chapter  7
Nature and risk in adventure sports
Pages 14

One of the characteristic features of adventure sports is the level and type of risk encountered when participating in them. It is not so much the frequency of injuries that is most noticeable, but the possibility of very serious injury, or even death. Moreover, because of the nature of adventure sports, the remoteness of the settings in which they typically take place, and the factors that are beyond the control of participants, such as weather and rockfall in mountaineering, it is impossible to remove such risks from the activities. One simply cannot climb big mountains, surf big waves, or ski steep terrain without exposing oneself to the potential of serious injury or even death.1 This has led to the view among many commentators, and some athletes, that putting oneself at risk is the point of such activities: that athletes participating in such sports do so because they are, among other things, seeking risk. After all, why would anyone put him or herself in such a position when there are so many other less hazardous options for sport and recreation?