What is adrenaline, you may ask. Let me describe it to you by a situation. You are watching a horror movie or are standing at a window on the 100th floor of building. What do you feel? Nervous? Fearful? Sweaty? All of that is caused by adrenaline! Adrenaline is a hormone and neurotransmitter also known as epinephrine. Someone who is addicted to this rush of adrenaline is called an adrenaline junkie. One who exhibits risky behavior to get an adrenaline rush is also called a daredevil or thrill seeker. There are many sports that are drugs for these junkies in the form of sports called Adventure Sports, Aggro Sports and Action Sports. All of these types of sports give you one thing in common- an adrenaline rush! The top 10 among them are listed as follows:-
Movies like Hardflip (2012) and Dogtown (2001 and 2005) show skateboarding as an adrenaline pumped passion of the young characters. These films influence many to take this sport up. Skateboarding is an action sport which involves riding and performing tricks using a skateboard. Of course due to its small wheels, skateboards suffer a major safety problem: riders may easily be thrown because of small cracks and outcroppings in their way. Hitting such irregularities is the major cause of falls and injuries. Shockingly, the risk is reduced at higher travel speeds and severe injuries are relatively rare! Normally, a skateboarder who goes down suffers from scrapes, cuts, bruises, and sprains. Only a about a half of the reported injuries involve broken bones in the leg or arm. Although the percentage of severe injuries is less but traumatic head injuries and death are possible outcomes of this sport. The other dangers include being hit by vehicles. Skateboarders are also a menace to other pedestrians and traffic.
Zorbing AKA globe-riding, sphereing and orbing is the recreation or sport of rolling downhill inside an orb, generally made of transparent plastic. Zorbing is generally performed on a gentle slope. But some clubs in UK provide plane surfaces to zorb so that the players can have better control and have a safer environment. Also, some operators have constructed inflatable, wooden or metal ramps. A derived sport from zorbing is Water Walking. Because orbs are buoyant in nature, zorbing can also be carried out on water. But for Water Walking to be safe, the orb has to be inflated properly and sealed once the rider is inside. In 2009 in Czech Republic, a teacher died and a pupil was seriously injured while zorbing. In 2013 in Russia, a man died from a broken neck and another was seriously injured when a Zorb rolled out of control down a mountain, hitting rocks and eventually coming to a stop 1KM away from a frozen lake. This accident was filmed by by-standers and was uploaded on a popular video sharing site on the Internet. Russian authorities called for tougher safety laws after the incident made international headlines. Some more sports derived from Zorbing are Water ball, Hamster ball, Atlasphere and Zorb Football.
8. Bull Riding
Bull riding is a strange rodeo sport wherein a rider gets on a large bull and attempts to stay mounted while the animal attempts to buck off the rider. The rider must stay atop the bucking bull for eight full seconds for the ride to be counted as a qualified ride. The rider has to tightly fasten one hand to the bull with a long braided rope called bull rope which is the primary piece of equipment. It is a risky sport and has been called “the most dangerous eight seconds in sports.” The rider and bull are matched randomly before the competition. According to HBO’s Real Sports, bull riders suffer one “significant injury” for every 15 events starting from concussions, surgeries, broken wrists, collar bones, legs, arms, numerous ribs, and fractures to their face. To sustain least injuries, riders use chaps which have distinctive coloring and patterns, are usually made of leather and provide protection for the rider’s legs and thighs. Also, protective vests and gloves are necessary. Cowboy boots and cowboy hats add flair to the age old sport.
Motocross is a form of off-road motorcycle racing held on enclosed off-road circuits. Motocross is the most physically demanding sport held in all-weather conditions. Championships are held across the world for motocross. Many sports like Freestyle, SuperMoto, ATV/Quad Motocross, Supercross, SideJeep’s, Pit bikes and mini-motocross have been derived from the parent motocross. The risks involved in this sport are broken collar bones, broken wrists, joint sprains, ACL rupture and broken ankles. Research has shown that 95% of Motocross riders have sustained an injury in their lifetime. To reduce injuries appropriate training, protective gear and maintenance of the vehicle should be done. Secondary prevention includes protecting the vital parts on hitting the ground, protecting the face from stones and dirt thrown up by riders in front and fabrics should allow good transpiration with minimum weight. To have a comparatively safer ride, helmet, boots, vest, knee brace and knee pads are important.
6. Volcano Boarding
Volcano surfing AKA volcano boarding and ash boarding is a sport performed on volcano slopes. The most popular destinations for this sport are Cerro Negro near Leon in western Nicaragua and Mt. Yasur in Tanna, Vanuatu. Both these destinations are active volcanoes! The participants trek up to the volcanic site and simply slide down from the slope! They use a thin plywood or metal board and either sit or stand on it to slide down. Volcano surfing is one of the most extreme sports. Obviously there are too many risks involved like (1) falling off and getting cut by the rough volcanic ash, (2) breathing poisonous gasses, or (3) being hit by flying molten lava! Protective gear including jumpsuits and goggles are used. Volcano boarding can be done in one of 2 ways: 1) Boarding down an active volcano where immediate dangers comes from flying molten lava and lethal volcano gases, and 2) boarding down an inactive volcano where no immediate danger is present. Surprisingly, no major accidents have been recorded so far!
5. Train Surfing
We have seen in many films like The Pact(2003) and the 1st installment of the Mission: Impossible series that the hero and the villain get on top of a moving train to fight it out. Derived from these instances, train surfing AKA train hopping or train hitching, is the sport of hitching a ride on the outside of a moving train, tram or another rail transport. Yes, you are right! This sport is very dangerous and even life-threatening, because there is a risk of death or serious injury from (1) falling off a moving train, (2) electrocution from power supply (overhead wires, current collectors, resistors, etc.) and (3) colliding with a railway infrastructure (bridges, tunnels, platforms, traffic lights or other trains) while riding on the side, on the roof of a train or attempting to jump on a moving train or off it. Although, this perilous practice is forbidden by authorities on many railroads in the world, it is still practiced, especially on those railroads where the trains are overcrowded.
4. Horseback Riding
Equestrianism AKA Horseback or simply horse riding is the sport of riding, driving, steeple chasing or vaulting with horses. Astonishingly, horseback riding has a higher injury rate than motorcycle riding! Stats suggest that motorcyclists suffer 1 injury/ 7000 hours of riding while horseback riders suffer 1 injury/ 350 hours! Obviously, this sport is totally great for an adrenaline junkie because of the threats involved. The main areas of injury are head, wrist, elbow, shoulder, knee, ankle and foot (which body part is left, I wonder). To reduce the instances of accidents, hard shell helmets, properly matched boot- stirrup combination, fitted boots, body-protecting gear and non- skid gloves are worn. But still as many as 100 deaths are recorded annually relating to horse riding accidents.
Movies like Dead End (2014) and 12 Months (2014) showcased the trials and tribulations of characters in the film who are fanatical about the precarious sport of snowboarding. Snowboarding is a recreational activity and an Olympic event that involves descending a slope that is covered with snow while standing on a snowboard attached to a rider’s feet. Snowboarding was inspired by skateboarding, sledding, surfing and skiing. About 4-6 per 1000 snowboarders are injured per day. Beginners suffer more injuries in number but experts suffer severe ones. Most of the injuries occur to the upper body including the wrists and head and one third to the lower body including the knees. Avalanches are a major cause of concern. Snow blindness, temporary blindness cause due to the reflection of sunlight from the snow, is also common. To sustain minimum injuries, one has to be properly trained. Also, one must wear well fitted boots, padding or “armor” for hips, knees, spine, and shoulders.
As the name suggests, football is a sport where a people use their feet to play with a ball. Sounds simple? It isn’t. In fact, it is one of the most dangerous sports in the world. Football and soccer are played using only feet (exception: goalie). But rugby is played using both hands and feet. They all originated from the same sport. Due to the rules of soccer and rugby being different, rugby players have a higher rate of injury. The injuries include contact injuries, injuries of the head, neck, shoulder, upper extremity, concussion, fractures, dislocations and strains. Many rugby players had to ultimately quit the sport due to injuries but this has not yet happened in soccer. On the other hand, soccer injuries are mostly caused by trauma to the ankle and knee as well as the muscles of the thigh and calf. But the craze among the players as well as the fans keeps this dangerous sport going!
Movies as old as Fandango (1985) and movies with an old cast like in The Bucket List (2007) starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson are seen skydiving! Parachuting, or skydiving, is the action sport of jumping out of an aircraft and returning to Earth with the help of gravity, then slowing down during the last part of the plunge by using a parachute. Skydivers have the option of free-falling for sometime or opening the parachute immediately, depending on their height of exiting the aircraft. About 21 skydivers are confirmed killed each year in the US! There is a derived sport from skydiving known as wing-suit flying. A wingsuit adds surface area to the human body to enable a significant increase in lift and one feels like he/ she is actually flying! Wingsuits AKA “birdman suits”, “flying squirrel suits” and “bat suits” are webbed between the arms and the torso and between the legs of the flyer. The flyer opens his parachute as he nears the ground. There have been many deaths during wingsuit flying when the parachute gear gets jammed or by hitting some object on the ground.