Tag Archives: Skateboarding

Are Extreme Sports Too Risky?

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Each one of us has our own risk/reward calculus. Or perhaps we just weigh risk differently. Some people feel the sharp tang of risk just taking a stroll in the woods. Others can surf 30 foot waves or free-solo El Cap without breaking much of a sweat.

Chuck Patterson catches some air

Chuck Patterson catches some air

Regardless of where a person is on the risk continuum, others are always standing by to put that person in a box. Thrill-seekers take too many risks for their sport, say some. The risk-averse aren’t truly living, say others.

Since when did we care so much about the risks (or the lack thereof) that other people take?

The New York Times recently published an article about the risks in extreme sports. The author cites the soaring popularity of extreme sports and claims that, “many young people eager for an adrenaline rush are trying to copy their extreme sports idols, putting themselves at terrible risk.”

Injuries related to extreme sports are on the rise, and the participants are younger than ever. Overall, the author of the article urges participants to use safety equipment—especially helmets. The article quotes Dr. Sabesan, an orthopedic surgeon from Western Michigan School of Medicine, who recently presented her findings on a study about head and neck injuries in extreme sports. Her advice to parents of young rippers is to require “children who skateboard to wear a helmet and elbow and wrist guards.” She also recommends that snowboarders wear wrist guards and that the participants for other activities wear a helmet.

This debate has been going on for some time. Most people seem to agree that children should wear helmets, either because they are too young to decide for themselves or because they are too impulsive and tend to take bigger risks.

Motorcycle fatalities on the rise

Motorcycle fatalities on the rise

But what about adults? Should adults be required to wear a helmet while skiing or riding a motorcycle? Another recent article in New York Times cites a study that as motorcycle helmet laws are weakening, deaths are increasing.

Should we require helmets like we do seat belts? What about at ski areas? Legislated helmet use at ski areas is on the rise. Should we require our customers to strap on a helmet when they strap on their skis or board?

It would certainly help reduce head injuries.

But should we require it? Or should adults have the choice? I wear a helmet. But does that mean I make my friends wear one?

We’re all adults here. We should decide for ourselves. Even if helmet use could guarantee a safe landing, should we force people to wear one? I don’t know. I always get a little squeamish when I hear about requiring helmets.

Readers, what do you think? Should helmets be required? What are the pros and cons of legislating safety equipment? Is there a difference between making kids wear one versus adults?

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Lovely Lady Longboarders

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I love this video. These girls are my heroes.

Weekly High-Five Report

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Last week I urged you, dear reader, to reach out and high-five someone. Thank you for sharing your awesome feats and moments of high-fiveability. With all that feedback, I’ve decided to make a weekly high-five report, checking in with photos, videos and my recommendations for finding high-fiveability in your life. These weekly posts are a bit of an experiment, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it goes. I will share tips for trying new sports, offer links to worthwhile blogs and websites that are being awesome, provide travel ideas, give weather tips and anything else I find high-fiveable. I also encourage suggestions. This is a chance to promote your little corner of the high-fiving world. You can either comment below or go to the “Contact” page above and shoot me an email directly. I love getting emails about this blog, but not spam, so obviously you need to take away the parenthesis in the email address.

Here’s a video of athletes doing some of the most high-fiveable feats on the planet. My palms went wet and itchy just watching this. Aptly, this video posted on YouTube by the band Hadouken, is called “People are Awesome”. Indeed!

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