SlideShow: Top Adventurous Sports

SlideShow: Top Adventurous Sports

Are you looking to do some exciting adventurous activities on your vacation? Many travelers travel around the world to perform adventurous sports activities and some want to try something new.  Here we have composed a list of adventurous sports that can be thrilling and exciting.

Rock Climbing
Rock climbing has taken on new popularity in the adventurous sport arena as climbing walls have lately been added to gyms, resorts, and cruise ships. Although rock climbing was once regarded as an extreme sport, the perception has reversed in recent years with the high number of climbing walls. In fact, recent research suggests as many as nine million people enjoy some form of rock climbing each year. While climbing up a rock face strapped to a harness and ropes may look safe, the rate of injury is rather high with lower extremities (ankles, knees, feet, etc.) being the most common places of injury. Surprisingly, women account for more than 28% of rock climbing injuries according to the American Journal of Preventative Medicine. As a traveler, if you are badly injured while rock climbing, you have two concerns: how to get medical treatment as quickly as possible, and how to get transported to where you can receive medical care.
Mountain Biking
Mountain biking is a specific type of cycling that uses a specially designed bike that riders take to single track trails, logging roads, and other unpaved environments. The typical terrain traveled with a mountain bike includes loose and/or large rocks, washouts, deep ruts, loose sand, gravel, tree roots, and steep grades. The sport of mountain biking has grown in popularity all around the world, giving rise to a number of sports trauma surveys indicating that the overall injury risk of mountain biking is as high as 36%. The primary risk factors include: slippery road surfaces, excessive speed, and personal factors. Of all mountain biking injuries, the most serious are spinal cord injuries with one in six cases resulting in total paralysis. The majority of mountain bikers are injured as a result of being tossed over the handlebars or falling from a significant height - usually resulting in severe head injuries, but often spinal and neck injuries as well. Travelers who participate in mountain biking should be prepared with adequate travel medical insurance with hazardous sports.
Skydiving is an activity found on many people’s adventurous ‘bucket list’. Skydiving involves wearing specific gear, strapping on a parachute, having the confidence to jump out of an airplane, and the skill required to deploy the parachute at the best time. After the parachute is fully deployed, it’s an easy coast to the ground giving the participant plenty of time to enjoy the view from above. The risks of skydiving may seem obvious, but include: parachute malfunction, being the most common, risk of loss of consciousness mid-air, a poor landing, or crashing into buildings or trees. The U.S. Parachuting Association estimates that people make about 3 million jumps every year and about 25 people die every year while skydiving. As a traveler, if you are injured during a tandem skydive on vacation, you may need specialized medical treatment and even long-term care during your recovery.
Parasailing is a sport that has flourished in popularity over the past half decade, particularly on ocean resorts where the wind is amenable and there is ample room for speed boats. Essentially, the parasailing participant is strapped into a harness that is attached to a paraglide wing and pulled by a speed boat, allowing the participant to catch the wind and float effortlessly into the sky. The person who is parasailing is then pulled along the coast and out over the ocean while flying with the parasail. While parasailing looks relatively easy and harmless, the number of accidents, injuries and deaths have risen dramatically in the past decade partly due to the fact that the sport is significantly under regulated. Injuries are mostly due to violent, unexpected winds, and equipment failure with the parasailing traveler being dragged into trees, crashing into buildings, and even drowned. It is evident that while parasailing may look harmless, it really is a hazardous sport and should be treated as such by travelers.
Jet Skiing
During the summer months, nearly everyone hits the water. With so many types of watercraft to choose from, travelers really do have a range of options to satisfy their hunger for a good adrenaline rush. Jet skiing is a popular watercraft at resorts and tourist spots because they are relatively easy to learn to operate - like a scooter, but on water. Jet skis are the only watercraft in which the leading cause of death is not drowning. Instead, the risk is mainly blunt force trauma. Injuries typically occur when the driver collides with other watercraft, shallow objects in the water (tree stumps, for example), and docks. Jet ski collisions are more likely to result in injury and death than any other water vehicle. While jet skiing seems very easy to learn, operational errors like losing control of steering, not wearing a life jacket or helmet, and not knowing the right of way rules on the water can make jet skiing a very dangerous activity.
Bungee Jumping
Adventure seekers all over the world flock to bridges, cranes, buildings, and other high ledges to harness up to elastic cables and jump off. When they reach the end of their elastic cable’s stretch, they rebound --often several times-- and are eventually pulled back to safety. It’s an adrenaline rush of freefall and upward flying that’s hard to describe without experiencing it. The risks of bungee jumping are relatively low when the number of reported deaths--27 total-- are compared to the number of people who have participated in the activity. Possible problems include harnesses breaking, cords breaking and/or becoming disconnected. Some of the more common injuries include: eye trauma, rope burns, dislocations of the shoulder or hip, pinched fingers, back injuries, and more. It’s easy to see why bungee jumping is considered a hazardous sport.
Hiking and Trekking
Hiking and trekking have become increasingly popular travel activities with the renovations of popular trails, the growing consciousness of healthy living, and the ability to participate in a fun activity at little to no cost. While hiking and trekking can seem relatively tame when compared to base jumping, for example, there are still a great number of risks involved when a traveler leaves the city and heads into remote destinations of the world on foot. Dangerous weather, falls, animal attacks, and even human attacks can all leave a trekking traveler in a bad situation. If you are hiking in a foreign country, you may not be fluent in the language or know how to contact someone for emergency medical help. In many cases, injured and ill hikers and trekkers must be airlifted to safety with a medically equipped helicopter or jet to receive proper medical care.
Scuba Diving & Snorkeling
There are few experiences that give a person the opportunity to view the sea from such a miraculous perspective. Almost nothing can compare to the beauty and peace a SCUBA tank and an hour’s worth of air can provide. Unfortunately, the number of dive-related deaths in the U.S. and Canada, due to this adventurous sport, averages around 80 per year with the most common causes being; gas supply issues, emergency ascents, and cardiac events. Two of these common causes are entirely related to the diver’s level of training. The hazards of scuba diving are highly increased if the diver does not have adequate safety training or good equipment. When a diver experiences equipment failure, they may drown before they reach the surface.  If they ascend too rapidly, they can experience decompression sickness, also known as the bends, and may have to be placed in a hyperbaric chamber. Many places in the world do not have hyperbaric chambers, so if a diver needs one, they will have to be evacuated to the closest one.
Skiing and Snowboarding
Gliding down the slopes on skis or a snowboard with the wind rushing by, the fresh smell of pine and nature, along the glorious scenery is a must for many who enjoy being outdoors in the winter. Skiing and snowboarding are extremely popular sports, with approximately 10 million people hitting the slopes every year. According to the National Ski Areas Association, the number of fatalities each year hovers between 41-54 and injuries, including paralysis, head injuries, and spinal injuries These injuries occur at a rate of about 51 per year in the U.S. While helmets do save many, 30 of those 51 who are seriously injured were reported as wearing a helmet at the time. When an injury occurs on the slopes, the patient is likely to be transported by sled down the mountain by emergency responders who work the slopes, then by ambulance to the nearest hospital.
Skimming along the water of a lake or the ocean with the swift and silent strokes of your kayak paddle is an exceptionally calming experience. However, because of the mobility granted by a kayak, it is easy for kayakers to venture into waters that are isolated or too far for safety. . Kayakers can also take to rougher ocean and river waters with some training and skill, but according to the U.S. Coast Guard, 75% of kayak fatalities are caused by capsizing. Statistically, capsizing is just as likely on calm water as it is on rough water . Once in the water, it can be difficult to get back into the kayak without some practice. This can be especially dangerous for a capsized kayaker in freezing waters, as they have only a short amount of time to be rescued without serious health risks or death- even with a lifejacket on.
Whitewater River Rafting
Floating downstream through rock-strewn rapids, past breath-taking scenery, whitewater rafting is a popular outdoor thrill ride. Like most outdoor adventure sports, whitewater rafting comes with its share of risks. According to statistics provided by American Whitewater, an average of 6-10 deaths occur every year on commercial whitewater rafting trips. Most of these are due to drowning. Whitewater rafts carry a dozen or more passengers. So, if the raft tips over, there are a lot of people in the rushing water trying to cling to rocks or scramble ashore. Another factor to take into consideration, is that if a traveler is injured on a whitewater rafting trip, they may be very far from any medical facilities and need an emergency evacuation to receive medical treatment.
Hang Gliding And Paragliding
The opportunity to soar high in the beautiful blue skies like a bird is a breath-taking experience. Hang gliding and paragliding have become increasingly popular at resorts and tourist spots where pilots strap a rider in tandem and launch them off of high, windy hills and mountains. The increase in popularity has resulted in the requisite increase in injuries and deaths. The hazards of hang gliding and paragliding sports are numerous and include  devastating traumas such as; spinal cord injuries, upper and lower limb fractures, and head injuries. These accidents happen even with experienced pilots. When a traveler wants to enjoy an exhilarating sport such as tandem paragliding or hang gliding, it’s important to recognize that these are treated as hazardous sports for a reason.
Water Skiing and Wakeboarding
Both water skiing and wakeboarding are sports that involve being pulled behind a speed boat while balancing on a device that skims over the water. Water skiers use two long ski-like boards strapped to their feet, while wakeboarders use short, surfboard-like objects that the wakeboarder stands and balances on for an enjoyable thrill ride. Both sports are very popular in the U.S., with about 1.2 million people participating in these sports every year. There are, of course, inherent risks with these sports, primarily from falling onto the water at high speeds. The most common water skiing injuries are ankle strains and sprains because the ankles are bound to the skis and the impact of a fall places high pressure on these parts of the body. The next most common injury are lacerations of the head and neck due to falling and hitting the water, tow handle, water buoys, etc. Because both sports involve high speeds and the risk of drowning, these sports are considered hazardous and should be exercised  with caution.
Soaring across the captivating blue sky amongst the green treetops in a beautiful rainforest can offer you the thrill of a lifetime. With the public’s sparked interest in zip lining, new destinations for zip lining have began appearing in countless locations. Some zip lines can reach as high as 5,000 feet off the ground — like the one in Toro Verde National Park in Puerto Rico — and can take participants at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour. Undoubtedly, such an experience can take your breath away, but it is important to take precautions when zip lining, as injury or death can be a result of faulty equipment or improper technique. Unlike amusement parks and some other adventure sports, zip lining is not heavily regulated by the government. Pay attention to instruction from your tour guide, and watch for frayed or old-looking equipment.

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