Ranking Top 10 Most Dangerous Sports

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Which sports do you think are the top 10 most dangerous sports? Almost every sport is played for some form of enjoyment as a source of entertainment. Some people like to get dirty in the fields, while others enjoy watching others play from a sideline.

Then some thrive on the adrenaline rush one can get from the extremeness and danger of the sport. While we might consider extreme sports the most dangerous, some games with a simple image, like horseback riding, also come under the hazardous category.

Rock Climbing (Source: Wikimedia.org)

The game is not considered dangerous just because it looks and sounds intimidating. Instead, the rate and frequency of accidents and injuries occur while playing these dangerous sports.

And it is also not always about facing an opponent; it is the adventure and the sheer feeling of overcoming the fear by taking that risk. There are no elements where athletes seeking pleasure from an exhilarating adrenaline rush cannot prove their athletic prowess.

Here, we have prepared a list ranking the top 10 most dangerous sports. So, without further ado, let us look at this thrilling yet perilous sport.

Ranking Top 10 Most Dangerous Sports

This list is compiled after referring to various trusted sources from the internet like TheTopTens, Worlds ultimate, etc.

Let us take a quick preview of the list at the table before entering the complete detailed list of the 10 most dangerous sports.

Ranking Sports
10. Luge
9. Big Wave Surfing
8.  Helicopter Skiing
7.  Boxing
6.  Racing
5.  Gymnastics
4. Rugby
3. Horseback Riding
2. Base Jumping
1. Bull Riding

10. Luge

Luge is also an Olympic game. Although many of us imagine Olympic games as subtle, safe ones, Luge is the exact opposite.

The athletes must lie down on their backs and throw themselves down an icy, frozen, high-banked track at extremely high speed. The speed needs to be 90+mph or 140+km/h to not be catapulted off the lane.

A Participant In The Luge
A Participant In The Luge (Source: Luge)

The chances of getting into a collision or getting smashed by vehicles are incredibly high. Similarly, athletes’ chances of falling off the sled and getting injuries are also high.

The athletes wear protective leathers and helmets to minimize as much fatality as possible.

The athlete has to bend and adjust body at an angle of 270 degrees at the last corner of the race. Additionally, the speed needs to be maintained, and the athletes need to have their utmost concentration.

This dangerous sport last took its victim in the 2010 Winter Olympics. A luge athlete from Georgia, Nodar Kumaritashvili, lost his life in a fatal crash during a training run for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Canada.

In January, 2022, Jessica Degenhardt and Cheyenne Rosenthal won from Germany in Women’s Doubles.

Germany is the leading country to take the most Olympic wins in Luge.

9. Big Wave Surfing

Surfing is a water sport of riding the waves on a surfboard. Usually, the waves are about four-foot (1.2 meters), which is quite a refreshing experience. However, just sporting a four-foot wave is quite a task. Now imagine big wave surfing.

Big wave surfing is popular in places like California and Australia. The biggest threat is the possibility of being pulled under the water by the current and drowning and the danger of being held underwater by two or more consecutive waves.

The surfers must be able to survive a consecutive hold-down, or else it could be life-threatening.

Big Wave Surfing
Big Wave Surfing (Source: Surfer Today)

The big waves can push the surfers down 20 to 50 feet under the water. Once the surfers stop spinning, they must regain their equilibrium and figure the way up to the surface.

Sometimes the surfers may have less than 20 seconds to make their way up before the next wave hits again.

Surfers must battle the strong currents and the water pressure at a depth of 20 to 50 feet. The water pressure at that depth is powerful enough to rupture one’s eardrum. There is also the further danger of being smashed against the hidden rocks.

Even with all these hazards, big-wave surfing is very popular among daredevil surfers.

Every year, a big-wave contest takes place between December 1 and the last day of February. The contest is “The Eddie,” the oldest and most prestigious big-wave contest.

Lucas ‘Chumbo’ Chianca won big at TUDOR Nazare Tow Surfing Challenge 2022.

The Nazaare Tow Challenge went down at Praia de Norte, Nazare, Portugal. The big wave surfers eyed up clean, 40-to-50-foot waves.

8. Helicopter Skiing

You might have heard about skiing on icy slopes, but have you heard about helicopter skiing? Oh yes, helicopter skiing is an actual thing.

Also known as “Heli-skiing,” it is a sport that is not for faint-hearted people. It is off-trail, downhill skiing, or snowboarding with a helicopter’s help.

Switzerland has an estimated 15,000 heli-skiing flights and 42 landing sites annually. In the late 1950s, helicopters were used to access remote trains in Alaska and Europe. The sport was first commercialized in 1965 by Hans Gmoser in Canada.

Heli-skiing is a sport with many hazards. While the icy terrain poses many dangers, the avalanche risk is the primary safety concern.

Therefore, safety briefings and avalanche beacons are the utmost priority. Hence, in recent years, skiers have been provided with airbags to minimize the probability of avalanche burial.

Helicopter Skiing
Helicopter Skiing (Source: SnowBrains)

Another danger of this sport is the helicopter itself. Likewise, safety also depends on the skill of the pilot and the aircraft. There should also be proper guidance about the safety of the helicopter.

Heli-skiing has left many skiers injured for life. So many things could go wrong if one does not take the utmost care and follow all the guidelines. Injuries like muscular injuries and skeletal injuries are standard in this sport.

The sport is banned in many countries. In France, it was banned in 1985, and it is also banned in Germany.

While in Austria, there are only two landing sites, and in Switzerland, petitions with over 15,000 signatures were handed to the Swiss government to ban heli-skiing.

Northern Escape was named the World’s Best Heli Ski Operator in November 2022.

Sion Rapson said, “Winning this World Ski Award is the highest achievement in global ski hospitality.”

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7. Boxing

In our 7th list of the topmost dangerous sports is Boxing. Boxing is an age-old combat sport. The sport’s history dates back to Ancient Greece, where it was established as an Olympic game in 688 BC.

The game involves two people throwing punches at each other for a pre-determined amount of time in a boxing ring.

Boxing has millions of fans all around the world. The sport has its own World Championships and is also an Olympic and Commonwealth Games sport.

Boxing evolved primarily in Great Britain during the 16th and 18th centuries. Then, in the mid-19th century, Great Britain introduced the Marquess of Queenberry Rules for Boxing. Thus, from there began the era of modern Boxing.

Morella vs. Yerbossynuly
Morella vs. Yerbossynuly (Source: World Boxing News)

The boxers usually put on protective gear while on the ring. The other protective bags are helmets, hand wraps, and mouthguards.

However, even with all the protective gear, the sport is dangerous. With repeated blows to the face and head, there’s no surprise the sport can prove hazardous.

There is also no surprise that almost 90% of boxers suffer from brain damage and skeletal injuries.

They are also prone to developing severe neural problems like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s in later life. Although protective gear might minimize injuries, the danger still prevails.

Vishwanath Suresh, Vanshaj, and Devika Ghorpade, these young Indian boxers recorded a 5-0 win to bag gold at the IBA Youth Men’s and Women’s World Boxing Championships 2022 in La Nucia, Spain.

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6. Racing

The next on our list of the top most dangerous sports is Racing. No matter what kind of racing it may be, either a race car or a superbike, the sport is life-threatening.

The vehicle’s speed can exceed 200 mph, and the drivers know very well that their next accident could lead to death.

Racing is a trendy sport, and in recent years, fans of this sport, both car and superbikes, have seen a considerable spike in numbers. But, most of the time, the sport is held in a professional arena with every safety measure available.

F1 Racing
F1 Racing (Source: F1)

However, people are also racing out on the backstreets and suburban areas without any safety precautions. While racing, the drivers must wear helmets and fire-retardant suits for safety.

Nevertheless, the protective gear cannot protect the racers from all kinds of accidents.

A prevalent accident that can occur on the racetrack is a vehicle crashing. The crash could prove fatal; moreover, the car can catch fire.

The fumes from the fire are also hazardous as the driver can suffocate to death with the lack of air ventilation inside the car.

Injuries are prevalent in this sport. The most common injuries include broken or smashed bones, trauma to the head, excessive blood loss, blood clots, etc.

It is common to hear about the deaths and dismemberment of the riders and even the innocent bystanders. More than 40 deaths were recorded in the last 20 years related to car racing.

Although the sport is exhilarating, it is one of the most dangerous sports in the world.

As of 2022, Lewis Hamilton is ranked No. 1 in Formula 1 drivers and has won 103 races. The Briton broke the record of German legend Michael Schumacher by 12 race wins.

5. Gymnastics

Gymnastics is an Olympic game whose origin can be traced back to ancient Greece in Sparta and Athens. It was initially conceived to test soldiers in the military to prepare them for war.

Gymnastics is an elegant sport that requires balance, strength, flexibility, coordination, and agility.

The sport also involves physical movements, especially in the arms, legs, shoulder, back, chest, and abdominal muscles. Hence, it is a disciplined sport that tests athletes’ control over their bodies.

Gymnastic Performing At Championship
Gymnastic Participant Performing At Championship (Source: Reuters)

While the sport is elegant, gymnasts play with graceful movements and breath-taking control; it has its fair share of dangers, making it one of the topmost dangerous sports. Gymnastics has the highest injury rates, with almost 100,000 injured every year.

Common gymnastics injuries involve bruises and scraps, while there is always the risk of injuring anybody’s joints. The more severe injuries include head injuries, fractures, cartilage damage, ligament tears, herniated discs, Achilles tendon strains or tears, etc.

Although the athletes are taught how to fall and land safely to minimize the risk of any injuries, the rate of frequent, more severe injuries occurring is relatively high. For example, the worst accidents in the history of gymnastics happened during the 1988 Olympics.

The victim was Julissa Gomez, who slipped and slammed her head, which resulted in neck-down paralysis. She had been paralyzed her whole life before she died in 1991.

On November 5, 2022, American Jade Carey won the vault on the first two days of apparatus finals at the 2022 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Liverpool, England.

He secured a point of 14.516, ahead of teammate Jordan Chiles (14.350) 

4. Rugby

On our 4th rank of the most dangerous sports in the world is Rugby. The sport originated in England in the first half of the 19th century. Rugby is a close-contact team sport.

One can easily guess the hazards of the sport when you watch 15 players on either team smashing against each other for 80 minutes. The players have to use their whole bodies to play the game. Even so, Rugby is a common school sport.

The players are only protected with a mouth guard, spiked boots, and helmets. They have to carry the ball down the field. There is often controversial use of physical moves like shoulder barging, lifting tackle, and body check.

Rugby Players On The Field (Source: Wikimedia.org)

While trying to make it to the other side of the field, it is common for the players to collide and smash into each other to stop the opponent team. These collisions lead to concussions, dislocated shoulders and tetraplegia, torn ligaments, and other skeletal injuries.

Rugby has a very high rate of injury incidence (91 injuries per 1000 player-match-hours). Since 2001, there have been more than a dozen deaths of professional players because of collisions and rough tackles.

A recent study has also shown that repeated concussions can lead to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), dementia, and brain damage.

Every 1 in 4 rugby players is injured in the season approximately, and it is not uncommon to see players go off the pitch injured.

World Rugby Men’s and Women’s 15s Player of the Year 2022 was given to Ireland’s Josh van der Flier and New Zealand’s Ruahei Demant.

3. Horseback riding

Horseback riding is on our third rank of the top ten most dangerous sports in the world. Commonly known as horse riding in British English or equestrianism, and involves riding, driving, and vaulting on a horse.

Horseback riding is an old-school sport. Riding horses as a means of transportation evolved into a sport over the centuries. It is a graceful sport, but we often forget what could go wrong.

Every year there are fatal injuries and deaths by horseback riding accidents. It is also possible for the riders to fall off the horses. There’s no way one can predict the moves of the horses, which can catch the rider off guard and throw them off.

Horse Back Riding
Horse Back Riding (Source: Lost With Purpose)

Slight injuries from horseback riding include bruises, sprains and strains, and fractures. The more severe injuries include damage to the pelvis, spine, and head that could be life-threatening.

The riders wear protective gear like padding and helmets to minimize injuries during falls or a slight stutter from a horse. However, the danger of being trampled by the beast while on the ground also prevails.

While many hope to own their very own pony, the dangers of horseback riding are lesser-known to the public. These elegant creatures are unpredictable and turn out to be fatal.

Thus, extreme safety precautions and lessons from experts are a must for children and novice riders.

Yasmin Ingham made a thrilling upset and won the individual title at the 2022 FEI Eventing World Championships on 18 September.

Julia Krajewski, a Tokyo 2020 Olympic champion of Germany, finished with silver abroad Amande de B’Neville. Similarly, Tim Price and Falco took bronze from New Zealand.

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2. Base Jumping

We all have seen daredevils jumping out of planes with parachutes and then descending on the ground safely. Most of us find jumping off an airplane 15,000 feet off the floor dangerous.

However, some do not find it challenging enough and choose to jump off the cliffs and towers.

Base jumping is a recreational sport for those who find jumping off an airplane is not challenging enough. The “Base” is an acronym for four categories of fixed objects from which the athletes can jump.

Those four categories are the buildings, spans (bridges), antennae (radio masts), and earth (cliffs). Athletes jump from these fixed objects, deploy a parachute to slow their descent, and land safely on the ground.

Base Jumping
Base Jumping (Source: Trip Savvy)

One of the popular base jumpings is the “Wingsuit Base jumping.” Although the altitude is much lower than skydiving from airplanes, it is significantly hazardous and considered one of the most dangerous sports worldwide.

There are legislation and training for base jumping. However, the death rate of the sport is the highest among all the other sports on this list.

Only in 2016, there were thirty-seven fatalities. The rate of fatality and injury rate is 43 times higher than that of parachuting from a plane.

From April 1981 to February 14, 2020, the Base jumping fatality list has recorded 383 deaths for Base jumping. Hence, we have ranked Base jumping as the second rank of our top ten most dangerous sports globally.

The Chinese team secured second place in the base-jumping competition in the Airborne Platoon contest in the August 2022 International Army Games in Ain Oussera, Algeria.

1. Bull Riding

We have a rodeo sport, bull riding, on our number one spot of the top ten most dangerous sports. The sport involves a rider mounting a bucking bull to stay mounted for as long as possible while the raging bull tries to buck off its rider.

While many of us cannot even fathom facing an angry 1000 kg bull, the bull riders mount the bull and try to stay mounted as long as they can. As a result, the sport is one of the most dangerous and extreme sports worldwide.

Besides concussions, the riders can face many risks and injuries while playing the sport. First, there are common injuries like bruises, sprains, fractures, and other skeletal injuries.

Bull Riding
Bull Riding ( Source: The Commercial Appeal)

However, the fatal injury can also lead to being trampled and gored by a bull.

The rider only wears a protective vest made of ballistic material. However, the hazards of the sport still prevail. Around 36% of the injuries the riders get during the sport are severe.

A study found that nearly 2,000 professional rodeo events were held between 1981 and 2005; half of the injuries involved bull riding. The most famous case occurred in 1989. A bull galore punctured the heart of a cowboy named Lane Forst.

Bull riding does have a high injury rate; however, the fatalities are relatively rare. Since the Professional Bull Riders’ inception in 1992, only three bull rider fatalities have been recorded.

However, the extremeness of the sport makes it the topmost dangerous sport of all time.

Jess Pope won the world championship in 2022. He stood third and second in the world standings in 2020 and 2021, respectively.


Wrapping up our ranking of the top 10 most dangerous sports. Of course, many more sports haven’t made it to this ranking; however, that does not necessarily make them any less dangerous.

You might find these sports fascinating if you are an extreme daredevil with an unquenchable adrenaline rush. But beware, take all the necessary precautions and follow the proper guidelines before trying these sports.

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Boby Rai
Boby Raihttps://playersbio.com/

Boby Rai

Boby Rai is a dedicated writer who specializes in capturing the essence of sporting excellence through his unique lens. As the creative mind behind numerous sports-centric projects, he brings a fresh perspective to the world of athletics, blending insightful commentary with captivating narratives.


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  • Boby's writing transcends conventional boundaries, offering readers a glimpse into the lesser-known stories.
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Armed with a passion for sports and a gift for storytelling, Boby has honed his craft through years of immersive experiences in the field. With a keen eye for detail and an unwavering commitment to authenticity, he continues to inspire and inform readers through his thought-provoking work.

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