Planning for extreme sports

  • Published
  • By Air Force Safety Center
  • 2013 Critical Days of Summer
Extreme sports such as bungee jumping, parasailing and sky diving have become more popular among Airmen in recent years.

For many Airmen, the lure of extreme sports correlates to some of the same reasons for joining the Air Force. The common personality traits include spontaneity, excitement-seeking, and risk-taking.

Some of us need to get a little adrenaline pumping every now and again and the thrill of many of these activities fulfills that need. They are called extreme for a reason and must be approached with an abundance of caution and risk management techniques.

As you begin to plan for your extreme sport adventure, be sure to consider how well you know yourself and your limitations. Overcoming personal challenges can be empowering but should not be done at the expense of your health and wellbeing.

Next, make sure the equipment you are using is properly cared for and properly used. Seek professional training when trying an extreme sport for the first time. If you take equipment out of storage after a long period of disuse, check it for wear and tear, be sure to perform any necessary maintenance, and do not hesitate to replace older equipment.

The final consideration should be the checklists that can be found in the Air Force's High Risk Activity Program in Air Force Instruction 91-202, "Air Force Mishap Prevention Program." It is available at

While this is not a mandatory program, it is recommended as one of your overall risk management techniques.

Examples of high-risk activity include: all-terrain vehicle use, auto racing, backcountry skiing or snowshoeing, boating, bungee jumping, civil helicopter flying, civil light aircraft flying, dirt biking, experimental aircraft flying, hot air ballooning, hunting, jet skiing, personal water craft, and kayaking or canoeing.

Some more are motorcycle racing, mountain climbing, rappelling, parasailing, rodeo activities, scuba diving, ski jumping (snow), sky diving, snowmobiling, soaring, ultra-light aircraft or powered parachute, and white water rafting.

For more information, call the 509th Bomb Wing Safety Office at (660) 687-7233.