Pinkbike Poll: What Do You Perceive to Be the Riskiest Outdoor Sport?

Dec 3, 2021 at 10:45
by Matt Beer  
default
Kilian Bron and Danny MacAskill are professionals but raise the stakes with their ability to ride technical, exposed lines.


You may have noticed a massive spike in outdoor sports participation recently as new enthusiasts flocked towards beaches and trailheads in search of healthy fresh air. Access has never been easier. However, while technological advances offer improved safety equipment, the underlying risks still exist. I, for one, am excited to see new people out exploring the forests and seeking that epic view or adrenaline rush, but all the eagerness with less awareness is wearing our Search and Rescue resources thin. That got me thinking, where do all of the "extreme sports" line up in terms of risk?

On a recent ride, I asked a friend why he didn't surf, since the area was highly prolific for that sport. His one-word answer was enough, "Sharks!" - ocean-roaming dinosaurs with daggers between their jaws. An attack can happen to anyone at anytime in waters where they are known to prey, regardless of your athleticism or awareness. There is no way to protect yourself from sharks except by staying out of their waters.

That discussion further developed into how mountain biking was much safer than other outdoor sports where the environment is less controlled; no risk of getting hit any a car, drowning, avalanches, and definitely no sharks. Yes, wildlife can be present in remote regions on land as well, but encounters can be mitigated by announcing your presence. Getting buzzed by a car road is out of your control. All of these potentially fatal ends seem more extreme than riding a bike through the forest.

Plunging further into the dangerous activities, the inherent risk of drowning in any water activity is real, whether that may be caused by bumping your head on a reef or getting held under a rapid while kayaking. Similarly to avalanches on snow-capped mountains, there is little warning and only luck pulls a few out of these dire circumstances. These "no way out" scenarios have always sent chills up my spine. Snowmobiling, skiing, and snowboarding, in or out of bounds, throw in more dangers to the snow sports with hypothermia and tree wells. Preparation and discipline helps avoid these predicaments, but on the majority of rides, those risks don't exist when out mountain biking.

What about a safety net then - say a rope while rock climbing? Sure, that is a seemingly safe lifeline, however, equipment can fail. Falls from short routes can still be dangerous if equipment fails or communication with a your partner dissolves. I'm not saying that mountain biking isn't dangerous or that a bike component failure has never lead to serious injury, but the severity of the crashes are generally less than falling from those heights.


TITLE


We might try to fly off of jumps and ride down rock slabs that some would require a rope for, but it's dirt that we desire. Generally, mountain bikers travel on established roads or trails, which is not dissimilar to off-road motorcycles. However, speed is the perpetrator when motors get involved and the stakes are raised higher. To put this into a mountain biker's perspective, I'd go out on a limb to say that more severe injuries occur in downhill rather than in enduro racing. Still, there are no dirt avalanches to set off (at least not due to riding bikes down a slope), although I do wish dirt would fall from the sky sometimes.

After our mid-ride discussion, soaking in all of the elements around us, mountain biking seemed to be one of the most controlled outdoor sports. For the majority of the time, we purpose build what we want to ride. As we pushed up to session a well-built jump line, it left me in a satisfied place; well balanced on the risk versus reward scale. Most veterans in their respective sports take risk seriously and do their best to negotiate self harm, so where do you see mountain biking ranking in the danger of outdoor sport?


What do you perceive to be the riskiest outdoor sport?

Let's not get into subcategories and keep it fairly general. The highest risk may not necessarily be the most extreme.




452 Comments

  • 346 4
 I'd rather jump off a cliff with a parachute than spend every day riding on the highway with distracted drivers. After working at a bike shop for several years, it's amazing how many people have died or been hit my cars in my town alone by drivers. Has my vote for riskiest sport period.
  • 47 5
 Strongly agree. Also my perception is that the most dangerous part of many of these activities is the drive the trailhead / ski hill / beach
  • 59 5
 I've done collegiate wrestling, collegiate pole vaulting, BJJ, mountain biking, skiing, whitewater rafting, etc, all of them producing pretty good injuries. In BJJ I completely tore off my pectoral in a scramble and had major surgery to get it reattached.

By far, head and shoulders above the rest, the worst injury I've ever had was road biking. I was hit by a car from behind when I was riding on a country road on the shoulder.

Road biking is the most dangerous (except I guess the flying stuff, where its only a matter of time until you die) of any traditional outdoor sport.
  • 4 0
 painfully accurate
  • 14 4
 I think the danger of road biking can vary a lot depending on where you live. In my area I think we've had more mountain bike deaths than road bike deaths in the last couple of years.
  • 40 3
 Word... Soccer / Hockey-moms in Suburbans texting and feeding the kids at the same time while driving...
  • 1 0
 110% agree with this!
  • 13 0
 @hamncheez: Of all the activities that I've gotten very involved in, and there has been quite a variety, road cycling is the only one I know of friends, associates, and local community members to die doing. It blows my mind when purely road cyclists scoff at mountain biking because it's more dangerous.
Similarly, my worst cycling injury out of 25 years of mountain biking and 2013-2019 road cycling was having a person behind me cross wheels in a sprint. I was fortunate to not have any encounters with drivers or vehicles.
  • 9 1
 Everyone on a road bike gets hit eventually, and the road is damn hard with minimal protection. My off took me off the bike for a good couple of months with no broken bones, etc. - just a stolen knee... I don't ride road any more, which is a shame as it was free fitness for the mtb... A friend at work has just had his shoulder trashed for life too...
  • 118 1
 @slimboyjim: did you ever get the knee back?
  • 27 0
 I would rather hit a tree going 10-15 mph than have a car hit me going 45-65mph
  • 4 0
 Yup, my vote, too. I've lost more friends road riding than mtb.
  • 16 1
 To compound things roadies don't wear protective gear like motorcycle riders wear on the street. People laugh at riders wearing just lycra, but going down a hill at near 50 miles an hour with just a small helmet and paper thin shorts is a lot more risky then bombing down a mountain in full moto gear or jumping off something tall where you have 2 parachutes just in case. Add in the fact that the only way to avoid being hit by a car in most cases is simply not being there, then yeah, road riding is riskier than anything on the list.
  • 52 4
 it's BASE and it's derivatives - wingsuit flying, etc, and it's not even close, on a fatality/participant basis. I present to you, Splatula - the Base Fatality List:
bfl.baseaddict.com/list

To that end, paragliding is extremely safe by comparison.
  • 20 0
 @hamncheez: basically explains why I think gravel biking is great. lets me get the same conditioning as road but around way fewer cars. and the cars I do see are going much slower.
  • 17 0
 And this is why I no longer ride motorcycles on streets or highways! People are more concerned about what is on their phone than what is in front of them or on the side of them. I just don't trust people on the road anymore.
  • 35 2
 @hamncheez: I can't be the only one that has no idea what BJJ is
  • 6 1
 @shredddr: I think it would be fair to even consider those different sports. I don't have the stats on it but I would think that straight base jumping or sky diving are relatively safe compared to wingsuit flying, which is absurdly dangerous.
  • 1 0
 @shredddr: beat me to it!
  • 7 0
 @sino428: specifically wingsuit proximity flying (as you can skydive with a wingsuit as well).

From a risk point of view I don't think there's much difference BASE vs proximity.

Both involve similar proximity and are 1 shot deals (neither carry reserves)
  • 16 0
 @el-nombre: Brazilian Jui Jitsu (that may not be correct spelling, apologies!) .. it's a martial art where you aim to make the opponent look like a folded piece of laundry lol
  • 20 0
 @el-nombre: I'm afraid to google it at work.
  • 15 0
 @DHJohn: I dont think it's just not paying attention, although that might be the biggest contributor. The road in front of my house has a speed limit of 25mph, I ride my road bike at or above that speed during the straight away section that goes by a school... cars will consistently get on my ass then illegally pass me crossing the yellow line in that school zone, and the drivers always look angry. When I drive i dont go over the speed limit in my neighborhood, including that section of road. I never have cars pass me illegally. there is something inherent about drivers wanting to hit cyclists or at least mad they are there. I assume the same is true for motorcycles.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: are you still training BJJ? always cool to read about other MTB'ers who also roll.
I agree that jiu-jitsu takes its toll on the old joints, lower back, hips, etc.
  • 12 2
 @adrennan: What if you put flat bars on your gravel bike for better handling? And maybe add a front shock?
  • 5 0
 @hamncheez: I chose Motocross because I broke my back, T 9 is completely gone and T8 and T10 have fused together. This was my mistake but like you, my worst injury, (7 fractures), was caused when a careless driver took me out when on my road bike. Two broken legs and over a year of physiotherapy. I picked motocross because it was my mistake if that makes any sense.
  • 3 0
 @zamanfu: I completely detached my pectoral from my humerous almost two years ago rolling with a former greco-roman olympic guy. I was finally recovered and ready to train again a few months ago right when I got hit by a car road biking, and now my back is broken. IDK if I'll ever be able to roll again.
  • 4 0
 Commuter biking is a special kind of risk. Although after biking year round in a major city (winter sucked) for about 20 years, I had a car cut me off once which led to a few scrapes. I've had more falls on my MTB this year alone and they left me worse off than my one commuter crash. And I'm talking commuter biking, sans helmet through the 90s trying to emulate couriers like an idiot.
  • 8 0
 @el-nombre: bareback blowjob
  • 2 0
 @sideshowmel: I don't know why you are getting downvoted, this is obviously true. Near me, all of the roads are 25-35 mph with large bike lanes and then there is a 50 mile pedestrian/cyclist path. There are areas of my city I don't ride in because of traffic, but for the most part, it feels safer to be on the roads near me than mountain biking (which I also do, I just think the risk of injury is greater).
  • 4 0
 @hamncheez: That is rough. Hoping you have a speedy recovery.
  • 2 0
 Getting on the road bike never fails to absolutely put the shits up me. Slimy surfaces, tight corners, deer, motorists etc. It’s insane AF.
  • 1 0
 @OliOliOli: I was hoping for so much more...
  • 10 0
 @shredddr: Came here to say this. Not even close. The amount of people that die road cycling comparative to the amount of road cyclers isn't even close to the numbers of BASE fatalities comparative to the amount of people doing it.
  • 14 0
 I get the sentiment, but that's only because so many people drive so frequently. Statistically driving is super safe.The most dangerous activity is doing none of them and dying of heart disease or similar. Also WAY LESS FUN. And we love the trope of the distracted soccer mom, but insurance rates don't lie, it's young males who are the mostly likely to be involved in accidents. Pretty big overlap with the people driving to mountain bike trailheads.
  • 7 2
 @el-nombre: Brazilian ju-jitsu , i had to google it lol in incognito mode
  • 3 0
 @Rafe1234: Yes, this. Based on the numbers, if the amount of people who road cycled also base jumped there would literally be tens of thousands of deaths per year from base jumping.
  • 6 0
 @HB208: I think the struggle is maybe the risk associated with these sports are two disparate statistically. All sky sports were lumped in together. Sure BASE has a higher mortality rate, but most people who skydive do so with a reserve shoot and do it out of a plane which is much safer. Only the most hardcore and usually "best" participants move in to BASE jumping. Its like saying free solo climbers die the moment they slip so all of climbing is dangerous. In reality rock climbing is incredibly safe when you use a rope, which most people do. Where the road riding comparison has almost nothing to do with the participants skill and the level they are participating at. Everyone has the same likelihood of getting ran over. Someone who decides they want to try skydiving via tandem jumping is at relative low risk compared to a BASE jumper, where a new cyclist is at the same risk as the best pro in the world when riding with cars on the road.
  • 3 0
 I was once riding my bike home past the trailhead when a driver, with mountain strapped to his bumper, almost hit me and when I hollered at him he yelled that he had the right away. Something about just getting behind the wheel makes people crazy. Road cyclist are insane.
  • 5 0
 @dpars63: But by that same measurement, road cycling can be controlled quite a bit by the area you are riding in. For example, Boise (where I live) has a 50 mile pedestrian path and a network of wide bikelanes on 35 MPH streets. Not all streets are super safe, but enough of them are that you can control the risk. Whereas somewhere like Dallas or Houston does not have these amenities and thus would be much more dangerous.
  • 1 0
 @decoverley: in terms of gross numbers maybe. But not statistically.
  • 3 0
 @HB208: First, I now get the 208 in your name, I'm from the state originally as well, good on you. What you are describing is luck of the draw, or in more granular measurement saying statistically someone is more likely to get hit by a car in Houston vs Boise because of the cycling infrastructure. I want to buy in to that because there is logic there, but every year in Seattle around a dozen people die on/ in the protected bike lanes due to drivers blowing red lights. I known its pedantic, but the posed question for the poll was what sport as a whole carries the most risk. The reality is there are a few different things missing from the question. If it is total world wide carnage, then road cycling has it beat purely because of volume. If the question was posed per capita substantial injury/death rate, it would be hard to say. Does anyone who falls out of a plane one time constitute a skydiver? does anyone who owns a bike constitute a cyclist?
  • 3 0
 Agree - there is so much NOT within your control while on the road with cars. At least in the forest, i can jump, or not, slow down, or go faster, basically set my comfort level and ride within that, or not, but its my choice. On the road, mercy of so many other factors most of them being human error of many other humans. I dont trust many people with my personal safety.
  • 2 0
 @bb8: I fractured my T12 and L1, plus torn labrum (both shoulders) plus knocked out 12 teeth. All from one incident in what my family calls the "safer" kind of biking!
  • 2 0
 @dpars63: Yes, I am specifically referring to bike infrastructure. Somewhere like the Netherlands is CLEARLY safer to ride in than most of the US. If you have a source for the Seattle cyclists being hit in protected bike lanes (which would mean car/bike separation) I would really be interested in reading more into it.

Since you are familiar with the state, somewhere like Nampa or Meridian is WAY more dangerous for cyclists than SE, N, and E Boise. If I didn't live where I lived in the city, I might not be super into riding on our roads, but I feel pretty comfortable plus the greenbelt is there.

What I am trying to get at is that an individual's statistical risk of an activity should be looked at in more detail than just the overall activity risk. Same goes for MTB. Whistler Bike Park black and double black trails obviously have more statistical risk than blue trails in the Boise Foothills, but they are lumped under the same risk category.
  • 1 0
 @dpars63: This channel (and video) does a really good job of explaining what is wrong with US bike infrastructure.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1l75QqRR48

Boise is about to build over 100 miles of bike paths on canals (or at least that's the plan), which I am pretty excited about.
  • 1 0
 @el-nombre: Brazilian Jiu Jistsu
  • 1 0
 @HB208: thanks for the post, I look forward to seeing the new routes in Boise. And yeah, there is a lot of work to be done on cycling infrastructure. I think about it constantly when I ride to work, it wakes me up better than coffee.
  • 1 0
 Can't disagree with you, and I know roadies that have been hit and been fortunate to live to tell, but you can ride the road and not see one car on some rides in some places or at some times of the day/night, or just not have a close call. However, if you have one parachute malfunction mid air, you're most likely gonna have a bad day 100% of the time. You can plan and train for these on the ground and watch all the videos and debrief all you want, but falling at terminal velocity and "burning in" isn't something I would recommend practicing. No bueno.
  • 1 0
 big +1 to this. I've been working in a shop for years and the injuries that customers and employees get from these sports are all more frequent on road cycling and are more likely to be fatal
  • 1 0
 And if personal transport + Web doesn't kill you fast, it kills you slow. Deep breaths now


@barcolounger: try marriage: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weekend_
  • 1 0
 @shredddr: thank you for sharing this
  • 1 0
 I belive that road cycling can easily be the deadliest! How ever, joking of a cliff, where your only chance of survival is a well prepared parachute? Sounds like the riskiest.
  • 1 0
 Oh man when I worked in a bike shop in Victoria bc, same story, the amount of drivers hitting bikers was insane.
  • 2 0
 @ODubhslaine: haaaaaa
  • 1 0
 @dpars63: so you just speed in other neighbourhoods? Smile
  • 1 0
 Thinking about selling my gravel bike for this reason. Yeah, gravel riding is less dangerous, but I'm still on the road for a while until I get out of the city. And when mountain biking exists, it's hard to make an argument for road/gravel riding.
  • 1 0
 @shredddr:

Bicycle deaths:

injuryfacts.nsc.org/home-and-community/safety-topics/bicycle-deaths

2019 alone saw 712 cyclists die because of an incident with a vehicle.
  • 1 0
 @el-nombre: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, my brother.
  • 2 0
 @slimboyjim: death to knee thieves
  • 7 0
 @kevinridesfelt - There are feelings, and then there are numbers. Here are the numbers on skydiving vs. cycling as a pretty infographic:
www.tetongravity.com/story/adventure/your-chances-of-dying-ranked-by-sport-and-activity
  • 3 0
 While for many of us this 'feels' intuitively correct, when you consider the actual time spent the risk per minute or hour isn't even close.
Many road riders (motorcycle or bicycle) spend long days riding, with no thought of hours spent on any day doing their dangerous activity.
Similar but with less time spent with whitewater kayaking or most other sports listed except for the sky sports.
How many minutes of BASE jumping equals one death?
Nowhere even close to the minutes of road riding per death, for that it would be years of riding per death.

It's all in how you calculate it. Do you count 6 hours of road riding to equal 6 seconds of fall time on a tall BASE jump?
Personally I don't, just like when discussing the safety of driving a car it's risk of accident per miles driven. That same metric needs to be applied or its all perception and not necessarily reality.

Now on perception; I've riden about 100,000 miles on motorcycles on the road and I've seen so much crazy it would be an hours long horror reel. But in actual fact I've had zero collisions while riding my motorcycle, and just in the last year of 10,000 miles worth of driving my car two collisions (Luckily neither my fault). In fact per mile I've been safer when riding my motorcycle. That might not feel correct, but my non-representative experience says it is.
  • 2 0
 @powturn:
This is cool but I’m confused about snowboarding vs skiing. It would seem from the numbers that snowboarding is safer (1 in 2.2 million vs 1 in 1.4 million for skiing). But then the likelihood looks like snowboarding is more dangerous. Maybe I’m missing the interpretation. Or maybe this infographic isn’t that great.

Regardless, jumping off things or planes expecting to fly or land safely is waaay more dangerous than anything else!
  • 1 0
 @dmclemens: snowboarding has less broken legs probably
  • 3 0
 @dmclemens: could perhaps be that there are proportionately more skiers in the Backcountry due to AT being a bit easier than splitboards. Seems like of all skiing fatalities there are probably a fairly high proportion due to out of bounds avalanches
  • 3 0
 Exactly this!! Road cycling got my vote. Yeah any of the others are more dangerous but, the participants are putting themselves in that situation. Unlike road riding an commuting where a unatentive idiot someone driving an texting or in my experience drivers that are just out to get cyclists!! They're putting their lives in someone else's hands. FK that I tell friends an colleagues I'd rather drop in rampage blindfolded than commute by bike.
  • 5 0
 @BarryWalstead: That's a valid and more level headed perspective, and shows that most forms of bicycle riding are relatively safe compared to the really extreme sports and the average ride out on the road isn't the death battle some make it out to be. The reality is that millions of people get on bike rides every day for rides on the road and the vast majority of them don't end up with an encounter with a distracted driver, but are instead enjoyable, safe rides. But I will acknowledge it's more dangerous than ever. But kayaking and some of the sky jumping sports are way more dangerous sports. Cheerleeading is way more dangerous than cycling from the perspective of injuries per minute.
  • 3 1
 What's that,people stopped filling out surveys. I know, lets disguise our data mining with another POLL!! Smile Smile Smile
  • 1 0
 @el-nombre: Brasilia jiu jitsu.
  • 1 0
 @elsb0048: it’s just suspicious that the proportion in the “likelihood” graphs look like they scale with the denominator (participants) rather than the percentage of people who are at risk.

My major point is that this infographic from Teton (who I f*cking love for content in general) seems to be pretty loose on the facts/analysis
  • 1 0
 @shredddr: I thought it odd/lazy that they would lump those in the same category.
  • 1 0
 @makripper: not sure how to glean injuries vs fatalities from that infographic. But yeah, as a skier and snowboarder, I suppose it’s easier to twist a leg off on skis. But the discrepancy between the stated numbers and the infographics are weird. Seems like the bigger graph correlates with the bigger number. But the number is the denominator so it should be opposite.

Bottom line, something doesn’t smell right with this infographic
  • 1 0
 @dmclemens: i do both as well. 100% agree with you good sir
  • 2 0
 There’s absolutely no chance road cyclings the most dangerous sport. Agreed nobody wants to be riding around people texting but come on be real. It’s still super tame. I’d happily send the most gnarliest descent in rush hour traffic on a road bike but there’s absolutely no chance you’ll ever catch me being towed into a 45ft wave on a jet ski.
  • 2 0
 @thenotoriousmic: That's a good point. Cycling is the most dangerous sport that I personally do. I'm not getting off the beach if the waves are double overhead. With road you can get into trouble because it's tame but with the occasional split second of danger which could result in death.
As for BASE - yeah, no I'm not doing that... but then you can't just do that. You wouldn't just go to a BASE shop and get all the gear, then jump off a bridge because the danger is all too apparent.
With road cycling it is so accessible and so innocuous to pick up, then you can get in shit by accident. On thing for sure, it's certainly a lot more scary going down a hill at 50mph on a road bike than a mountain bike.
  • 7 1
 I know I’ll get universally slammed for this from all directions, but recon it’s worth pointing out that maybe the whole road bike conversation is being framed wrongly; or thought of in the wrong way here. I’m not implying isn’t dangerous (it is, because of drivers) but instead of everyone saying how dangerous road cycling is, why not have the conversation about how we get cars off our roads. They are unnecessary status symbols that pollute the air and make us all fat/unhealthy, and contribute to mental unhealthy too (apologies for my engrish- but imagine sitting in traffic in a box for hours to go and sit behind a desk all day, to sit in a box in traffic for hours- when you could be on a bicycle). Why don’t we talk about how we can get those soccer moms into cargo bikes, and the kids on old Walmart schwinn’s to school instead of the back of a box...I recon (it is utopian, for sure) road cycling will be much safer when people realize they don’t need cars, and that bicycles can perform all the functions they need for life in urban and rural areas..
just saying.
  • 1 0
 @Runerider: this is a true fact. The reason I will never road bike. Also, i go to lots of road biker accidents. As long as they continue to wear just spandex and a an almost useless half shell helmet(f*cking stupid at best),...while using the road with the above.....well....
  • 4 0
 @fiftyshadesofbacon: North American cities have zoning laws which have made the car a necessity. Zoning laws prevent businesses from being built "too close" to residential areas.
Until frequent, efficient, and reliable public transportation becomes part of NA cities, the car is a necessity to get anywhere.
  • 1 0
 Considering 16,884 cyclist where hit by cars in 2019 in the United States alone. Everything else is pretty safe. I’ve been hit twice here in Colorado. Once by accident and once intentionally. Sharks aren’t nearly as unpredictable as a texting driver. Riding the backcountry is safer than riding in bounds. Despite how reckless people are these days. The amount of people that actually die on the resorts of Colorado would shock you. As far as the sport that you will most likely kill your self. But if you ride a motorcycle your at the highest risk for sure. With around 90,000 injuries and 5458 fatalities in 2020 alone.
  • 2 0
 @shredddr: yep. Lumping BASE, etc. and paragliding into the same category was not the right way to do it.
  • 2 0
 @el-nombre: The martial art Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
  • 1 0
 @dancingwithmyself: 2 of my old BMX friends are into BASE an it scares the shit outta me! One of them took it up be because illegal Street superbike racing wasn't thrilling enough ......
  • 1 0
 @slimboyjim:
#kneegotrobbed
  • 4 0
 But if you consider each effort of each event and the number of injuries/death, you'll get a MUCH higher incidence of death or injury. If as many people jumped off of buildings or flew with one of those bat-shit crazy suits as rode bikes on the road, and as often, the amount of deaths from that would be staggering.
  • 2 0
 @ElDebarge: he had the right of way because he had the whole mountain strapped to his bumper was like he was riding uphill (has right of way) and didn't want to lose his momentum.
  • 6 0
 mountaineering-by far. 1/3 of the people who attempt K2 get killed. BTW, if you haven't seen 14 peaks, it's epic
  • 1 0
 gotta text and instagram... no time for driving...
  • 2 0
 @jaame: Most people won’t do dangerous stuff like cave diving. Road cycling generally tame hence why so many people are willing to do it for the accident rate to be so high with such a safe sport. Could be even safer if riders actually worked on basic bike control like being able to hop a curb to avoid large vehicles but it’s all fitness bases. Very few roadies work on the skills most mountain bikers have that will help them in a life and death situation.
  • 1 0
 Why would you ride on a highway?
  • 1 0
 @me2menow: here's one statistic of deaths normalized for population: www.rulesofsport.com/faq/what-is-the-world-s-most-dangerous-sport.html

Cycling: Odds of dying: 1 in 92,325
Skydiving: Odds of dying: 1 in 101,083

I guess the stat we'd like to see is deaths per participant
  • 5 0
 @DHJohn: 100%. 20 years racing MX, superbikes and flat track. 4 broken legs, a couple ribs, no biggie. I was on a rare for me fire road ride and got punted off a cliff by a drunk AF quad guy trying to pass me on the inside of a blind corner. 106ft fall, broken neck, back, ribs and skull. 9 months in the hospital. Anywhere other vehicles where drunk people could be is danger.
  • 2 0
 @ottersy: holy crap
  • 8 4
 @thenotoriousmic: yeah and to be fair of you walked up the middle of the road for several hours every weekend you’d expect to get run over as well - just most pedestrians have the good sense to get the f*ck out of the way of cars.
Roadies would no doubt be in far fewer collisions if they didn’t insist on taking up so much space and getting in the way literally all the time. I know “we’re entitled to”. Just because you are legally allowed to do something doesn’t mean common sense should go out of the window. No other group is so entitled, in my opinion.
  • 3 2
 @jaame: Agreed. There’s something about road cycling that just appeals to the very worst of society. Honestly don’t know why I haven’t bought a road bike yet with that being said. In the lakes it’s common to be stuck behind a pack of bastards for 20 plus miles glaring at motorists exactly like how I look at people I don’t know when I see them riding trails I’ve built like the roads are their own private race tracks and not for people to use to get to work or make a hospital appointment. Its honestly a joke if a sport.
  • 3 0
 @thenotoriousmic: I think once they commit to being on the road, they can't leave themselves to the mercy of drivers. So the dirty looks are kind of a way to "stand their ground." But initiating any kind of extended eye contact with drivers can either distract them, or piss them off. The upside for the cyclist is not evident to me.
  • 1 0
 @Tormy: Well... sounds like you only ride 10 mph
  • 6 6
 Yes. The “don’t get too close” stare. There is a thing on Road.cc called near miss of the day where people submit go pro footage of cars passing too close. The footage itself is not obnoxious, and they are valid concerns most of them. The text of the articles is awful though. Absolutely obnoxious, entitled and supercilious. It’s the tone that I can’t stand. Almost as if roadies consider themselves to be above the normal road user. They don’t mind sharing the road when it means me sharing the tarmac between myself and the car in front - the safe distance I have left while stopped at a traffic light - so they can get closer to the front. They’re fine with doing a wobbly track stand 20cm off my front bumper but flip it the other way, when it’s cars in their space, they want 2m. Total c*nts a lot of them. Some are very nice. Sensible even, riding in single file up long slow blind curves. A lot of them are just c*nts. I can’t bring myself to say hi to them anymore either. When I encounter a bunch and one or two of them say a friendly “morning!” I just ignore them. I don’t want to be seen as one given I’m only on the road bike to train for MTB anyway and I don’t wear Lycra or aspire to having ten inch arms with a horrible tan line.
I’m ranting.
I just hope that in time they stop being so selfish. Accept that they could also try to accommodate drivers, rather than it being drivers doing all the accommodating despite outnumbering cyclists 1000-1 and literally paying through the nose to use the roads.
  • 1 2
 @jaame: f@cking road weenies.
  • 3 8
flag jaame (Dec 5, 2021 at 5:50) (Below Threshold)
 @weebleswobbles: They are literally messing around doing their hobby and getting in the way of everyone. Can you imagine if all golfers started having 4-balls all over the highways and byways of a weekend? Trying to have a bit of fun with their mates, inconveniencing the shit out of good honest hardworking people going about their business. Expecting everyone to make way for them to take their sweet ass time to canter up the road at 14mph and not mind at all? I saw a couple of runners out this morning too - running in the gutter. If I pass them on narrow lanes it's not unusual to see them get on the verge to let me pass without endangering them. Hikers the same. Now imagine all the runners running up the middle of the road in prime position "because it's safer". In fact, imagine if every car driver decided to drive through the countryside on 60mph roads at 16mph. There would be an outcry!
And yet, that is exactly what roadies do.

It's no coincindence that the commonly accepted collective noun for cyclists is bunch, and also for c*nts, it's bunch.
  • 6 2
 @jaame: What a terrible attitude. You're literally in a vehicle surrounded by protection with hundreds of times the power of a bike, just wait a second and pass. Go for a road ride and figure out why people might want to take the lane vs hug the shoulder.
  • 3 1
 @jaame: I'm pretty ashamed that we both call ourselves mountain bikers. Chill dude, a track stand isn't going to kill you. You passing a cyclist too close could kill them.
  • 1 0
 @pmaff: some of us are smarter than trying to mess about where people are texting and drinking and driving not paying attention. I'll pass on the road ride.
  • 7 4
 @pmaff: I do ride road. It’s not individual roadies that shit me, it's those ones who ride in bunches. They are the epitome of self centred entitlement and selfishness.
A pain in the arse to pass them, then when you do get past they go back in front of you at the next traffic light and make you do it all again.
I also filter to the front on my motorbike, but when the light turns to green I'm gone. I will not be inconveniencing those drivers who I cut in front of. If only roadies could say the same. Groups of recreational cyclists (not individual commuters) are the scourge of the roads.
It doesn't have to be that way. If they would just ride in single file up hills, and maybe pay attention to what's going on behind them occasionally, 90% of the annoyance they cause would evaporate.
  • 1 0
 @pmaff: Obviously nobody cares about sitting behind a cyclist waiting a few moments for a safe place to pass but in certain parts of the country you can be stuck behind groups as large as 30 riding in double file for mile after mile with a traffic jam behind them. They even have unofficial races on open public roads with marshals stopping traffic to let racers past. Imagine getting fired because a bunch of entitled decided to have an unannounced unofficial race on public roads and made you extremely late? You’l come across large groups of mountain bikers, hikers etc and everyone else stops to let traffic past including slower vehicles everyone except roadies and you only need a handful of them to cause an issue.
  • 3 0
 @thenotoriousmic: yeah I don’t wish injury on anyone. I’m happy for people to enjoy the countryside but please, show consideration for other people.
Roadies are often completely inconsiderate. That’s what I dislike.
  • 1 0
 @decoverley: I disagree that driving is the riskiest part of our activities.
This is a common theory in the outdoor community, one I used to say often. However my personal experience finds it untrue. 5 friends have died in avalanches, 1 paragliding, 1 road riding and zero driving anywhere. It’d be nice to find numbers that say I’m wrong, but I don’t think the drive is the most dangerous. We take risks in many of our activities and shouldn’t downplay those risks.
  • 4 0
 @powturn: another good source of info is from a sailplane pilot who has put together an easy infographic comparing various sport risks per hour of actually doing them. chessintheair.com/the-risk-of-dying-doing-what-we-love
  • 3 0
 @nothuman: hats off on finding a much better infographic w/ true common-denominators! Looking at this apples-to-apples ranking of risk does, however, raise several questions: 1) where does the "all mountain" MTB riding most of us do most of the time fall in the ranking between what that graphic labels (Pure Road?) "Cycling" and "Downhill MTB"? 2) What do global numbers for backcountry skiing in look like? The Austrians are very rule & law-abiding folks, so I'd be very surprised if the numbers for last season in North America resemble their pre-covid mortality rate.
  • 1 1
 @nothuman: that's a good source, but again, you have to slightly question the "time" denominator. For my typical 4hr enduro races, I only get 20 ish minutes of race time. Would my 4hrs count or my 20 minutes? With some of the climbs, it might feel like I'm going to die, but in reality, not so dangerous... Same for non-shuttled DH, I guess
  • 1 0
 @shredddr: yikes, some of the explainations are thought provocoking
  • 1 0
 @eightysix: And that would be martial arts w/o any pubic hair?
  • 2 0
 @mountainsofsussex: yep agree. I'm assuming it's the "downhill" part that's in the time calculation, which is why DH mountain biking got up there in the danger stakes.
  • 1 0
 @ellstruth: each of the stories are interesting - both about the people and ultimately what went wrong with their jumps. It's a fascinating sport/activity, but the risk level is just off the charts - it seems awful to see all those lives gone.
  • 1 0
 @jathan: for sure - out of how many participants though? I'm sure more die cycling but on a participant basis, no way. No one retires from BASE.
  • 2 0
 @sonuvagun: ignorance really - which is fair. If you're not into those sports, how would you know? To be fair, hang gliding is pretty dangerous, and early days of crap wings, paragliding too.
  • 1 0
 @jaame: despite the vote downs, your point about many having "only when we say it's okay" attitude is objective, and you made fair observation some have a good attitude.
  • 1 0
 @shredddr: that's fair.
  • 220 4
 Highest risk of death: flying sports

Highest risk of injury due to your own mistake: motocross

Highest risk of injury due to someone else's mistake: road cycling
  • 10 0
 Highest risk of death: lawn bowls.
  • 18 0
 @Velocipedestrian: This is true. Everyone I knew growing up that played lawn bowls is now dead. Crazy stuff.
  • 25 0
 Normally I would agree, but talking to my wife about the mountain biking budget has nearly cost me my life more times than I care to count.
  • 2 0
 Technically, taking up road biking, would be your first mistake….
  • 3 0
 "Highest risk of injury due to your own mistake: motocross"

If you meant quad motocross, absolutely. The amount of people who get f*cked up racing those things is nuts.
  • 4 0
 This is spot on. Very different kinds and sources of risk. Think you could also say:

Highest risk of minor injury: mountain biking.

Most likely way to die mountain biking: car wreck on the way to (or being hit by a car while riding to) the trailhead

Think the frequency of minor injuries is why mountain biking gets labeled as “dangerous” by the general public.
  • 4 0
 @SacAssassin: The discussion with the wife/girlfriend about mtb spending could align quite well with the PB video formats: Friday Fails, Saturday Spends, Sunday Saves. Way more Friday Fails then anything else, lol.
  • 3 0
 @Velocipedestrian: wtf is lawn bowls?!
  • 2 0
 @SacAssassin: yea that n+1 doesn't go over well with the missus
  • 89 8
 Dude died in a hang gliding accident. What an idiot! Ha ha. "A-a-ah! I'm hang-gliding, honey! Take a good picture! I'm dead!" What a freak!

- Chaz
  • 22 1
 Any and all downvotes are from folks who just don't know ...
  • 10 0
 The meatloaf!
  • 24 0
 Picking up girls at funerals is where it’s at.
-Also Chaz
  • 7 0
 @babathehutt: I never know what she's doing in there
  • 2 0
 Definitely an innovator
  • 40 0
 I spent 8 years on a volunteer SAR team and responded to calls involving of all of those disciplines except surfing (no ocean nearby). In my experience, the common denominator amongst most backcountry emergencies is compounding poor decisions (poor risk assessment, underpreparedness, groupthink, ego, etc...), not necessarily the underlying activity.
  • 16 0
 The Swiss Cheese effect.
  • 4 0
 I don't care how many other good, prepared, well thought out decisions you've made, if you make one bad one (road biking) then your safety is now largely out of your control.
  • 1 0
 As someone who has survived being caught in an avy I agree. No single factor alone would have been an issue, the combination of a few could easily have been deadly.
  • 7 0
 @iamamodel: this was a high-payback Wikipedia search thank you
  • 2 0
 @decoverley: You're welcome. It's funny when you apply it to things from that crash that hospitalised you down to that flat tyre - just one right move could have changed your outcome.
  • 42 0
 Wanking in a bush.
  • 12 0
 Does the size of the bush make a difference??
  • 11 0
 You’re about as niche as it gets.
  • 6 0
 That danger is easily avoided, just stay away from retirement homes.
  • 2 0
 Where's that skeleton and his tin!?
  • 4 0
 @lehott: biscuit tin
  • 2 0
 @unrooted: 29 inch has more cover but 26 is more fun.
  • 1 0
 @inside-plus: I wish we measured everything in cm instead of inches.
  • 2 0
 @unrooted: Hahaha 27.5 = 69cm, in that case I ride a 69r
  • 1 0
 @inside-plus: in this case ill allow the rounding down of 69.85
  • 3 0
 @unrooted:

Big bushes went extinct in the '90s
  • 4 0
 @axleworthington: i think they're making a cum-back...
  • 29 0
 riding on friday.!
  • 1 0
 thats a winner in my books ! ! !
  • 23 3
 For most of those, you, nature and your equipment are the only part of the equation and i'm ok with that. It's risky but controlled for the most part... then their is ROAD CYCLING... where it involves A LOT OF RANDOM PEOPLE, some might be drunk, some on drug or on their phone... If say you get passed by 200 cars on your average road bike ride, cars passing by you with an average of 4 feet distance at 30mph... chances of having a distracted driver are pretty high and the margin not big... My vote has to go to ROAD CYCLING.
  • 20 0
 You absolutely correct. Used to ride motos (trails/enduros, not motocross) and then moved to mountain bikes and road bikes. Only on road bikes do I go out and think I could get snuffed out by some random person, who is texting their friend while they are drinking a soy PS latte. All of the people on Friday Fails CHOSE to do something where they cased or dead sailored a jump and ate shit. This is why gravel is taking off, not some sense of adventure or some crap marketing...it's to get away from drivers on the road.
  • 6 0
 Warren Miller used to say every skier has a finite number of bumps they can ski before they blow out their knees. I feel the same with riding on the road. Had two very real instances and quit riding road.

As I answer my buddies when they ask why I don't ride road: "I've never been hit by a car while riding singletrack."
  • 3 0
 Cycle touring through narrow back country roads in NZ which have dairy tankers ploughing down them at 100Ks is delightful.
  • 5 0
 Since it happened, I always think about the pro rider who just got killed by an impaired driver in Colorado. In my head as a pro you are well versed as a defensive bike rider. Likely 10x better at riding with traffic than I am, but it doesn't matter cause it's not up to you.
  • 3 0
 @nicholkid: yes and no. There are pros who are not great bike drivers, who got there solely by being genetic freaks. Not every pro has Peter Sagan skills. Also, I think it is a different skillset. A seasoned NYC bike messenger will be much better at defensive riding than a pro roadie.
But ultimately, no amount of skill can avoid a car that is bearing down on you at speed.
  • 31 10
 100% Mountaineering. Regardless what people perceive as good conditions it's just a matter of time before they get stuck in an avalanche
  • 19 0
 Just watched 14 Peaks with Nims Purja… THAT is a must watch. The guy is otherworldly. The Nepalese people are incredible and do not get the respect they deserve in the world of Mountaineering.
  • 8 0
 Clicked on other because mountaineering isn't on the list. Risk can be calculated, but some things just can't be controlled such as seracs breaking away, rockfalls, etc without even mentioning avalanches.
  • 2 0
 @n-lagasse: Just started that last night. Good lord those people have balls of steel.
  • 4 0
 @n-lagasse: I just watched this as well. What an absolute badass. The idea of climbing an 8000er in a single day WHILE HUNGOVER...absolutely f*cking insane. It says a lot that many absolute legends of the mountaineering world *genuinely* thought his plan was impossible.

Also yeah, mountaineering is dangerous as hell. I used to do a bit of that and ice climbing, but honestly, I have a kid and ultimately I decided the risk is just not worth it for me.
  • 1 0
 agree, 100% alpinism and mountaineering. While many things like road riding are dangerous due to mistakes of others, if you just look at consequences of your own mistakes, then mountaineering and wingsuit flying must rate the highest. I have had more friends than I care to count die in the mountains, and 2 who have been killed road riding.
  • 1 0
 I think you're not comparing like with like, though - there is high risk and low risk mountaineering. 8000m peaks are clearly the high risk end of the sport. I prefer my 3-4000ers climbed mostly on rock and afaik airsports are riskier (I've done both, and checked out the stats to inform my decisions). When it comes to avalanche risk I'm far more worried about off piste skiing as we tend to seek out fresh powder rather than avoid it (yes there are also slab avalanches but there's no reason to actively seek out those conditions in either activity).
  • 14 0
 Diving is a completely different animal from surfing. People have no business being underwater for that long and if you throw spelunking in there too, you’re really wagging your peeper at the reaper.
  • 7 0
 Cave diving has got to be one of the craziest sports out there
  • 4 0
 "wagging your peeper at the reaper".... awesome... lol
  • 11 0
 Unfortunately, this question is conflating 2 types of risk: what is the risk of something bad happening anytime one participates vs. how bad are such events if one occurs? For the first type, I feel like mountain bikers experience some sort of event more commonly than the others, but for the bad events, it’s hard to envision and outcome besides death when flying sports go sideways.
  • 13 0
 I just instantly lost one of my best friends this week at Tokul to an OTB crash. Mountainbiking is dangerous af.
  • 5 1
 @MQTBMX

Condolences. That's awful.

As someone that has ridden there exactly once, I'm a curious (if its ok to ask). What exactly happened? Was he wearing any protective gear?

(mostly trying to figure out if I should avoid a specific trail/feature when I go back, or if it was some sort of freak accident/medical precondition/etc)
  • 3 0
 Sorry to hear about your friend and for your loss. Two weeks ago I almost ended up in the same boat while riding a trail I've ridden 1000 times. Fresh teleport had been done and I could tell by the fresh dirt in the berms. Got to the first jump and found it whomever did the trail work didn't know how to build jumps. Everyone in my riding group got bucked and unfortunately I was going the fastest. Had an OTB. It broke my collarbone, posterior sternoclavicular joint dislocation and fractured ribs. Had my head taken the full brunt of the fall instead of my shoulder it would've been a lot worse. Lesson learned... When you have fresh dirt on a trail, take it easy and verify the trail is safe.
  • 5 1
 @Porsche73RS: I mean yeah you can blame the trail builder all you like but if you're riding a trial blind and hitting jumps its on you. Plus, your skills might be at fault too.
  • 2 0
 @inside-plus: that was my point. I want planning blame on them other than they did a terrible job. If turns out they too broke their collarbone on it.
  • 3 0
 @inside-plus: sorry for the spelling mistakes.

My point was that I should've been more cautious on a trail with fresh trail work. Even though I know the trail like the back of my hand it was my stupid mistake. I wasn't placing blame on them other than they did a terrible job altering r jumps. If turns out the trail builder also broke their collarbone on it.
  • 10 0
 All those sports are dangerous when you start pushing the limits .However, Road Cycling is the only one that a has massively unpredictable element, humans attempting to drive a lump of steel whilst playing on the phone. In saying that, river kayaking is the one that scares me the most.
  • 9 0
 I know it's not on the list but I'd put quads/3 wheelers/atvs up there towards the top of the list. I grew up in the desert and I don't know how many people I knew who got seriously messed up on quads. All the speed of a motorcycle but they didn't require any skill/talent/technique other than pushing a lever with your thumb.
  • 4 0
 In my limited experience with ATVs and especially 3-wheelers, a lot of the recreational riders are piss drunk half the time they use them. People that use quads for property maintenance/trail building/hunting never seem to have serious injuries on them other than occasional burns from the exhaust pipe and tip overs.
  • 2 0
 @sjma: I agree. And certainly, never ride a 4 wheeler angry, drunk, by yourself and without a helmet - RIP Brian!
  • 12 0
 Not one person killed doing these activities has answered this poll so the data is flawed.
  • 13 0
 Cave diving
  • 6 0
 For people who say to them self " Diving isn't dangerous enough so decided to dive in pitch black cold waters were I can easily get lost, and trapped."
Definitely type 2 fun.
  • 1 0
 Nightmare fuel
  • 2 0
 Wood chipper diving
  • 1 0
 @r-rocket: Such a shame that you can only do it once in your lifetime. Smile
  • 15 3
 Reminder: you are the product
  • 7 0
 Speak for yourself.  Just last week I was hit by a blue Toyota just roaming our local jump trails, knocked off my bike and into a precariously loaded couloir triggering the Godzilla of avalanches. Fortunately this particular couloir feeds into a massive river and so instead of being drowned in snow I was being sent tumbling down a turbulent current. About an hour and two sets of falls later I'm jettisoned into the ocean where guess what's waiting... two ravenous Great Whites with an appetite for half drowned mountain biker. The only reason I made it back to shore alive and in one piece is because some Instagramer was trying start the trend #sharkattackselfy #forthegram. Guess the only thing more appetizing than half drowned mountain biker is #mindlessgramer. Given this most recent experience I would like to nominate Instagraming or anything with a hashtag in front of it as the most dangerous sport.
  • 5 0
 You owe me 2000 $ for scratching my fender , watch where your going next time
  • 8 0
 I was riding mountain bikes yesterday and landed my first backflip to dirt, but then almost got hit by a distracted driver while I was in the bike lane on my way back. That was 10 times scarier.
  • 7 1
 These are all so dangerous for different reasons... If we can assume gear doesn't fail, personal safety and skill were controlled, I'd put the highest risk in the activities where the danger is out of your control. Road biking, backcountry snow sports since when things go bad there, it's often fatal. If the risk is due to mistakes in performance, probably air or river sports. motocross is really dangerous too.. Idk man they're all risky in their own way and this survey is comparing apples to golf balls to car tires.
  • 4 0
 River sports are at the top of my list. I've done 75% of those activities among other unlisted hobbies, and white water rafting is the only one that's even got close to being fatal, Getting bucked off of a raft in fast moving/unforgiving rapids is hands down the most terrifying/helpless experience of my life..
  • 1 1
 This is really the only way to look at the question. Otherwise it is just too vague. You can make any of these sports as safe or as dangerous as you want based on how rowdy you want to get or how much risk you want to take. For some sports you can virtually eliminate the risk of serious injury or death by having the correct safety gear and staying within your limits. Other sports like backcountry skiing/snowboarding, surfing, climbing mountains, etc will always have some risk you can not eliminate.

You can do everything right and still trigger an avalanche. The science is evolving rapidly in that area but its not fool proof. You can never know 100% how stable that snowpack is. Same with surfing (for people who actually surf legit waves). Ocean conditions can change. Big sets can roll through, currents can change etc. And then for sports like climbing and mountaineering weather is a factor. As good as forecasts are, mountain weather can be weird and catch even the most prepared person off guard.
  • 6 0
 "Similarly to avalanches on snow-capped mountains, there is little warning and only luck pulls a few out of these dire circumstances"

No there is a huge body of scientific evidence and practice behind avalanche safety. Luck should be attempted to be eliminated from the equation entirely before entering avalanche terrain.
  • 2 0
 I can't upvote this enough. The great majority of avalanche deaths are preceded by poor decision making, group dynamics, psychosocial factors, etc. The signs of instability are nearly always evident beforehand, but people ignore, are ignorant of, or downplay them. And powder fever (track it up before someone else does) is real... more so than in most of these other activities.
  • 7 0
 Of these options, yes flying sports are riskiest. Look up the death rates of 8,000+ meter mountains though. Annapurna has a 32% fatality rate. K2 has a 25% rate.
  • 5 0
 Yeah. Mountaineering. I've read Joe Simpson's 'This Game of Ghosts' and Andrew Lock's 'Summit 8000' ('Master of Thin Air' in USA) - every few pages someone dies. And then sometimes an avalanche comes along, a serac collapses, or a storm traps people at altitude and half a dozen people die.
  • 6 1
 Define the risk you are talking about. Risk of death? Yeah, MTB is probably pretty far down the list. Risk of serious injury (i.e. broken bone at minimum)? I think MTB is probably at or near the top.
  • 15 0
 Motocross is higher than MTB for sure
  • 1 0
 @Frank191: most actual motocross crashes (i.e. not tucking the front in a corner or low speed tip-overs) seem to result in broken bones. The speeds are just so high. On an MTB you can get away with just cuts and bruises for a lot of crashes in my experience
  • 1 0
 @chrisclifford: I got lucky and had many hard crashes over 6 years of mostly intermediate MX racing. I got really lucky and never broke anything. I was banged up a whole lot and had 2 concussions though. That was right before 4 strokes took over so it’s much more dangerous now. I stopped in 03
  • 5 0
 Mountaineering should be included (too many sub categories to list- ice climbing, alpine climbing etc) but the objective hazards are great and the mountain is always the one in control.
  • 5 0
 There was a backcountry skiing risk assessment that I think found base jumping to equal the risk of about 10x a day center punching up a steep chute on a high/red avy danger day. I’ll look for the paper it was cool/spooky
  • 1 0
 I'd be really interested to read that!
  • 4 0
 These possible answers are pretty bad. I would say that e.g. paragliding is pretty safe (but you have to do your weather and NOTAM etc. research beforehand). Did id myself for several years. But wouldn't say that speedriding/flying and basejumping are safe. A friend of mine was in hospital for several weeks after a speedriding crash and few years later died basejumping (RIP!).
Also the question is how you define risk, risk of injury or risk of death? I would say that the risk of injury is much higher in mtb compared to basejumping. But would say that the opposite is the case for the risk of death.
What do you count as road riding? Long rides on the road bike or the commute to the train station through the city? Would say that in most cases the commute has a higher risk.

All in all, i would say that the percieved risk is smaller if something is closer to everyday life. Out of all the different sports, i would say that basejumping is the riskiest of those. Mostly because if you're e.g. backcountry skiing you can just take a different route which is less steep or has a better snow pack, similar in most other sports.
  • 4 0
 I'd like to argue with the people who think moto is much higher risk than MTB. Are you racing against 40 other joeys on a mx track doing triples? Then yes, it's more dangerous than mountain biking. Hitting up a track day or cruising tight singletrack? I'm not so sure about that. I'd guarantee most people here rip downhill just as fast on a MTB than most people on the same terrain riding moto. They problem is that we wear little more than chinsy foam helmets (cause that's all mtb helmets) and some knee guards designed for road rash. When I ride moto, it's boots, braces (neck and knee), a far better helmet, spine/chest protector and so on. Sure, speeds are higher at times but I'd argue it's somewhat offset by much more protective gear.
  • 5 1
 As someone who mountainbikes, skis and races moto regularly, and road bikes semi regularly. Most broken bones have some from the MTB and skis, most big injuries have some from motocross, however the one that damn near killed me was when I got hit by a car road cycling...
  • 4 0
 Jeb Corliss has one of my favorite quotes about this- "when starting out in anything (base jumping) you have a luck jar and an experience jar. As you progress in the sport you take your luck beans and move them over to the experience jar. You don't know how much luck you're using so moderation is always important but eventually you will run out." Something like that.
  • 1 0
 Is he still alive?
  • 4 0
 Perceived danger is base jumping and such but just like planes are operated and maintained SERIOUSLY, parachuting is also taken seriously. "Casual" off-road Motorsports with dirt-bikes and ATVs are notorious for serious injuries and hospitalization (think of bad MTB accident, only faster + involving another vehicle).Road cycling also typically leads to more injuries: speeds are higher, hard surfaces + minimum protection from them are guaranteed, and contact with motor vehicles is possible. Distraction from bad drivers that give no sh!t = almost guaranteed.

What is surprisingly super dangerous statistically and missing from the poll, is Horseriding.
  • 1 0
 This! I rode horses all the time when I was a kid but you couldn't pay me to get on one now. If these guys think road riding is dangerous they haven't been on a 1000 pound animal that suddenly takes exception to their rider. At least my bike never bit me while I was saddling up. My bike never rears up on the back wheel unless I want it to either.
  • 4 0
 Myself included, opinions dont matter. its all about numbers. unfortunately its hard to get a study that compares numbers in a meaningful way. according to the United state Parachuting association the death rate is 0.39 per 100000 jumps. according to wikipedia (take that as you will) the death rate is 0.262 per 100000 PEOPLE IN THE US (not cyclists, but the entire population of the country). Those are not apples to apples, but there 100 percent of the US population does not ride bikes, many are children and old people no longer able to. Many simply dont ride because they dont want to or dont own a bike. Its easy to claim the death rate for road rides is higher per capita than 0.262 per 100000 people, but who knows what it is. However, oddly enough US statistics are counting E-Scooter deaths as pedestrian deaths... not really related to the question, but it does show the data might not align with what our interpretations of a sport participant are.
  • 4 0
 Watched the movie: Man who skied down Everest, a few days ago. 6 sherpas died, still the guy later in the expedition tried skiing down with a parachute attached to slow him down. I'm no skiing expert, but he didn't really ski but snowplowed then tumbled untill he fell down for a long time. Same guy holds the record for the oldest climber of Everest at 70, a few years ago. I think my vote for most dangerous has to be climbing. You might not die, and even climb again succefully another time, but your helpers and companions might die just so you suceed.
  • 7 0
 I always assumed the risks of horse riding were fairly high
  • 5 0
 I know in Australia horses kill more people than other animals - not your crocodiles, sharks, box jellyfish, spiders, octopus, snakes - goddamn horses!
  • 10 2
 date night
  • 3 0
 Depends on how you define most dangerous, but Moto scares me more than anything else. The barrier to entry is low and the consequences and risk for serious injury very high. All my riding friends worst injuries are from Moto. Also RIP Stevie Smith.
  • 5 0
 Want to be the best in the world at a given sport. Take up squirrel suit flying. It’s only a matter of time before you’ve become the best at the sport, or dead.
  • 3 0
 I was hoping when I clicked other it would let me list something....hadn't even figured out what I was going to put....left disappointed:

Sword swallowing
Ebike riding up no-ebike climbing trails
bear wrestling
snake pit jumping
fire breathing, judgling mountain unicycling
  • 3 0
 Flying sports without question have the highest rate of death of all the activities listed. As a former military pilot and an aeroabtic and race pilot for decades, I've known dozens of pilots killed flying airplanes. Now when you factor in BASE and wingsuits, the probablity of getting killed likely goes up by an order of magnitude. Flying accidents are usually have pretty binary outcomes; either you're unscathed or you're dead.
  • 3 0
 Surely mountaineering is one of the riskiest sports. There is the old moto of there are old climbers and bold climbers, but there are no old bold climbers... With weather, ice and snow conditions, avalanche risk and the low numbers but relatively high deaths and injuries, it's got to be up there.
  • 7 4
 This article wasn't posted because Pinkbike give a sht...it was posted to get people talking, generate hits and bombard you with ads....that's why the question proposed is so vague. Pinkbike should do something about their dead forum which almost no one posts in any more and fix the site so we can upload photos more easily. It's embarrassing that they publish all these articles to keep the site going yet MTBR posts virtually nothing and has 100 times more posts per day in the forums. Henry also did a silly move leaving his great job at GMBN to come here... his enthusiasm and knowledge is wasted on this site.
  • 5 0
 Exactly, it's not even biking related it's straight out of outside.
  • 3 0
 My old high school girlfriend killed a woman on a road bike in a hit and run. Decades after I dated her, she became a meth head and plowed right into a nurse on a road bike and kept on driving. Not many meth heads hitting sky divers mid-air. SO I vote road bikes as the most dangerous. www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-21/victor-harbor-hit-run-driver-samantha-farrer-sentenced/7955428
  • 3 0
 The thing your looking for is acceptance of injury. The understanding of it . You play hockey long enough you will get a puck in the face.if you ride bulls - you will loose more than you win- and your back will be F@&ked. Can you get over it enough to still really enjoy the stoke or is it the stumbling block. Go to a skate park - a deep one where scooter kids are to scared to show up- on a Friday- 6pm - there will be a guy shredding with a cast on his arm. He gets it - he accepted it - its part of the journey when you hang it out.
  • 3 0
 That BASE fatality list shows 442 deaths from 1981 to 2021, while in 2018, just in U.S. 857 people on bikes were killed by drivers and in 2019 100 cyclists were killed and 3827 adults were seriously injured. Probably not every one was doing road cycling as sport, but still, those are quite high numbers. I tought motocross is the most dangerous one, but Im switching my mind to road cycling.
  • 3 0
 may be biased as a long time skier but there are so many backcountry deaths every year that it breaks your heart i would not be surprised if jumping out of a plane is riskier percentage-wise, though
  • 4 0
 Plane jumping is super safe from a jumpers to deaths perspective. Things like BASE and wing suiters have a radically higher risk of injury and death.
  • 1 0
 @Connerv6: good point. Taken in total with those other types, the combined stats are certainly skewed unfavorably for simple sky diving, although I have a friend who lost a loved one that way, so it’s not without its own risks, however marginal.
  • 1 0
 @Connerv6: I think wing suiters have the highest mortality rate.
  • 2 0
 When I was younger I thought that the flying sports are the coolest and most dangerous, I've done also my fair share of free solo climbing. But now I think that all depends on enviorment and factors you can control, and riding bike with cars is what scares me the most...
  • 2 0
 Seems like people were going with what causes more deaths, I was going with what causes the worst injuries that you survive. I think motocross is high up there. Motor vehicle speeds but you're hanging your neck out, literally, every time. If I insta die in a base jump at least I'm not paralyzed with a broken femur etc like motorcycle accidents.
  • 6 0
 Not many wingsuiters get to make more than one mistake!
  • 4 0
 Ice climbing. Seems like guys are always dying doing that. Even guys who are known for doing other dangerous things, it’s the ice climbing that gets them.
  • 2 0
 I'm surprised to not see backcountry snow sports higher. You can do everything right in the backcountry and there's still a chance that an avalanche will occur, totally out of your control. Flying, climbing, etc. you can control more of the variables.
  • 2 0
 That mountain grave of Everest is certainly a contender, altitude sickness gets a lot of them, hiking up there and stepping over or walking past the bodies from climbers who have died years prior, they get left there because its to much to get them down, and its a growing tally.
  • 2 0
 My wife has been to a hospital 3 time for fractures involving falling off her road bike to work being cut off by cars. To this day, she still thinks I’m crazy mountain biking, which I can say I’ve never had a fracture that I know of.
Cars suck!
  • 6 4
 It’s weird isn’t it. When I’m on my road bike I hate car drivers. About 5% of them anyway. When I’m driving the car I hate roadies… probs about 50% of them.
Back to the subject, road riding is dangerous af.
  • 2 0
 Maybe some flying sports are inherently dangerous, but, if you add any element of risk versus reward and enjoyment, road cycling is the absolute worst. No way, never again, roads are just murder, literally - drivers not paying attention, using their phones, arguing, just not caring for cyclists, drug and drunk driving, fatigue etc etc. Murder.
  • 6 4
 Surfing is getting much, much safer as we continue to decimate shark populations worldwide, so some people can enjoy sharkfin soup. Crime against nature of the largest magnitude. I have spent decades diving amongst them and have never once felt threatened. It's becoming much less frequent...
  • 2 2
 The ocean is a big place. Exactly where has surfing become much, much safer? Reunion island? Australia?
Great white sharks have been protected in many places for nearly 30 years now. Are they also included in your gross generalization of the worldwide decimation of shark populations, or would you be willing to concede that the conservation measures have worked to increase their numbers, at least locally?
  • 2 0
 @DeeWheelson:https://www.worldwildlife.org/stories/overfishing-puts-more-than-one-third-of-all-sharks-rays-and-chimaeras-at-risk-of-extinction

Certain species protected, yes. Good work on the White sharksSmile

In general, world wide steep decline, with finning now including mantas and other rays. Last trip to Indonesia pre-pandemic: 0 sharks. 50 years of diving experience.
  • 3 0
 @DeeWheelson: unfortunately conservation efforts don't have a big impact when the only nations that actually hunt sharks in large numbers don't play along.

While it may appear that some shark populations are increasing due to migration from climate change, the overall picture remains bleak.
  • 1 1
 @DeeWheelson: yea my skewed view as a surfer is that sharky spots (reunion, norcal, west oz, south africa) have gotten sharkier in the last 20 years.
  • 1 1
 @MegalodonMatt: You're talking about the worldwide total number of all species of sharks, right? Bit of a strawman. This is a problem with over fishing in general, I'm sure you've seen the satellite image of the Chinese fishing fleet on the Galapagos boundary.

Of course conservation efforts will have an impact on the species targeted in the areas they are protected. A good example is the Grey Nurse Shark along the east coast of Australia, but as you said they don't have a huge impact on the total worldwide shark numbers but their future is far from bleak.
  • 1 1
 @BermSmasher408: It's a view held by many surfers and professional fisherman, but generally dismissed as being "anecdotal" by scientists and researchers, who now seem to have crossed the line into being activists.
  • 2 0
 I did whitewater kayaking before I started Mountain Biking. There was generally a death every couple of years and a few close calls every year in the local kayaking community. That’s the main reason I no longer do it.
Water is always trying to kill you.
  • 3 0
 In BC, Canada, the highest risk of death amongst recreational activities comes from snowmobiling. Unfortunately, someone has already lost their life in an avalanche this season. Be safe out there.
  • 5 0
 This is because of how accessible backcountry terrain is to complete beginners with no avalanche training.
  • 2 0
 We once shared a gondola at Fort William with some paragliders. While we were talking about our various sports, we said the paragliding must be so dangerous. The paragliders responded saying they thought mountain biking was far more dangerous! I guess what ever sport you do, if you practise and gain experience you lessen the danger.
  • 4 0
 Alpinism and ("big" wave) surfing are the only things that even come close to BASE in the risk department.
  • 2 0
 I think you should sperate inbounds and backcountry snowsports. I don't think they are the same and hopefully shouldn't be viewed as the same due to the risks and knowledge required for the backcountry.
  • 1 0
 Flying sports is such a broad category - I’m a hot air balloon pilot and there is so much more regulation than ground based sports. I used to get monthly updates on general aviation injuries in the UK, they were quite rare, other than paragliding.

As an ex snowboarder I think snow sports are more dangerous than MTB, for brits at least, as we don’t get to practice as often.

However I think trampoline parks are the most dangerous activity.
  • 3 0
 Can confirm, used to live next to a trampoline park, and they had the EMTs there daily, if not multiple times.
  • 1 0
 Currently It's Flying sports and Road cycling, but at almost 5x the votes (1007 vs 209).

Flying sports aren't as common, and seem safe (some of the wingsuit stuff not so much). I chose motocross, because they're pushing it to the limit (at least in races) and crashes are going to cause damage.
  • 4 0
 Outside+ trying to dragnet our deepest fears. Don't let them.

Mine is Croquet.
  • 1 0
 It's interesting how many folks equate high risk to high probability of a negative outcome (severe injury or death). Traditionally, activities with the highest and lowest probabilities of negative outcomes are considered the lowest risk, as they are easy to identify and/or manage. It's the activities where the probability of a negative outcome is 50/50 (highest degree of uncertainty) that represent the highest risk.
  • 1 0
 I had to answer mountain biking, as I sit here with a fractured C2 in my neck. 4 months and I'm still at least 2 months from getting back on the bike. It was close to the end for me. I've been avalanched and rescued, but it was nothing in comparison. Nothing like a serious injury to help form an opinion.
  • 5 0
 High altitude mountaineering!
  • 1 0
 Flying sports, free solo climbing, big wave surfing, & alpine climbing/mountaineering probably in that order. I don't think I've ever heard of someone having a BASE jumping accident and walking away from it... I could be wrong, though
  • 1 0
 If this was broken into sub-categories, I personally believe it is most definitely backcountry skiing. I say that mainly because there’s so much beyond your own control with avalanches. You can do everything right and determine a slope is safe and it could still slide on you. There could be a bonehead above you who made a bad decision to go up something that isn’t stable and trigger something that could potentially bury you while your digging your pit. Pure gnarliness though definitely goes to BASE jumping and flying. That stuff is just bonkers!
  • 4 0
 So it seems that everyone agrees, cars are a massive danger to our society and need to be banned.
  • 2 0
 If you grew up in an area with snowmobiling tourism like I did, your answer is likely going to be snowmobiling. So many people constantly dying, and this was in an area without avi risk.
  • 1 0
 My buddy recently and a crash para-sailing.. ended up almost dying and having full reconstruction of his pelvis. We are grateful he is still here with us and looking to make a full recovery. Just had a little screw up on a landing. Gravity always wins
  • 1 0
 the two safest on the list have to be Trail Running and Surfing. Surfing is surprisingly very safe except for very rare freak accidents. Water is relatively soft and ocean waves stop (unlike river currents which are relentless and pin people down forever)
  • 1 0
 Its anecdotal, I know, but. I know and have known plenty of extreme sports athletes, from ice climbing, to para sailing, to downhill mtb. I knew one climber who died while soloing, however, despite not knowing many dirt bikers AT ALL, 2 people I knew died while dirt biking. Its so extremely dangerous.
  • 1 0
 I can see this crew in an auditorium comparing stories, scars and contusions Smile The worst injury I've had while "playing" was when I was a kid riding on a skateboard team as a vert guy and shattering the growth plate in my right ankle falling from the top of our team ramp (12ft) and landing on the flat & rotating 180 degrees as my foot planted. Cycling has been mostly injury free for me for 40 years.
  • 1 0
 Going by numbers provides by insurance companies, skiing and snowboarding are by far the sports with the most injuries, both in absolute as well as relative numbers. It probably has something to do with crowded mountains and everyone and their ant doing it, lowering perceived risk (as evidenced by this poll) and increasing actual risk. Also, snow seems like a safe, soft place to crash into. The rocks underneath it and the trees between it though...
  • 1 0
 On second thought, they probably don't include the really niche sports like base jumping and cave diving, although skiing and snowboarding are still more dangerous than most people realise.
  • 2 0
 No Rodeo? I guess that is a different category. Not a lot of Bull Riders I've seen with healthy spines/brains into their thirties... but still safer than base jumping as you at least survive the fall.
  • 1 0
 Mountaineering should be in the list, especially when you take into consideration the risks involved in scaling the very highest peaks.
Watch ‘The Last Mountain’ or ‘14 Peaks: Nothing is Impossible’ and the ask if there’s an outdoor pursuit with more risk.
  • 1 0
 All sports like this have an element of risk. It is not the sport but the individual doing it that determines this. Hence people push as far as their abilities/nuts allow.
The only sport where there are factors almost completely out of the participants control is road cycling
  • 1 0
 Hey @Matt Beer, IMO your poll misses Mountainering. It is highly diffrent than Rock Climbing : Sport Climbing (Ie one pitch climbing on a cliff with bolts in place) is pretty safe (some accidents happens but not so much).

Mountainering (Ice/Mixed climbing, Summiting mountains via alpine routes, Alpine ski touring, Steep slope skiing, Multipitch routes, Trad climbing...) is pretty dangerous and requieres lots of knowledge and preparation. I think it should be part of the poll.
  • 1 0
 Brain damage resulting from NFL and rugby is probably most serious and pervasive injury of any sporing activity. I had several close calls with cars while road biking and avoid riding on the streets. Mountain biking is no walk in the park, since trees can be very aggressive and unpredictable - but you can't deny they take a lot of shit from humans.
  • 1 0
 I’m not sure why paragliding is lumped in with BASE jumping, and I assume wing suit proximity flying! I perceive them to be as different, in terms of safety, as shooting with real bullets and shooting with paintballs.

Or to put it another way, I’ve done paragliding (as a tandem passenger) but would never even think about wing suit BASE jumping.

If road cycling and mounting biking are different options, I can’t vote for BASE jumping if it also indicates I think paragliding is dangerous.
  • 1 0
 After a small amount of digging:

Sky diving UK Fatalities between 2001 - 2020 across 5440637 jumps stands at 39. (From britishskydiving.org).

According to the UKs .gov website, there hasn't been fewer than 100 deaths per year in the last 10 years (with the exception of one year where there were 99 people killed). (2020 went up 5% on previous year in theory due to more cyclist activity after lockdown).

Obviously, the missing statistic here is the amount of cyclist actually on the road each year and the above info doesn't take things like base jumping, wing suits, paragliding into account. Just thought I'd have a look at some numbers and found them quite interesting...
  • 1 0
 Look at what it takes to get insured to do these sports and there's your answer. Mountaineering, climbing and bouldering rank super highly. Road riding will be included in your holiday insurance, mtb may not be, racing and DH likely to be extra cover....mountaineering deffo not! lol.
  • 1 0
 Risk can be framed in the context of FREQUENCY of injury or SEVERITY of injury. From a frequency standpoint, mountain biking, skiing, rock climbing, and motorcross would be pretty high on the list. i.e. it is VERY likely you will get injured, but UNLIKELY to be life-threatening. BASE jumping, surfing, kayaking, and road cycling are probably examples of sports where injuries are less common, but risk of death when accidents occur is high.
  • 1 0
 I'm scared of heights, so base jumping and the like seem hella scary to me. However, I am also a former paratrooper and know how reliable and safe a parachute is...
For me, its the back country snow stuff that offers the most opportunities to get yourself unalived.
*Avalanches
*Getting lost
*Starving
*Freezing
*Severe injury in the middle of nowhere
*Wolves
*Bears
*Scuttlebutt
*Man-Bear-Pig
*High rate of knee injuries
and I am sure there are more scary things about it too.
  • 1 0
 Nothing for riding motorcycles on the road? When stuff goes wrong at those speeds, it goes really wrong... that or the wing suite stuff where they go through canyons (considering how many of those top guys die each year, I think that might take it though)
  • 1 0
 This is much to simplified a poll. Both mountain-biking and skiing have an extremely varying degree of danger. XC/trail and in-bounds skiing are very safe. However, if you start looking at downhill and further afield back country, things change dramatically. I ski and bike. On the one hand, MTB is in a controlled environment, but when you go down, it's on a generally hard surface, meaning more frequent broken bones (which I've had). If you get caught in an avalanche (which I have), you either die or get rescued. If you're trained, carry the kit and follow the rules (min 3 people, check transceivers, keep distance), you reduce your own risk dramatically. Paralysis? MTB for the win! Death by nature? Skiing/Snowboarding for the win!
  • 4 0
 Motocross for prolific injuries. Backcountry skiing for most deaths
  • 5 1
 Pretty sure there’s data on this. What’s the point of the survey??
  • 3 0
 It’s asking our perceptions on the riskiest sports. It’s not asking us to give clean, unbiased data on the most dangerous sports.

Plus, it gets us clicking and talking.
  • 2 2
 @BiNARYBiKE: That article has the most useless visual aids I've ever seen. Some parts are very hard to read.
  • 2 0
 @CobyCobie: fair enough. I’m open to a better option you have prepared! Wink
  • 1 0
 @BiNARYBiKE: Haha wasn't supposed to be an attack on you. Interesting info, just pained me to read it.
  • 2 0
 @CobyCobie: Wink All good. I might have been offended if I had created the graphic!
  • 1 0
 danger depends on how accessible the sport is too, air sports may be dangerous but it's not as easy for inexperienced people to get in trouble but skiing and kayaking it's easy to get in a situation you aren't ready for
  • 1 0
 yet wing suit flying has one of the highest death rates... and thats just by the pros
  • 1 0
 I think being in the back country whether it’s skiing/boarding or snowmobiling is probably one of the most deadly maybe not the highest amount of injuries but gotta be up there for deaths.
  • 4 0
 I want the names of each Trail Running voter!
  • 5 0
 Unprotected sex
  • 3 0
 Only dangerous if it's with your mom
  • 3 0
 Cave Diving.... did it once, great experience however it takes a very specific mindset.
  • 1 1
 Surfing is pretty safe. The shark thing happens but statistically it is very unlikely. Falling on water is a lot better than falling on dirt. The main risk of surfing is going crazy over crowds and kooks/adult learners on wavestorms surfing now because covid made it "cool". Sorry, if you started surfing after 14 you'll prob suck forever...
  • 1 0
 And what about getting slammed onto a reef?
  • 2 0
 Avalanche and head strikes are much more dangerous than skydiving (which have only a 0.01% chance of parachute failure, and you have a reserve).
  • 3 0
 this should have been a ranked question and not a single answer. why are these polls so dumb?
  • 1 0
 On the other hand, downhill mountainbiking is considered relatively risky by nearly everyone, so nearly everyone takes the right precautions and is careful to not exceed their skill level too far.
  • 3 0
 I’ve never met anyone who got hurt paragliding or BASE jumping. Those must be safe.
  • 3 0
 Road cycling for me,100% because the biggest danger is completely out of your hands.
  • 2 0
 I’ll live longer doing any of these sports than none of them. Gotta have a reason to get out of bed or things get real ugly real fast.
  • 3 0
 Can we get the data on which one is actually the most deadly?
  • 1 0
 Just stay home and watch tv))
You guys make a wrong poll
It should be how many % people return to sports after serious crash
  • 4 0
 spelunking
  • 1 0
 I've always felt Flying sports were riskier because as soon as you step out of the plane, or off the cliff, you WILL die, unless you do something like pull a chute.
  • 3 0
 Sure, but not all flying sports involve stepping out of an aircraft at all. With paragliding your wing is already flying and stable by the time you leave the ground, and you have a reserve parachute (or sometimes two) in case something goes wrong. Same with speedflying, though most speedflying pilots don't carry a reserve.

BASE, you're pretty quickly f*cked if things don't go exactly as planned. Flying sports is a broad category.
  • 1 0
 @alicialeggett: I guess I think more of BASE jumping and wing suit flying.
  • 1 1
 In cycling its road riding but watch any BASE jumping movie and they are all dedicated to about 15 separate people who have splattered into a mountain/cliff/the ground in the time it takes to make a BASE jumping movie.
  • 3 0
 Those squirrel suits are nuts man!!!
  • 2 0
 Have been skating for more than 10 years but most of the near death experiences whlie cycling in the streets
  • 1 0
 Air sports takes the cake for me. Where nearly any issue big or small typically results in death. Road cycling is a close 2nd.
  • 2 0
 Lol at putting surfing and diving together. Someone has zero idea. To be expected from Outside kooks though.
  • 1 0
 Maybe whatever you call this sport with the crazy Russian kids on the tops of buildings?
www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rzaQa6wM7Y
  • 1 0
 My impression was that horse riding causes a few major injuries and deaths. Maybe it is a falsehood when people say that horses are the deadliest animal for humans?
  • 2 0
 As a firefighter I've tried to put far too many road riders back together. I
  • 2 0
 To quote a cycling lawyer:

If you want to kill someone just give them a road bike.
  • 1 0
 Road biking is dangerous, you can break a lot of bones and sometimes you hear about someone dying. But in flying sport there's no room for errors!
  • 4 1
 It's base jumping.
  • 1 0
 paragliding probably have higher death / participant ratio comparing to other sport's
  • 4 1
 Other: Protesting
  • 8 4
 ... or walking with a hoody through a gated community
  • 1 1
 being a resident of chiraq
  • 3 0
 What about noodling?
  • 1 0
 It’s not here and I don’t know why but of course the riskiest sport is fishing. Wing suit flying of course is second.
  • 1 0
 lets pull up deaths from backcountry skiing and snowboarding - CO had a lot last year... These are deaths by the way.
  • 1 0
 Maybe not fitting this discussion's definition of 'sport', but in Australia rock fishing kills more than any other sport.
  • 14 0
 From boredom? I can't imagine rocks go for the bait often.
  • 3 3
 Not sure why the parachute / gliding whatever sports are considered the most dangerous lol. So many other categories way more dangerous. Just not as ‘scary’
  • 2 0
 What options were people choosing by other? Ice climbing?
  • 1 0
 yeah, I clicked other thinking of ice climbing
  • 1 0
 Risk to life: flying sports always win.
Risk to injury leading to hospitalization: going to the gym.
  • 1 0
 infidelity, it migh not kill you but you will get caught iandnit will cost you your balls.
  • 4 0
 as a spectator, its dangerous, breathe too loud and they will drown you in a pond
  • 1 0
 Crown green bowls. It's just a polite queue for the funeral parlour
  • 3 0
 I don't know why this wasn't on the survey. Crazy drunk people on golf carts screaming "Strava!" just about ran me over more than once!
  • 1 0
 He's actually right. It has a surprisingly high death rate. Older demographic, lightning strikes, etc.
  • 2 0
 Alligator wrestling for the win.
  • 2 1
 You can successfully do this all your life, until you swim too close to a stingray
  • 2 1
 Hiking. Extremely low barriers to entry. Very easy to get lost and caught in storms
  • 1 0
 Wingsuit flying, free soloing, alpine-style mountaineering without oxygen above 26,000 ft
  • 1 0
 Jogging on roads . If the exhaust doesn't get you the dude on the phone driving will take you out .
  • 1 0
 Georgia ?
  • 2 0
 Statistically surf-cast fishing is massively risky…
  • 1 0
 Hikers going missing and hunting firearm accidents, at least in NZ are pretty bad.
  • 1 0
 Road Cycling - You have zero control over a 16 yr old texting while driving..
  • 2 0
 You can tell by most of the answers hardly anyone knows about CTE!!
  • 1 0
 Hunting (if hobbies included), hunters kills hunters! Where else do you see that Wink
  • 2 0
 White water kayaking.... not a forgiving learning curve
  • 2 0
 I got into this in a big way. Then I realized that even though the sport is fairly small, people die every week doing it. I got pinned under water once and managed to get out but I was lucky, The power of water is insane. Under rated imo.
  • 3 1
 Other: Being Purchased by Outside
  • 1 0
 Road cycling is like mountain biking with lots of pumas and rattle snakes . Shits not worth it. Long live Eddy Merckx
  • 1 0
 well, I legit almost died mountain biking, and i've done most of these sports, so I'm going with...MTB.
  • 3 0
 Lawn darts
  • 1 0
 Only if you are the dart
  • 2 1
 E sports (Gaming) probably the most dangerous for mental and physical health.
  • 1 0
 2nd this.
  • 3 0
 Texting while driving.
  • 2 0
 What, no mention of skateboarding? Including longboarding?
  • 1 0
 I haven’t read all the comments, but why isn’t dogging a choice , that’s a sport .
  • 1 0
 Either Cave-diving or under ice diving, so many things that you don't control can go terribly wrong.
  • 1 0
 Maybe it’s just the recent documentaries I’ve been watching, but mountaineering seems like an insane sport.
  • 1 0
 Road riding, especially at night!
  • 4 0
 I'd say it's safer at night., You can see other cars and cars can see you easier. Maybe not on a really busy A road but the road you're likely to ride on can actually be better at night
  • 2 0
 @TheBrickOriginal: Fair point, however, the risk begins as soon as you share a road with vehicles!
  • 1 0
 Trail running, super risky! Wink
  • 1 0
 ask henry. hes wild
  • 2 0
 Speedflying.
  • 1 0
 Yup lost two friends doing this in two different incidents. Both liked to jump their mountain bikes on the big boys jumps and that wasn’t enough juice for them so they started speed flying. Crazy.
  • 2 0
 Taunting Honey Badgers
  • 3 0
 flirting with cougars
  • 3 1
 Marriage
  • 1 0
 With the divorce rate these days, the injury rate will be extreme, but the death rate keeps going down
  • 4 4
 Let's be honest is riding on tarmac really an outdoor sport? Maybe get into nature a bit eh
  • 1 0
 Proximity wing suit flying, no question
  • 1 1
 Other: Bull fighting has to be high risk, especially if you don't know what you are doing.
  • 2 0
 and especially if you are the bull.
  • 1 0
 Thats why some guys try to ride them - it must be safer than fighting
  • 3 1
 Free soloing El Capitan.
  • 8 0
 Doesn’t Free Soling El Capitan have a 0% death rate so far?
  • 3 0
 @BagelMan: seems like a safe sport, but I'll pass for some reason...
  • 2 1
 mountain climbing with no rope
  • 1 0
 Naked crocodile wrestling
  • 1 0
 I consider Wing suit a dangerous Sport
  • 2 0
 Wingsuit.
  • 1 0
 Mountaineering, an easy second behind base jumping for number of deaths.
  • 1 0
 I've never been as terrified by other as I am right now.
  • 1 0
 Outdoor drinking games. (Including lawn darts.)
  • 1 0
 Fixed gear, no brakes to make a living.
  • 1 0
 I think swimming with crocodiles is pretty dangerous.
  • 1 0
 Russian parkour hanging off buildings?
  • 1 0
 2019 road cycling data was from great britain...
  • 1 0
 Do what you love, and If you die doing it at least you died happy!
  • 1 0
 How about being a contestant on "Friday Fails" for most dangerous?
  • 1 0
 Single handed none stop sailing around the world.
  • 2 0
 Cheese Rolling!
  • 1 0
 I can say this bridge is near my house
  • 1 0
 Big wave surfing, ballsy and dangerous.
  • 1 0
 Road biking, dangerous and not fun, sounds like a plan.
  • 10 12
 USA hunting season you should add it on another row roughly 1,000 hunting accidents each year. Nearly 100 of these are fatal
  • 14 1
 That’s a pretty small number compared to the active participants.
  • 6 0
 With estimates ranging from 10-15 million hunters in the US, not too worried. I'd like to know where your stats came from, the one i saw mentioning 1k incidents included Canada.
  • 3 1
 And it always end badly for the deer.
  • 3 0
 Likely alcohol related
  • 4 0
 @ultimatist: Not sure if alcohol plays a role (wouldn't be surprised) but breaking multiple of the 4 firearm safety rules seems to be a theme for hunting deaths.
  • 2 0
 @texag: 100%. No alcohol needed if you have morons ignoring the basics.
  • 2 0
 @chrsei: Unfortunately for people who like venison, this isn't true. As for me, I hate venison and it is the main reason I quit deer hunting. Now if there was an open season on Black Angus...
  • 2 0
 @texag: www.targettamers.com/guides/hunting-accident-statistics this one doesn't include Canada in the Nearly 100 fatalities.
But interestingly, a New Zealand study showed that falling is the most common type of injury making up 33.7% of hunting-related accidents (so basically the same cause of death as all the other sports listed above)
  • 2 2
 put your wingsuit on and it feels good, cause it feels goooood
  • 7 1
 Actually wingsuit flying is the riskiest. It has the highest participant death rate.
  • 1 0
 @neimbc: He's quoting lyrics from the song Wingsuit by Phish!
  • 1 0
 @the-lorax: Ok, didn't know. I bet it's a rush - but man ....crazy stuff.
  • 3 3
 Shopping with the wife in the mall !!!!
  • 2 1
 Free solo 100%
  • 3 1
 You got downvoted by a fat kid getting shuttled to the top of a 100 foot drop trail.
  • 5 5
 Not wearing a mask in public gets my vote!
  • 1 0
 whats the answer?
  • 4 4
 Bareback Anal gangbang at pride parade
  • 3 4
 Can't believe no one has answered Driving While Black. Guess it's that 100 percent white audience.
  • 1 2
 That is not related to the question mate. "What do you perceive to be the riskiest outdoor sport?"
  • 1 0
 I don’t know, that seems to be pretty damn risky
  • 1 2
 @jesseshred4: Apparently you've never been pulled out of your car and put face down in the street with a shotgun to the back of your head.
Oh and by the way, I'm not even black, I just grew up in a redneck state with long hair. So I only have the smallest appreciation of what my black friends go through. For all those posters going on about the inherent dangers of road riding, at least they aren't being targeted just for going outside.
  • 2 1
 Horse bike riding.
  • 1 0
 What is a horse-bike?
  • 2 0
 I guess it has a horse-link...
  • 1 0
 Bmx
  • 1 0
 buzzed by a car road
  • 1 0
 Bull Ridin'
  • 1 0
 Sunbathing. In
  • 2 4
 Rock climbing (without ropes) would have been the clear winner.
Below threshold threads are hidden





You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login
Copyright © 2000 - 2022. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.038390
Mobile Version of Website