Trying to classify the world's most dangerous sports is a tricky issue. They are often activities that people take part in exactly because there is an element of danger involved. The fact that these sports have killed a number or people does not prevent some people from trying them out.
Fatality figures are hard to determine, as event organizers understandably do not wish bad publicity for the event. Nevertheless, there are a few sports that can claim to be the world's most dangerous sports. Although there is no official ranking, there are a few sports that pop up on the list time and time again.
High up on the list of dangerous sports, literally, is base jumping. In this activity, the participant jumps from high buildings, bridges, or the sides of cliffs. The purpose of base jumping is to wait as long as possible before eventually pulling the parachute chord. There is no safety net and no alternative means of stopping before you hit the ground. Figures estimate that around 15 people are killed each year due to base jumping.
Not risky enough for you? How about getting on top of a bucking bull and trying to hang on as the bull tries its best to throw you off. Some of these bulls can weigh up to 2,000 pounds (900 kg) and are understandably annoyed at having someone jumping about on their backs. A rider who is thrown off can be brutally stomped on by the bull. Broken bones, ruptured organs, and of course death may await the fearless bull rider.
Some of the world's most dangerous sports need weather or environmental conditions to up the ante. Cave diving is a sport in which the participant is submerged in cold, dark water many meters below the surface. If you don't lose your way in the dark and your air doesn't run out, then you may fall foul to some underwater creature. Since 1960, around 500 people have died while taking part in cave diving events.
Heli-skiing involves being taken to untouched snow via helicopter. Extreme weather conditions and avalanches do nothing to deter the determined heli-skier; they only add to the adrenalin kick. There are so many budding heli-skiers that waiting lists for the activity must be booked up to a year in advance.
Any sport that involves high speed racing, even riding a bike, can be included in the world's most dangerous sports category, but lately, a new surprising contender has emerged. Kite flyers in the Punjab Province of Pakistan can now face murder charges and the death penalty. Kite flying in Pakistan is a popular pastime that reaches its climax at the Basant Festival each spring. Kite flyers have been taking part in dog fights, trying to cut their opponents kite strings.
Some kites have been found to have metallic strings or to have been coated with glass shards. The kites pose a threat to observers and bike riders. Many people have incurred injuries due to the kite strings, and some have been killed by falling from high buildings while flying their kites. What was once an innocent pastime now ranks as one of the world's most dangerous sports.