Okay and okay…. Safety is not cool, and it’s not sexy. That’s the honest truth, and there is no point trying to pretend that it is.
But do you know what else isn’t cool or sexy? Spending the rest of your life putting up with an injury or disability that could have been avoided. Never being able to do your favorite sport or activity again, because you didn’t bother wearing the right footwear that one day. Doing next year’s annual trip without one of your friends.
Extreme sport and extreme activities are incredible; the pump you full of adrenaline and make you feel alive. Yes, an enjoyable and unforgettable adventure is important. But even more important is getting you and your friends home safely and in one piece.
With this in mind, let’s break down a handful of ways that you can keep yourself and your friends 100% when doing this kind of extreme sport.
Prioritize safety equipment
One of the most crucial parts of keeping yourself safe when during extreme sports is wearing the correct equipment. Without it, you simply aren’t protected, properly. We’ve all seen the images of people cracked helmets after terrible crashes. The stark truth is, however, without that head gear, that crack may have been in their head itself. Along a similar vein, strong and sturdy helmets are one of the primary reasons that people’s lives are spared during accidents. So, kit yourself and your friends up properly. It’s not ‘cool’ to not be protected-it’s risky and foolish. This goes for whatever activity for you are doing. So, if you are motor cross racing, you need a helmet to protect your head and skull. For rock climbing you need protective gloves and footwear. Wear equipment to keep you safe isn’t just about things to protect your body. It’s also about wearing the correct items in order to do your activity safely. So, footwear is important for activities when you need good grip on your feet. When you’re bouldering without harnessing, for example, the correct shoes can make all the difference. Not just to your speed and agility, but also to your safety. If any of your friends are properly equipped, wait until they are before you begin. Companies like www.poaracing.co.uk can fit you out with safety equipment for a variety of extreme racing sports.
Warm-up your body
It is important to warm up before doing extreme activities because if you don’t, you could get yourself injured. If you pull a muscle or sprain something, the effect could range from mild discomfort to putting you out of action for days. In very bad scenarios, you could even do irreparable damage.
Listen to your body
We’ve already touched upon the importance of warming up your body before you begin your activity. Something along a similar vein is listening to your body at this time if it tells you something isn’t quite right. It might be a twinge in your ankle, or a sore muscle in your back.Pay attention to any twinges, aches and pains, don’t brush them off. You are creating the risk of damaging it further by pushing yourself.
Furthermore, don’t push your body further than it can realistically go. It’s great to have bravery and gumption in extreme sports. Indeed, it’s what keeps many of us working hard and pushing further. But pushing yourself too far, and you will get hurt. Be careful not to put pressure on your friends or activity partner. Know where the line is between light banter and pressure. People have seriously injured themselves before in the name of impressing their friends. Don’t be this person, and don’t push others to be that person either.
Take lessons and have training
Extreme sports have the word extreme in the title for a reason! They tend to be the kind of things that not everyone can do. This might be because they’re particularly hard of challenging. If this is the case, lessons will make all the difference. Take the Mostar Bridge jump, in Bosnia. backpackerreport.com/2013/10/15/jump-mostar/ is an article all about joining in with the jump! Not just anyone can take part. Instead, you must have some training first. You can book in a session with the Mostar Diving Club beforehand. However, this is an example of something you can do with just a small amount of training. There are other activities that you need to work upto. We’ve already mentioned climbing. Free climbing is, of course, climbing without any ropes. Jumping straight into this is never going to be a good idea. Instead, get your training by starting with normal climbing. Once you’ve mastered this, you can take it to the next level. You can read more about a professional free climber, named Alex Honnold, here. www.nytimes.com/2015/03/11/magazine/the-heart-stopping-climbs-of-alex-honnold. Be inspired by him, but don’t forget that it took a great deal of practice to get him where he is today!
Take a friend with you
Some extreme sports can be done solo. Some are just as enjoyable when done solo. But pretty much all extreme sports are safer when you go along with a friend. Let’s say you are canyoneering out in a Utah National Park, for example, and get into trouble. Your phone isn’t picking up signal, and you haven’t told anyone exactly where you’re headed. You are now in serious danger. But if a friend is with you, it can be a story with a very different ending. Plus, a friend can be fantastic for other reasons. It provides a bit of company for the more duller moments, and someone to motivate you and cheer you on. And when you pull of an amazing trick or move, there will be someone there who has seen it with their own eyes!
Be aware of your surroundings
Next, let’s consider how an awareness of your surrounding and the environment can make a big difference to your safety. Water-based activities are a prime example of how a sport can be largely affected by weather. If you are surfing, for example, the weather can affect the height and power of the waves. It can cause strong currents and riptides. Even the strongest and most experienced surfers in the world can be overpowered by the ocean. So, whatever extreme sport you’re doing check the weather before you begin. Just looking up at the sky at that moment won’t do. An accurate and reliable reading of what is to come over the next hours or days is crucial. If you don’t like what you see, don’t risk it or try and tell yourself it’s not accurate anyway. On the subject of surroundings? http://www.lonelyplanet.com/adventure-travel/best-of-adventure-travel/content/travel-tips-and-articles/77750 is a great guide. It features some of the best places to do 20 extreme sports.
Listen to your instincts
Last but not least, always always always listen to your instinct. Think something is too steep or deep? Think that something isn’t set up quite right? Don’t trust an instructor, even though you can’t put your finger on why? Listen to these voices and heed their warnings. We weren’t born without instincts for nothing. Oftentimes, men and women who survived near misses say something along the lines of ‘I knew something wasn’t quite right…’. That was their instinct talking. It may also have been the things that allowed them to be alive to tell the story. Listen to your instinct, but also listen to warnings from your friends.