challenges: Parachutists, especially the beginners usually end up loosing control and start to tumble wildly resulting in parachute entanglement or failure to activate the chute. Also accidental water landings leads to deaths, oddly with lack of life jackets or life jacket malfunctions.
Where to do it: Interlaken (Switzerland), Everest (Nepal),Fox Glazier (New Zealand), Mauritius, Nambia, Hawaii, Sydney (Australia).
2. Wing Suit Flying
What: Each one of us fantasizes of flying high like a superhero, like we possess the sky. You’d think its frivolous and exhilarating, yet they say that it takes a man to skydive 200 times to defeat all risks of dying during this spine-tingling sport. This intoxicating and hair-raising adventure was the invention of extreme seekers who wanted to turn their base jumps and skydiving into something more identical to flying than just dropping on earth like a brick.
Challenges: Slipping on the exit is an inherent risk the wing suitor faces.“In a wing suit your legs are connected so it’s akin to tiptoeing rather than running off a cliff en-route the exit. Other risks are cliff strikes,protruding objects,twisted lines and improper equipment . “A lot of people die when they collapse their wings in huge suits and can’t find their pilot chute in all the fabric known as a mis-pull.” says the base jumper and event organiser Hank Caylor,
Where to do it: Burj Khalifa (United Arab Emirates), Tianmen Mountain (China), Eiffel Tower, (Paris), Troll Wall (Norway), Yosemite National Park (California).
3. Base Jumping
What: A sport that grew out of Skydiving, BASE jumping involves jumping from much lower altitudes as compared to skydiving. Instead of jumping off an aircraft like in skydiving, BASE jumpers leap off buildings, antennas, cliffs, bridges, canyons, fjords, sky scrapers and so on. This sport is so risky that it is actually banned at many places!
Challenges: Because of the low altitude, jumpers have only FEW SECONDS to deploy their parachutes, virtually leaving them with no time to deal with malfunctions!
Where to do it: Perrine Bridge (Idaho), New River Gorge Bridge (West Virginia), Lysefjord (Norway), Mount Thor (Canada), and Trango Towers (Pakistan) amongst others.
4. Bull Running
What: As the name suggests, the sport involves running – with six furious bulls rampaging merely inches behind you. Hundreds of daredevils dressed in red and white, scramble through the town’s streets, with six bulls from the menacing ‘toro bravo’ breed charging behind them. The motive of the run is to steer clear and save yourself from being either gored, tramped or injured.
Challenges: As mentioned above, the aim is to steer clear and save yourself from being either gored, tramped or injured.
Where to do it: The most famous Bull Run is held during the 8-day Saint Fermin festival in Pamplona, Spain.
5. Free Solo Climbing
What: This is climbing in its “purest” and most extreme form, done without using any sort of safety equipment. Yup, that means no ropes, no harness, and no protective gear – all you have is your sheer ABILITY to climb!
Challenges: Since there is no protective gear, one mistake and you could end up gravely injured or even potentially dead!
Where to do it: Yosemite Valley (California), The Thimble (South Dakota), Action Directe (Germany), Trango Tower (Pakistan), and Cerro Torre (Argentine Patagonia) amongst others.
6. Volcano Boarding
What: Hike up the Cerro Negro volcanic mountain covered with multiple layers of barren ash, and slide down its slope on a metal board or a thin retrofitted plywood at dizzy speeds! Don a protective jumpsuit, a helmet, kneepads and protective goggles, and hurl yourself down the ashen slopes, at speeds that can go up to 80km/hour!
Challenges: Getting nasty scratches, falling down, and getting exposed to lava and other harmful toxins.
Where to do it: Cerro Negro Volcanic Mountain, Nicaragua.
What: Heli-skiing involves hopping onto a helicopter to gain access to untouched powder snow and far reaching areas, which are otherwise hard to be reached by a traditional ski lift. The helicopter transports skiers to the landing zone on the mountain, from where the skiers cruise down rugged, craggy mountains.
Challenges: Skiers could face potential threats like avalanches, poor weather, tree accidents, getting buried in deep powder snow, or even getting lost!
Where to do it: Idaho, Alaska, Colorado, Washington, Wyoming, Nevada, and Utah, all are known to have certified heli-skiing operations
8. Big Wave Surfing
What: If you think surfing was thrilling enough, wait till you try your hand at big wave surfing. When we say big, it means BIG! Yes, the sport involves navigating your way through waves that are over 50 feet! These are waves that could possible crush anything that comes their way!
Challenges: If cruising through 50 feet high waves wasn’t a challenge in itself, sharks are said to frequent the same waters!
Where to do it: Maui, Hawaii is one of the most famous destinations for surfing. Even Todo Santos (Mexico) and Cortes Banks (California) are hot spots for big wave surfing.
What: This exhilarating sports involves a chilling combination of acrobatics, while riding a bicycle! This bicycle motocross involves racing, accompanied by a series of offshoots such as vertical ramp, cycle stunts and flatland.
Challenges: This interesting yet extremely dangerous sport could potentially leave cyclists with a dislocated shoulder, a dislocated knee or countless scrapes, cuts and bruises.
Where to do it: Numerous tracks across the US. California is known to be the birthplace of BMX, and has an array of hot spots to practice the sport.
10. Parkour and Free Running
What: In simple terms, parkour is a sport that involves getting from point A to B in the most efficient manner possible, by using only the human body and the surroundings for propulsion. Players often run, jump, vault, roll, swing and climb, to get past any obstacle that comes their way.
Challenges: One wrong move and you could land with broken bones, a broken head, or a broken nose.
Where to do it: Anywhere. Preferably playgrounds, college campuses, open fields, beaches, forests, high streets, and so on.
11. Hang gliding
What: Hang gliding is known to be one of the most dangerous air sports in the world. The sport involves being strapped onto a light and non-motorised aircraft, which resembles a paper plane, and is launched by foot from the top of a cliff or mountain. Once launched, you can soar like a bird and enjoy some of the best views one can possibly lay eyes on.
Challenges: Once you’re off the cliff, there is no parachute, no cabin, and no safety precautions that you can undertake, in case things go awry!
Where to do it: Rio de Janeiro, San Diego, Oahu, Interlaken, and La Jolla are some of the top spots to enjoy hang gliding.
12. Street Luging
What: Hand’s down, one of the most dangerous and thrilling sports out there! A combination of sledding, skateboarding and sheer gut, this sport involves riders speeding down paved surfaces using a wheeled sled! The body of the rider rests on the sled in a sleeping position, merely centimetres away from the ground, as the sled touches speeds of over 90 km/hr!
Challenges: Since the body is just centimetres away from the ground, one flip-over, and the rider could be prone to nasty scrapes, bruises and what not!
Where to do it: There are numerous Luging spots across countries like the US, Sweden, South Africa, Germany, Switzerland, UK and Canada.