There's a certain degree of risk in sports - even more so in extreme sports. But only some are really risky. Ultimately it's a matter of choice; crossing the road may be more dangerous..
So, it seems only right we set the record straight, and make four points on safety and risk:
Extreme sports involve risk
They are not commonly reckless or inherently dangerous pursuits, when practiced within reasonable limits. It's about taking the correct safety precautions and pushing only as far as you can go, not mindlessly trying tricks or courting danger.
Life involves risk
Accidents happen to people everyday, even crossing the road is dangerous. So sitting in a safety bubble, thinking nothing will happen to you is misguided. We were made to be active; to walk, run, climb, swim or transit through nature is what we do. Adventure sports and extreme sports commonly harness the power of nature, and with this comes risk.
We accept risk
If you like adventures, challenges and outdoor life, or just find yourself drawn to extreme sports, then you have to accept risk.
Still, you don't automatically become a Red Bull snorting adrenaline junkie! If anything, the opposite is true: You learn to calmly evaluate and decide for yourself which jumps to take and which routes to traverse; you decide your fate, you have the control, and with this comes responsibility.
So, take lessons if you need them, and get advice from people in the know. Always wear protective clothing and learn how to fit it properly. Join networks and online forums, so you can pick up safety tips as well as tricks.
There are always people looking for the next scare story - and they rarely have any first hand knowledge to work from. We do take safety seriously, but we don't fear the world.
Life doesn't just happen to us: we move to it, we live it and we love it...
Bring it on!