High risk sports research - FREE Tablet worth £160

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High_risk_sports
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High risk sports research - FREE Tablet worth £160

Post by High_risk_sports »

Hello all,

I am a paddler and guide from North Wales and am completing a masters at Bangor University School of Psychology. We are trying to investigate what it is that motivates people like us to take risks, who, if anyone takes more risks that lead to injury-to increase safety within outdoor recreation, and what people get from high-risk sports.

The link below will take you to an anonymous online survey that takes about 10 minuets to complete. Once completed you will be asked to enter an email address to win a FREE tablet worth £160 as a thank you for participating. Your email address will be kept separate from the survey to maintain anonymity, and only used to contact you to for delivery of the tablet.

Follow the link below to find out more! Please feel free to share around.

http://www.surveygizmo.eu/s3/90019373/A ... -and-women

Thank you!

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Post by clarky999 »

Done, but you have a problem with one of your questions (so I chose middle as 'non answer'):

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Post by Jim »

If it is about high risk sports, why have you chosen paddling instead of a high risk sport?

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Re: High risk sports research - FREE Tablet worth £160

Post by High_risk_sports »

Thank you for completing the survey Clarky999. Ill look into that question-cheers for the heads up!

Best,


__________________________



Hello Jim,

I take from your comment that you don't believe paddling to be a high risk sport. It is an interesting and valid point; and a view I am sure many paddlers may take, myself included -but only if and when participants and leaders receive specific training and buy specialised equipment to, if not relinquish risk, minimise the risks involved.

For the purpose of research covering 'high risk sports', a high risk sport is defined by the need for specialised equipment and training to minimise the risk of serious injury or death.

I would suggest paddling requires training and equipment to reduce the risk of injury or death, would you disagree Jim?

Best,

Kirsten
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Re: High risk sports research - FREE Tablet worth £160

Post by Kirsten »

Although "your" definition of High Risk Sport is given at the start of the Survey, I can't agree that all type of kayaking is high risk. As when going by the chance of getting injured (whatever grade) or even being killed, because of doing this sport, then Life itself is a high risk ;)

For a lot of paddlers the way from home to the water (and back home) is more dangerous then the paddle itself. I saw more accidents happen on the shore (prior or after the paddle or during breaks) then on the water. Not only as seakayaker, but also on the river.

Someone racing on flat water is less in risk of getting injured/battered then someone who is doing white water kayaking down a Grade 4 or 5 or rockhopping in a proper swell/surf.

Someone who is taking on Open Boating and Seakayaking is usually not looking for the thrill caused by taking (high) risk Or even thinks there is a (high) risk. Which is explaining some incidents where paddlers needed rescue (or sadly recovery of body and boat).
Each of the different kinds of sport requires different training and also equipment, only a BA, a paddle in the hand and a boat under the bum is common for all. But not everyone needs a helmet, an open boater don't need a roll, seakayakers usually don't wear helmet (neither do open boaters) most of the time. Open Boaters (even the well trained ones) usually not anticipating that they getting wet during a trip (only if rain is down pouring), but a white water kayak does. The expectation towards the activity are different.

I didn't start White Water Kayaking because of the risks as I don't like to take risk (this is not completely true, I love a challenge from time to time, but only when I know that myself as a chance to master it, if you don't see a chance that I can do it, I just don't do it), neither I took it up because I love the thrill (this just makes me feel sick).

The defintion of High Risk Sport is letting to much room, Paddling is not per se a high risk sport. ... where is swimming in the list? I mean without training there is a high risk of death (just saying).

Why are researcher always want to see the big picture but often don't take in account that the big pictures is make by a lot of pixels of different colours ;)

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Post by High_risk_sports »

Hello Kirsten,

You make some good points!

In the survey there is a question that asks what sports you participate in. Different people will have different motivations for participating in their chosen discipline, and in turn receive a rage of benefits. It would be wrong to label all, in this instance paddlers, coaches, and guides, like you and I, as risk seeking individuals. Canoe Wales are publishing an article in their magazine (June) in which I write about this very issue. If this interests you have a search for some of Zuckerman's and Woodman's work. I think you will find yourself disagreeing with much of what Zuckerman has to say with regards to referring to all high risk sports people as sensation seekers and more with that of Woodman that we do out sports for other reasons than 'thrill seeking'.

It is an interesting point you make about the risks of everyday life. If we look at driving for instance, you receive driving lessons (training) and must buy a car (specialised equipment) and if we looked at drivers I think you would agree that not all drivers are risk takers, not all drivers drive -to drive fast...but some do. It is this that I am interested in but with regards to sports. Why do some paddlers take risks and some dont? -I am not saying that all paddlers are risk takers -Far from it, but I do disagree with you when you say that kayaking or canoeing involve no risk.

You make the point of swimming, this is pulling away from what the survey is about but highlights an interesting discussion, to which I do no think there is one singular answer. You applied the academics definition for high risk sports to swimming, so lets break it down. Submerging somebody in a substance that they are incapable of breathing in and maintaining positive bouncy would be putting them at risk of death or serious injury. Some people reduce this risk and receive training (swimming lessons) and equipment to reduce the risks (environment-wetsuits, buoyancy-BAs and so on). So yes I would suggest that swimming is a high risk sport. -- It is important not to assume that because something is a social norm that it is without risk --, that is how people get caught out on Snowdon in shorts and sandles. Paddling much like driving and swimming becomes just as safe as any other activity or sport if participants, leaders, coaches, and guides have the knowledge, experience and skills to deal with the situation.

As a guide and paddler myself I want to make sure my clients and friends are as safe as they can be but still enjoy their sport. Much like swimming, outdoor recreation is fast becoming more mainstream, which is why I think it is important to look at why some people deliberately choose to take more risk than others. How much risk people take is a personal decision. We choose to avoid/minimise exposure to situations that might be of danger to us, or gain training to better manage ourselves in these situations, and yes of course there is a scale of risk; you mentioned 'racing on flat water is less in risk of getting injured/battered then someone who is doing white water kayaking down a Grade 4 or 5 or rockhopping in a proper swell/surf...' I would argue that where on a scale of serious injury or death an activity might be depends on the person (pixel); their experience and skills not the activity...using your examples -someone racing on flat water who cant swim is risking their life if they dont have BA, safety cover, just as letting a novice paddle into the races between Scarbra and Lunga...however a learning to swim or gaining lots of experience sea kayaking make both situations almost risk free....the racer can swim and the seasoned sea kayaker may choose to go through at slack...or have fun is some great whirlpools and waves!!

I hope this clears things up for you; Im not suggesting everyone who paddles are risk takers, many take every precaution to reduce risk, but to deny that there is any risk involved would be irresponsible,no?

Best,

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Post by Jim »

What has training got to do with it? tombstoning requires no training and even with training is still much higher risk than almost all canoeing and kayaking. Drivers are well trained but continuously at risk from other drivers who ignore their training, or are reckless etc.

We are assumed risk sports, but rarely high risk. A few people participate at a high risk level, the vast majority, even completely untrained beginners, participate at a low level of assumed risk.

To call canoeing and kayaking high risk sports is simply vanity. It is also unhelpful and may put off some potential participants who would enjoy the vast majority of what we have to offer.

If you are not doing exploration in remore wilderness regions of the world, or pushing the envelope of what we currently call grade 6, you are not a high risk paddler: get over yourself.

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Post by Poke »

High_risk_sports wrote:I would argue that where on a scale of serious injury or death an activity might be depends on the person (pixel); their experience and skills not the activity...
I would say this argument is wrong.

An experienced and well equipped person paddling glass 4/5 is significantly more likely to die/sustain injury than a similarly experienced and well equipped person paddling a sprint kayak on a lake.

In fact, I'm completely inexperienced in sprint kayaking, but I'm fairly sure I'm less likely to die doing that, than I would kayaking grade 4/5, which I've been doing for 20 years.

I also dislike the "kayaking is safer than driving to the river" argument. It sounds nice, but my experience of the stats don't add up. I know a couple of people who have rolled their car en-route to the river (fortunately with no injuries), but sadly I know of countless dislocated shoulders, subluxed ACJ's (mine), broken backs, an inverted knee and deaths of 4 people I've paddled with personally. I don't consider myself particularly reckless, but do think the driving argument is burying your head in the sand somewhat.
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High_risk_sports
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Post by High_risk_sports »

Hi Jim,

Discussion is great but you discredit yourself by telling me to get over myself. It is interesting you think calling canoeing and kayaking high-risk is vanity; do you think being seen as a risk taker is attractive?

You make an unfair comparison there I think Jim. Tombstoning is an extreme form of jumping into water, just as paddling grade 6 or exploring remote locations in kayaks is at the extreme end of sitting in a boat and paddling around. If done properly and managed correctly the risks of tombstoning are no higher than extreme forms of paddling, as for tombstoning requiring no training, I would disagree, to tombstone safely training and experience is required, judgment of rock formation, tides, how to enter the water, how to prevent rotation... when a helmet and BA make large jumps more dangerous, the water is aerated (equipment) without which there would be an inherit risk of serious injury or death.

To tombstone without the experience and proper equipment much like canoeing in remote locations or kayaking grade 6 without any experience or proper equipment would be risky, and suggest that person is prone to taking more risks than others who participate in that discipline at that level. I used the example of driving to bring the concept away from paddle sports, but yes, why some drivers ignore their training or are reckless, when others are not. That difference is what interests me, and I hope our project will help identify what causes (or one cause) that difference in judgment and behavior...why some people take more risks than others.

There is of course a scale of risk and different activities fall onto the scale at different places. It is important to remember that when talking about high risk sport the literature is separating sports by whether there is an inherent risk of serious injury or death. If we compare tennis to jumping into water or paddling, I feel that jumping into water or paddling involves more inherent risk of serious injury or death if mismanaged than tennis-for which there is none. I would argue where on that scale jumping into water or paddling around falls is dependent on training/experience, equipment, behavior, and the environment. Would you disagree?

It seems the name of this feed has caused you some upset and worry about putting off people from paddling? I really do hope that this is not the case, paddlesports are great! -If people click link I hope they see these comments and are reassured. Alternatively if they click on the survey we point out the above; if you do not think we do so adequately suggestions on what area needs to be developed to prevent any miss information would be great!


Best,

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Post by High_risk_sports »

Hi Poke,

I find myself agreeing with someone who says they are disagreeing with me. I'm confused. Perhaps I wasn't clear. I agree that the risk of injury is not equal between all high risk sports, but that high risk sports have an inherent risk of serious injury or dealt that other sports dont. See the second to last para ^,

Wish you all the best with your sprint kayaking! Impressive stuff that!

Best,

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Post by DaveBland »

Whitewater [white water?] kayaking is a high risk sport. No argument. As Poke says, anyone who's been paddling around for a while can attest to that with knowledge of too many injuries and worse to people they know.

A whitewater river is a high risk environment. Regardless of the skill and care a paddler takes there is less room for error than in a low risk environment. Pretty much all of the bad incidents I have direct knowledge of, have been down to pretty much unexpected and unlucky situations, not poor decisions or big errors made.
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Post by davebrads »

The discussion of high risk sports is interesting and I want to add my tuppenny - worth. Compared to most other mainstream high-rise sports it is very difficult to assess the risks. You can walk a rapid near the top of your ability and make an assessment of your chance of a successful outcome but you won't be sure until after you have run it. In most other high-rise sports the risk is more well defined and the chance of failure is only down the accuracy of your assessment of your ability measured against the challenge. It is this that attracts me to kayaking - I like the feeling of risk but I don't want to die.
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Post by clarky999 »

davebrads wrote:The discussion of high risk sports is interesting and I want to add my tuppenny - worth. Compared to most other mainstream high-rise sports it is very difficult to assess the risks. You can walk a rapid near the top of your ability and make an assessment of your chance of a successful outcome but you won't be sure until after you have run it. In most other high-rise sports the risk is more well defined and the chance of failure is only down the accuracy of your assessment of your ability measured against the challenge. It is this that attracts me to kayaking - I like the feeling of risk but I don't want to die.
Hmm, not sure I agree with that.

For me, generally the risks and difficulties in a rapid are usually fairly obvious and logical. You can look at a rapid and see where and how the water is moving, understand how that will effect a kayak, and make a decision as to whether your ability is enough to handle it.

There is much more randomness in sports like skiing and surfing, for example.

Skiing (other than high end ski mountaineering) the major risk to life is avalanches. By their nature, and our current understandings of snow science, they are still unpredictable and even the most expert in the world rely on 'educated guessing' to make a decision if a slope is safe to ski. Which when you do it a lot becomes rather a game of numbers... Worsened by the fact that the ~35° slopes favoured by the majority of skiers are the most likely to slide (much flatter and there's too much friction to slide; much steeper and they tend to self-purge much more regularly so big slabs don't build up). And the information you need to make that judgement isn't objective like a big hole or a tree, it's all buried under the surface and could be tied to what the weather was like one day 2 months ago!

In surfing (dangerous waves, like Pipeline or Teahupoo) a tiny change in swell direction/wind/size/period can have a big effect on how the wave forms, and if it will close out dumping you head first into the reef just below. Experienced surfers can probably judge this in the same way as kayakers we develop a feel and instinct for river features, BUT they only have a few seconds to decide whether to take the wave or not as they paddle with their back to it - whereas we can look at a feature for minutes or longer if need be before making a call.

Essentially I think there's less randomness in kayaking (if you're scouting anyway) and the dangers are more obvious and visible, so success/failure lies more purely with your ability to put the moves together than external elements.

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Post by Adrian Cooper »

Whilst in skiing the major risk to life might be avalanche, the major risk to health must surely result from falls likely resulting from mistakes.

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Post by davebrads »

clarky999 wrote:For me, generally the risks and difficulties in a rapid are usually fairly obvious and logical. You can look at a rapid and see where and how the water is moving, understand how that will effect a kayak, and make a decision as to whether your ability is enough to handle it.
I get what you are saying, but I certainly find that things don't always go to plan. I misjudge the speed of the water, the stickyness of a hole or the power of a wave and I end up missing the line or stuck where I don't want to be. Sometimes it goes perfect and then I get a real buzz, but sometimes it doesn't and it gets a whole lot more hairy.

I'm not disagreeing with you regarding other sports though, the difference being that getting it wrong in kayaking has "soft" consequences most of the time, but as you point out the dangers of getting it wrong in many other risk sports can often be far more serious.
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Post by davebrads »

The other thing to bear in mind is that the OP is asking us ordinary Joes, not those at the cutting edge. For those at the top of any sport the risks are much higher. If I was a skier I wouldn't be skiing on slopes that have the potential to slide, it would be enough for me just to tackle a stable slope near the top of my ability. Similarly with surfing. I've been kayak surfing this week and it's been hairy enough with the size of the waves on a nice sandy beach break, I don't need a reef to make the waves any bigger or to increase the danger.
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Post by Jim »

davebrads wrote:The other thing to bear in mind is that the OP is asking us ordinary Joes, not those at the cutting edge.
I think that is the key point I was trying to make....

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davebrads wrote:The other thing to bear in mind is that the OP is asking us ordinary Joes, not those at the cutting edge. For those at the top of any sport the risks are much higher. If I was a skier I wouldn't be skiing on slopes that have the potential to slide, it would be enough for me just to tackle a stable slope near the top of my ability.
Fair points (the others too), though to clarify my point is that if we consider offpiste skiing to be the equivalent of >grade 3 whitewater (it is), it is precisely the moderately angled ~30-35° slopes suitable for Average Joes that are most likely to avalanche, and it's not a danger you can ever get entirely away from (in Europe at least where only pistes are truly protected/controlled) as there is no possible way to definitively *know* a slope is stable.

That was my only real point, that the hidden danger is always there whereas in kayaking you can pretty much always see/'know' what hazards exist so the only variable is your ability to make the line.

--------

I guess there's another question about where exactly a sport becomes high risk. I wouldn't really consider kayaking below grade 3 or piste skiing to be high risk. Surfing is probably harder to quantify - you can beater over and over at most beach breaks and be fine even if you get stuck duck diving in the impact zone for a while, but if your leash snaps even that can get pretty serious...

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Post by DaveBland »

Interesting discussion.
Got me thinking the definition of 'high risk' needs quantifying.


Kayaking main risks: Drowning. Shoulder dislocation. Getting a bit chilly. Likelihood. 2/10

Skiing Main risks: Death from Avalanche. Broken legs. Sunburn. Likelihood 3/10

Mountain biking: Busted bones. Nasty gashes. Lots of pain. Likelihood 7/10

Football: Twisted knees and ankles. Groin strains. Likelihood 9/10

Totally made up stats below, but the point is, for example, if you MTB to any given level you will end up hurt. But chances of dying are pretty slim.
Play footie and you will almost certainly end up with a nasty knee or ankle injury at some point.
Paddling is less prone to nasty injuries but if they do happen they are not good. Mainly down to the high risk environment it's done in.
dave

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Post by Adrian Cooper »

I thought the biggest risk with football was being accused of bad acting.

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Post by DaveBland »

Adrian, it's a fine point, well made.
dave

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