Top 10 Deadliest Hobbies

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Thrill seeker. Adrenaline junkie. Idiot. There are many names that can be given to people who have deadly hobbies. These people can’t be content with normal hobbies, like hockey or crocheting. They have to push themselves to the limits of what their bodies can withstand. And they could potentially kill themselves while doing it. A single misstep with equipment or your own control, and you could go splat real fast. These hobbies are the world’s deadliest, ranked according to how statistically deadly they are.

10. Bungee Jumping

bungee-jump

Let’s jump off a bridge while having a big rubber band attached to your feet. And, while you’re just supposed to gently touch your forehead to the ground as you rebound with gravity’s assistance, you could just as well make impact head first, sustain head injuries, are paralyzed for life, or die from a broken neck.  Pleasant way to go; think about that the next time you shoot someone with a rubber band.

Risk: The chances of a fatal bungee jump are about 1 in 500,000.

9. Scuba/Deep Sea Diving

scuba

The biggest issue with any type of diving is running out of air. That will surely put a nail in your watery coffin, but when we’re talking about deep sea, or even some types of scuba diving, that’s not the only issue. Say you make a mistake and you run out of oxygen but you’re too deep, and don’t forget you have to depressurize before you crack the surface for air. Oh yeah, don’t forget about the predators either.

Risk: The chances of dying from scuba or deep sea diving are about 1 in 200,000.

8. Skydiving

skydiving

Anything where you combine freefalling with a bit of fabric between you and Earth, at the speed of gravity, has to be deadly. A cord breaks and you feel what it’s like to impact with deadly force. Yes there are numerous safety checks, but that doesn’t help when the chute doesn’t deploy, or you blackout in your freefall.

Risk: The chances of dying while skydiving are roughly 1 in 160,000.

7. Ski Jumping

ski-jump

What’s between you and the ground, besides the speed of gravity? Two small strips of wood. Who was the idiot who thought this up? Yes, flipping end over end and catching a ski, which causes you to flip straight into the ground breaking your back and making you look like a sac of calcium jelly, sounds positively tubular. And adding tricks to this dangerous jumping is even more brilliant!

Risk: The chances of dying from a ski jump is about 1 in 8,333.

6. Heli-Skiing

Helicopter-skiing

When you have to jump out of a helicopter to get to your slope for skiing, it’s a little extreme. Of course, this hobby offers plenty of variety: skis or snowboard, plane or helicopter, powder or avalanche? When the snow starts avalanching behind you, then it’s getting deadly. And who wouldn’t want tons and tons of snow burying them alive?

Risk: The risk of death from heli-skiing is around 1 in 5560.

5. Cliff Diving/Base Jumping

Base-Jumping

How many people died when testing out the waters at the base of cliffs, before figuring out which cliffs not to jump off of? Colliding with rocks with enough velocity can cause serious head trauma, leading to death. The same can be said about whether it’s in water or not; if you don’t get that chute or suit open quick enough, Earth is gonna sting.

Risk: The chances of dying from base jumping is about 1 in 2,317.

4. Boxing

boxing

Everyone remembers the famous line from Rocky – “Aughuhuhsfahuuhuh …” Considering this is a sport where the main goal is to bludgeon your opponent into submission, or to get them to blackout, a main character who talks like his brain is made out of pudding makes perfect sense. Over time, there are a number of injuries that can affect all areas of your body, the most important of all being that thing in your skull that allows you to string actual words together and remember your own name.

Risk: About 1 in 2,200 boxers perish from a fight-related injury.

3. Summit/Rock Climbing

Rock-Climbing

There is a saying that a mountain is there to be climbed. Mountains are high and dangerous though, so why can’t we just climb a tree? Again, there are lots of pieces of the puzzle to make this safe: ropes, metal clasps, oxygen tanks. Who cares though, when you can die of severe weather, lack of food, or just plain dumb luck in an avalanche? Better yet, let’s have one of the ropes give out, and you fall to your death at the bottom of a chasm filled with sharp rocks – that sounds like a blast and a half.

Risk: The chances of dying from rock climbing is about 1 in 1750. However, if we just counted mountain climbing in Nepal, then this would be the number 1 deadliest hobby on Earth, with a death rate of 1 in 167!

2. Motocross/Motorcycle Racing

motorbike-racing

As if normal motorcycle racing wasn’t dangerous enough, let’s add 30-foot high jumps, and lots of competitors. Now go as fast as you can and try to do tricks while sticking the landing, without busting your bike or your family jewels. Just make sure to remember the helmet and all the crash gear because, when you miss that landing and hit that packed mound of Earth, your bike and everyone else’s could hit you.

Risk: Roughly 1 in 1,000 motorbike racers will die.

1. Hang Gliding

hang-gliding

There seems to be a pattern to this: the higher you go up in the air, and the less you have with you to prevent you from falling, the better the chances are that you will off yourself. Hang gliding is pretty high among these deadly hobbies – certainly you’re more at the whim of equipment malfunction and wind currents than in parachuting or even base jumping. Or better yet, try avoiding a cliff when you don’t have engines.

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Risk: About 1 in every 1,000 gliders will perish.


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47 Comments

  1. Same old, same old. This type of list has been done to death. Why doesn’t somebody mention you’re more likely to die driving a car and not skydiving or scuba diving?

    • I suppose nobody wants to be reminded of that fact. Most people drive a car, only some people skydive or scuba dive. I’m probably one of the few people who doesn’t drive (I cannot because of my bad eyesight) but I do skydive and scuba dive.

    • Because Driving isnt a hobby? der! dude, if you’re gonna be a smartass troll, at least come prepared

      • Well… driving CAN be a hobby… I suppose you’re right, though, it’s not a hobby for most people. And btw, I’m happy to be a smartass troll. 😀

  2. Nice list… my hobbies over the years have included Ju-jutsu, Taekwondo, Karate, Han Moo Do, Capoeira, Aikido, Taido and Krav Maga. I’m still alive, though! 😀

    • I would kick your candy ass in two seconds flat. I’ve got a black belt in my bathrobe. I also know some Muay Thai.

      • fenda, esq. on

        Children, please calm down. Neither of you wouldn’t have a chance against a guy who is proficient in BJJ and knows how to play a Gibson Les Paul guitar. (That would be me).

        • Yo, wait, dudes.Is this gonna be a steel cage match? I’m game. Let’s do it, guys! I feel like Fight Club now… 😀

        • Hi fellas! I love to fight, so where and when do I have the chance to kick your guys’ asses? 😀

  3. You forgot wingsuit flying, a more dangerous version of base jumping, as it requires a minimum of 300 base jump…

    • Do you mean proximity flying, where you wear a wingsuit and fly down the side of a mountain, staying close to the ground/trees/whatever?

      Because wingsuiting isn’t the same thing as that. People jump out of planes wearing wingsuits all the time, it’s not all that different from a regular skydive.

  4. It sounds like they’re not really all that dangerous. Odds of 1 in 160,000 sounds safe to me. I think those odds are better than driving down 405 in the rain.

    • “Driving down 405 in the rain”? That sounds like a country song, may I use that? 😀 I’ll write a song and offer it to Kenny rogers or Garth Brooks. 😀

  5. this list seems to have been composed by someone who sits behind a desk all day, every day. i jumped for a few years and dove as well before taking up hanggliding almost 40 years ago. surprise surprise, i’m still ALIVE, which is probably more than most peeps standing on the sidelines of life…

  6. The hanggliding numbers are about 30 years old. In other words, complete garbage.

    Hang gliding was dangerous back then, but the sport doesnt remotely resemble that time anymore.

    Hang gliding is far safer than most things on this list now. We have zero fatalities a year quite frequently without thousands of pilots in the USA

  7. Davis Straub on

    Having watched whatever goes for the statistics on the death rate in hang gliding for the last twenty years I can only say that your number appears to be made up out of thin air. The actual rate would be between 1 in 10,000/year and 1 in 1,000/year.

      • The statistics are not an apples to apples comparison. It would be helpful if you gave more detailed info about the statistics. They hould be based on something common such as number of dives, jumps or flights. Some of the statistics are just plain wrong. You state for hang gliding that the statistic is per glider. The statistic per glider is 1 in 100,000 the stat you quote is per year per rated pilot ! A total different number and certainly can not be compared to the base jumping statistic. I am certain that your order is incorrect, perhaps you have some bias ?

        • No bias. We hire writers to research and write content. We do our best to present factual information. Sometimes we are off, but not intentionally. We errors are pointed out we do our best to correct them. It seems there is a passionate audience for these hobbies. If anyone is interested in writing a top 10 list about any of them, we are always looking for interesting content to post and we pay for it. Email [email protected] if you wish to write about your sport.

  8. As far as I recall, the experience of German insurance companies is that paragliding is 7 to 8 times more dangerous than hang gliding. Base jumping twice as safe as hang gliding? That would really surprise me…
    Here are some other candidates: motorboat racing, wing walking, free diving, fireworks, shooting

  9. You are not wrong, you are VERY WRONG!!!!!
    Per the US HG Association, there is one death per 4850 pilots in Hang Gliding.per year.
    And this has been consistent for 20 years.
    This numbers have increased since incorporating PARAGLIGING in our Association.
    PG fatality rate is about 10 times more, but where is it?
    Paragliders are also called Hang Gliders, so your statistics may be right, technically, but then the picture should be of a Paraglider.
    Another ERROR is the way you count… When considering HOURS of practice per participant, your the numbers would be very different and a lot more accurate.
    Hope you are made responsible for your actions.
    Going flying!

  10. Can I write a post called Top 10 Not Really all that Dangerous Hobbies and cut and paste this one? I’ll take half what the writer of this one was paid.

  11. What about some hobbies that actually are dangerous, like urban surfing or some more obscure ones with high fatalities?

  12. Oh my GOD. My cord broke. I’m going to impact with deadly force. Oh no. I’m having so much fun I’m going to black out. AHHHHHH! Forget the fact that I have a reserve or an aad. I must be in the idiot category for being a full time skydiver. How do I survive day after day? I must be the luckiest man alive. I feel luckier to make it home after sharing the road with all of the real idiots out there who can’t drive. I’ve been closer to death in my car far more often than in the sky. Wait. In fact, I’ve never been close to death in the sky.

    • My point was that if you are jumping and your chute fails and you have NO TIME for your reserve to kick in.

      Check the net for news… it happens more than you would think.

      So people wait too late to pull their main and then have zero time for the reserve to slow them down if the main fails.

      • Just to clarify a point, depending on your licence, you’re required to pull at a certain altitude. Less skilled skydivers are required to pull higher to give them more time to deal with a malfunction. Also, reserves are designed to open much quicker than the main parachute.

        What isn’t in the news as often are the many car accident related deaths. That’s because they’re far more common than skydiving-related deaths, and therefore not as newsworthy.

  13. I looked at “Write for us” at the top of the website and is states that you want something to back up the facts.

    I see nothing in this that states where the data has come from and how old it is.

    I’ve never jumped out of a plane, but I am a PADI Dive Master (Scuba) and I find it hard to believe that Scuba is so much more dangerous than jumping out of a plane. If I get low on air, I can surface or use my dive buddies extra air line, but if my parachute is messed up and I’m too low to the ground, it’s all over. A friend of mine is a jumper and since knowing her I have seen a lot more articles of people dying from jumping than I have of Scuba deaths.

    Please let me/everyone know where and when these numbers came from.

    -AC

    • The writer had sources but I think they are mistaken. I verified the SCUBA diving and have adjusted its ranking and applied the linked source to the stats.

  14. I believe you should reconsider accepting any writing from William O’dell again. I would point out all the inaccuracies in this artical but I’d run out of characters. Bungee jumping and hang gliding should not even be on this list, BASE jumping and Cliff diving are two very different sports with VERY different sets of statistics. I realise this is a “for fun” piece but some people have worked very hard to dispel myths and made up stats within their respective sports, must you undo that by publishing rubbish disguised as fact?

  15. You have no farggin idea what the hell you are talking about. I bet you are a 300 lb. virgin dude, living in your parents basement, eating Doritos, and drinking Mountain Dews. You obviously know nothing about Hang Gliding! I promise you, with proper training, you are more at risk getting into your car than you are flying a glider!

    Everyone dies, but not everyone lives!

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