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Recreational Activities You Need to Have a Death Wish to Do

Recreational Activities You Need to Have a Death Wish to Do

By Tim Butcher

One thing the nerd community isn’t best known for is its fondness for sport. But can anyone blame us? The world of sport is dangerous! It's physically demanding, psychologically stressful–some of the worst ones even involve the risk of death! Seriously–check out this list of totally insane recreational activities.

Base Jumping

Perhaps the most famous of all the "death-wish" sports, Base Jumping is pretty much sky diving but with a tenfold higher chance of smashing into something. Jumpers will leap off skyscrapers, bridges, dams… basically anything that’s just about high enough to activate a parachute, but still totally low enough to mean attempting to do so is a horrible idea. Aside from the jumper not having enough time to stabilize their speed before they hit the ground, one of the principle risks is wheeling back and crashing into the thing you just fell off. In other words, if the floor don’t getcha, the wall will. Fun for all the family, then!

Proximity Wing Suit Flying

You may have heard of wing suit flying, in which a suitably insane person jumps out of an airplane and flies diagonally towards the ground using the flaps on a specially designed suit to glide in various directions. But did you know that there’s an even more insane version of the sport? Meet proximity wing suit flying. To be fair, the differences aren’t exactly subtle: this is just wing suit flying but done super close to the ground. Participants come within tens of feet of trees, boulders and, you know, certain death, while screaming through the air at speeds of around 100mph. Well, it’s one way to make a sport more exciting, isn’t it? Just significantly increase the chance of it all going horribly wrong!

Big Wave Surfing

Perhaps we’re running the risk of stating the obvious by going over just why big wave surfing is such an insanely dangerous activity, but we're going to do it anyway. It involves a puny, average-sized human putting themselves at the mercy of waves big enough to erase a localized population–all while balanced precariously on a wet length of polystyrene. The risk of wiping out and being dragged under is enough to worry about, but then you’ve also got to think about the dangers posed by coral (oh God, just thinking about that makes our bones twitch) and, of course, sharks. Why does everyone think surfers are so chilled out?! They're clearly out of their minds!

Cave Diving

This sport is decidedly less high octane than those listed above–but it’s no less potentially lethal. What you’ve got to watch out for here is simply running out of air and drowning, which, considering cave diving involves swimming around labyrinths of often-previously-unexplored underground tunnels in no visibility conditions, isn’t actually all that unlikely. Add to that the risk of injury from sharp jutting rocks or even attacks from dangerous subterranean animals and you’ve got a healthy collection of terrifying hazards to worry about.

Cheese Rolling

Judging from pictures, you might think the sport of Cheese Rolling–an annual custom held near Gloucester in England–was all just a bit of fun. Some silly villagers chasing a wheel of cheese down a hill? It’s like something out of an only-slightly-weird children’s picture book! That is, until you realize just how steep the hill is and find out that, pretty much every year, someone ends up badly injured. Turns out that wheel of cheese is bounding down the slope at an impressive 80 mph and that the people who take part in the chase are totally undeterred by this, literally throwing themselves down the slope in an effort to catch it. Broken limbs are not uncommon. The ceremony has been taking place every year since sometime in the fifteenth century, although no-one really knows how it started (and, let’s be honest, it’s pretty hard to imagine). Still, you've gotta keep up tradition, right? Right?

What is the most dangerous thing you've ever done for a thrill?

Tags: sports, lists, nature, daredevils, dangerous activities

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