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Other 198 43 Most dangerous sports in the world 31860001 BASE jumping BASE+jumping Other

The letters in the acronym BASE jumping stand for Building, Antenna, Span and Earth — and these are the surfaces these death-defying human beings prefer to leap off of in the name of adrenaline. It’s because BASE jumpers dive from the objects that they do that their sport is so much more dangerous than traditional skydiving. Even though a parachute is still employed, BASE jumpers run the increased risk of injury or death due to an increased proximity to cliffs, buildings and the like as they fall, and their time before impact is dramatically decreased from a traditional skydiving jump. Then there are folks like Jeb Corliss who take BASE jumping to an even more death-defying level. Corliss specializes in wingsuit jumping, a form of BASE jumping that is done without a parachute. Sam Gardner

MOHD RASFAN/AFP - Getty Images
Other 198 43 Most dangerous sports in the world 31860000 Cave diving Cave+diving Other

Being submerged in the water with only an oxygen tank keeping you alive is a scary proposition, but cave divers like to take the risk a step further by doing it in the dark, and often with no escape route in the event that a need to exit the water arises. In addition to facing the risks that come with other types of deep diving, cave divers have no straight line to the surface should their oxygen fail, and there’s often not enough time to find fresh air when this happens. Even the most experienced divers have succumbed to the sport, including David Shaw, who tragically filmed his own death while cave diving in 2005. And if that’s not enough to scare anyone away, I’m not sure what is. Sam Gardner

Other 198 43 Most dangerous sports in the world 31860003 Free solo climbing Free+solo+climbing Other

Look, climbing up the face of a rock is dangerous enough with all of the safety equipment in the world attached to you. But some daredevils like to take the activity a step further and do it totally free of any harnesses, ropes and other gear created to keep people from falling out of the sky. They are called free solo climbers (and also lunatics). Go ahead and watch this video and tell me that it didn’t make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. You can’t do it. Certainly there’s a thrill and a freedom in free soloing, as it’s called, but it's a deadly practice that is probably better left unattempted. Sam Gardner

- Getty Images
Other 198 43 Most dangerous sports in the world 31860004 Heli-skiing Heli-skiing Other

A good rule of thumb should probably be that if you have to use a helicopter to access a portion of a mountain to ski on, you probably shouldn’t be skiing there. This rule, however, seems lost on heli-skiiers, who risk life and limb to hit the most pristine slopes the globe has to offer. Not only is heli-skiing exorbitantly expensive, but it's also tremendously dangerous, given the elevated risk for causing an avalanche at the altitudes these athletes ski. Deaths are all too common in this variation of an already-dangerous sport, and it's probably in the best interests of most of us to just stick to the bunny slopes. Sam Gardner

Karl Weatherly - Getty Images
Other 198 43 Most dangerous sports in the world 31860002 Surfing Surfing Other

There are so many things to be wary of when surfing that it’s hard to leave it off the list of the world’s most dangerous. You can break bones, you can get caught in a rip tide, you can be taken out by other riders, you can be taken out by your own board, you can drown, you can be attacked by marine life, and you can even drown and then be attacked by marine life. (Please, football fans, let me know when they start releasing sharks onto the field, tough guys.) Then there are even more dangerous variations of the sport, like big wave surfing and glacier wave surfing — an event that will send chills up your spine, both literally and figuratively. There’s nothing less forgiving than an angry ocean, and surfing is evidence of that. Sam Gardner

Joel Auerbach - Getty Images
Other 198 43 Most dangerous sports in the world 31860005 Rugby Rugby Other

You think football is tough? Try playing it with no pads. Anyone who has ever caught a glimpse of a rugby match can attest to the physicality with which the game is played, and some of the numbers regarding injuries in the sport are downright scary. According to The Telegraph, there are 110 rugby players in Britain alone who have been paralyzed in the course of a game, and a 1996 study into rugby-related injuries by the Department of Psychology at Rhodes University, South Africa found that 20 percent of all rugby injuries result in concussions. We love to watch monster hits, but keep in mind, they’re just as dangerous as they look. Sam Gardner

Mark Kolbe - Getty Images
Other 198 43 Most dangerous sports in the world 31860803 Street luge Street+luge Other

At some point in the 1970s, someone decided it would be way gnarlier if they took skateboarding, which was already terrifyingly dangerous, and made it more hazardous by having riders lay down on what is essentially a modified skateboard and roll downhill. They called it street luge, and it was a hit during the X Games generation of the 1990s. Riders wear helmets, gloves and other safety equipment as they sail down hills and around turns at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour, but they’re largely unprotected in the event of a crash. In 2011, a woman died in Australia street luging, and though the sport is not the same, a Georgian ice luger named Nodar Kumaritashvili died after a crash at the 2010 Winter Olympics. One thing is for sure — luge of any kind is not for the faint of heart. Sam Gardner

Robert Cianflone/ALLSPORT - Getty Images
Other 198 43 Most dangerous sports in the world 31860804 Equestrian Equestrian Other

Like cheerleading, equestrian riding doesn’t always look dangerous, but sheer numbers suggest otherwise. According to Dr. Lola Chambless, a neurosurgeon from Vanderbilt University, equestrian sports account for more traumatic brain injuries than any other recreational sport, including approximately 60 deaths per year. Furthermore, according to Dr. Chambless' presentation at a 2011 helmet safety symposium, a motorcyclist averages one serious accident for every 5,000 hours of riding, whereas an equestrian averages one for every 350 hours of riding. No matter how well they’re trained, horses are animals and are unpredictable, and they should always be ridden with the utmost care. Sam Gardner

Alex Livesey - Getty Images
Other 198 43 Most dangerous sports in the world 31860802 Cheerleading Cheerleading Other

Sure, laugh all you want, but those girls on the sidelines at your local prep football game are more than just pom-pom shakers and human pyramid builders. They’re in a dangerous business. According to the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research, cheerleading combined for more than half of the 104 catastrophic injuries sustained by female high school and college athletes from 1982 to 2005. And according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, there have been 26,000 cheerleading injuries in the U.S. annually since 2007. There’s nothing funny about a scary cheerleading fall, and those who say it’s not a sport should think again. Sam Gardner

Jamie Sabau - Getty Images
Other 198 43 Most dangerous sports in the world 31860805 Bull running Bull+running Other

At least when you’re riding a bull or fighting a bull, two events that are dangerous enough in their own right, there’s training involved, and a degree of expertise is required to get out there with the raging beast. Essentially, the only qualifications to run with the bulls in Pamplona — an event that looks and sounds like a terrible zoo break-out nightmare — are to 1) Be 18 years old, 2) Not be drunk and 3) Run away from the bulls, not toward them (which, duh). There are hundreds of injuries sustained each year, and since record-keeping began in 1910, 15 runners have been killed, the most recent coming in 2009. Yeah, thanks but no thanks. Sam Gardner

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