The Most Scary Sport: A Ranking of Fear-Inducing Activities

Choose the Game you think is the most scary!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Oct 4, 2023 10:14
Dare to face your fears? Welcome to StrawPoll's spine-chilling ranking of the most terrifying sports known to humankind! From adrenaline-pumping adventures to spine-tingling challenges, our thrilling list dares you to face the unknown and vote for the sport that sends shivers down your spine. Do you think you can handle the heart-pounding suspense of skydiving, or will the blood-curdling intensity of bull riding leave you trembling in terror? It's time to dive into the abyss and cast your vote for the most hair-raising, spine-chilling, and downright scary sport out there. Still think we've missed out on a scream-worthy contender? Don't be afraid to suggest a missing option and join thousands of other fear-seekers in this ultimate showdown of frightful feats. Are you ready to embrace the fear? Step right in, and let the terror begin!

What Is the Most Scary Sport? (October 2023)

  1. 1
    Free Solo Climbing
    Heinz Zak · CC BY-SA 4.0
    This sport involves climbing mountains without any safety gear, such as ropes or harnesses. It's considered one of the most dangerous sports due to the high risk of falling to death.
    Free Solo Climbing is a type of rock climbing that involves ascending cliffs or rock walls without the use of any ropes or other protective gear. It is considered one of the most difficult and dangerous forms of climbing due to the high levels of skill, strength, and concentration required to complete a climb without falling or any safety measures.
    • Height of Cliffs: Often involves scaling cliffs that can range from a few meters to several hundred meters in height.
    • Difficulty Ratings: Routes are typically rated according to various systems, including the Yosemite Decimal System (YDS). Free solo climbs are usually rated in the higher difficulty ranges (5.10 and above).
    • Risk of Injury: Due to the lack of safety equipment, falls during Free Solo Climbing can result in severe injuries or even death.
    • Mental Focus: The climber must maintain intense concentration throughout the entire ascent to minimize any mistakes or errors that could lead to a fall.
    • Technical Skill: Free Solo Climbers must possess exceptional technical climbing skills, including precise footwork, handholds, balance, and route-finding abilities.
    Free Solo Climbing in other rankings
  2. 2
    Bull riders attempt to stay on a bucking bull for as long as possible. It's dangerous because bull riders can be thrown off and trampled by the animal, causing serious injury or death.
    Bull Riding is a rodeo sport that involves a rider getting on a large bull and attempting to stay mounted while the bull tries to buck them off. It is considered one of the most difficult hobbies due to the physical and mental challenges it presents.
    • Rider's Grip: The rider must hold onto a flat braided rope, called a bull rope, with one hand.
    • Time Limit: The rider must stay on the bull for eight seconds to record a successful ride.
    • Scoring: Judges assign points to both the rider and the bull based on their performance, with a perfect ride scoring 100 points.
    • Rider Safety Gear: Riders must wear protective gear such as a helmet, vest, padded gloves, and mouthguard.
    • Weight and Strength: Bulls used in bull riding typically weigh around 1,500 to 2,000 pounds, requiring significant strength and balance from the rider.
    Bull Riding in other rankings
  3. 3
    BASE Jumping
    Xof711 · CC BY-SA 3.0

    BASE Jumping

    Carl Boenish
    This sport involves jumping off high structures, such as buildings or cliffs, with a parachute. It's risky because of the potential for equipment failure, unpredictable weather conditions, and the difficulty of landing safely.
    BASE jumping is an extreme adventure activity that involves parachuting or wingsuit flying from fixed objects such as buildings, antennas, spans (bridges), and earth (cliffs). It is considered to be one of the most difficult and dangerous hobbies due to the high level of risk involved.
    • Altitude: Usually, jumps have an altitude between 100-300 meters (330-980 feet).
    • Equipment: Jumpers use specialized parachutes, harnesses, and helmets.
    • Speed: Terminal velocity during a jump can reach up to 200 km/h (120 mph).
    • Object Types: BASE stands for Building, Antenna, Span, and Earth, which represent different types of objects from which jumps can be performed.
    • Experience Level: BASE jumping requires advanced skydiving skills and considerable experience, typically requiring at least 200 skydives before attempting.
    BASE Jumping in other rankings
  4. 4

    Big Wave Surfing

    Laird Hamilton
    Surfers ride massive waves that can be over 50 feet tall. The sport is dangerous due to the risk of being held underwater for extended periods of time, getting hit by the board, or colliding with other surfers.
    Big Wave Surfing is an extreme water sport that involves riding enormous waves, typically with a height of 20 feet or higher. Surfers brave these massive waves, which are found in a few select locations around the world, to experience an adrenaline-pumping and awe-inspiring ride.
    • Wave height: 20 feet or higher
    • Surfboard size: 9 to 10 feet long
    • Location: Mavericks, Jaws, Nazaré, Teahupo'o, etc.
    • Hazards: Rip currents, rocks, reefs, and extreme water forces
    • Physical demands: Requires exceptional strength, endurance, and technical skill
    Big Wave Surfing in other rankings
  5. 5
    This sport involves walking across a tightrope that's suspended between two points, such as two cliffs. It's extremely dangerous because of the high risk of falling to death.
    Highlining is a thrilling and daring stunt that involves walking on a suspended line, typically set up between two high points such as cliffs or tall buildings. This extreme sport combines the balance and focus of tightrope walking with the heights and adrenaline of rock climbing. The line used for highlining is usually made of strong and flexible materials like nylon or polyester, allowing it to stretch and react to the movements of the performer. The primary aim of highlining is to traverse the line from one end to the other, showcasing exceptional physical and mental control.
    • Height: Highlines are typically set up at heights ranging from 30 to 300 meters (100 to 1000 feet).
    • Length: The length of highlines can vary greatly, anywhere from 10 to several hundred meters long.
    • Tensioning: The line is usually tensioned using pulleys, rigging systems, or simple counterweights to ensure proper stability.
    • Webbing: Webbing, the material used for the line, is made of nylon or polyester and has a width ranging from 1 to 5 centimeters (0.4 to 2 inches).
    • Safety Equipment: Highliners typically use a harness and a backup tether attached to the line for increased safety.
    Highlining in other rankings
  6. 6
    Cave Diving
    Mikhail Vedyokhin · CC BY-SA 2.5

    Cave Diving

    Sheck Exley
    Divers explore underwater caves and caverns, which can be dark, narrow, and filled with obstacles. It's dangerous due to the risk of getting lost, equipment failure, or running out of air.
    Cave diving is a form of scuba diving that involves exploring underwater caves. It is considered one of the most challenging and technical types of diving due to the unique hazards and risks associated with diving in enclosed spaces.
    • Depth: Varies, but can exceed 200 meters (660 feet)
    • Visibility: Can range from crystal clear to zero visibility
    • Equipment: Specialized gear including reels, cave diving lights, and double tanks
    • Training: Extensive training is required due to the complex environment
    • Navigation: Requires advanced navigation techniques to avoid getting lost in the cave system
    Cave Diving in other rankings
  7. 7

    Wingsuit Flying

    Patrick de Gayardon
    This sport involves flying through the air in a special suit that allows the wearer to glide like a bird. It's risky because of the potential for equipment failure, the difficulty of landing safely, and the high speeds involved.
    Wingsuit flying, also known as wingsuiting or birdman flying, is an extreme sport that involves flying through the air using a specialized jumpsuit with fabric wings. This sport gives the impression of human flight, as participants glide through the sky with their arms spread wide and their bodies tilted forward. It is often considered one of the most thrilling and adrenaline-pumping activities available to adrenaline junkies and extreme sports enthusiasts.
    • Speed Range: 100-160 mph
    • Glide Ratio: 2.5-3:1
    • Drop Altitude: Around 10,000 feet
    • Canopy Deployment: Between 3,500 and 5,000 feet
    • Flight Duration: 2-5 minutes
  8. 8
    Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)
    Bad intentionz · CC BY-SA 3.0
    MMA is a combat sport that involves striking, grappling, and submissions. It's dangerous because fighters can suffer serious injuries, such as concussions, broken bones, and spinal cord damage.
    Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a full-contact combat sport that allows the use of both striking and grappling techniques, combining elements of various martial arts and combat sports. In MMA, fighters compete inside an octagonal cage, utilizing punches, kicks, elbows, knees, takedowns, and submissions to defeat their opponents.
    • Weight Classes: MMA has different weight classes, ranging from strawweight to heavyweight, ensuring fair matchups based on fighters' body weight.
    • No Single Fighting Style: MMA combines various disciplines such as boxing, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, wrestling, and more, creating a dynamic and diverse fighting style.
    • Versatile Striking Techniques: Fighters utilize a wide range of strikes including punches, kicks, elbows, and knees, both standing and on the ground.
    • Grappling and Ground Fighting: MMA incorporates grappling techniques like takedowns, throws, submissions, and ground control to gain advantageous positions and finish fights.
    • Octagonal Cage: The fights take place within an octagonal cage, providing a confined space to contain the action and prevent fighters from falling out of the ring.
  9. 9
    Climbers attempt to summit some of the world's highest peaks, which can be over 8,000 meters tall. It's dangerous because of the extreme weather conditions, the risk of altitude sickness, and the potential for falls or avalanches.
    High Altitude Mountaineering is a highly challenging and dangerous sport that involves climbing mountains at extreme altitudes, typically over 8,000 meters (26,247 feet) above sea level. It requires exceptional physical fitness, mental strength, technical skills, and proper equipment to overcome the harsh conditions and risks associated with high altitude environments.
    • Altitude: Usually above 8,000 meters (26,247 feet) above sea level.
    • Oxygen Levels: Considerably low oxygen levels, requiring climbers to acclimatize and use supplemental oxygen in some cases.
    • Extreme Weather: Unpredictable and harsh weather conditions with strong winds, extreme cold, and blizzards.
    • Terrain: Steep and challenging terrain with icy slopes, crevasses, rock formations, and glaciers.
    • Technical Skills: Advanced mountaineering skills, including ice climbing, rock climbing, rope management, and navigation.
  10. 10

    Extreme Skiing

    Jean-Claude Killy
    Skiers descend steep, narrow, and rocky terrain at high speeds. It's dangerous because of the potential for equipment failure, collisions with obstacles, and the difficulty of stopping or slowing down.
    Extreme skiing is a high-risk sport that involves skiing down steep slopes in challenging and dangerous terrain. It requires advanced ski skills, physical fitness, and mental strength. The sport pushes skiers to their limits, with the adrenaline rush coming from the combination of speed, difficult descents, and exposure to extreme elements.
    • Terrain: Rugged mountain slopes with varying conditions
    • Incline: Extreme gradients ranging from 40-60 degrees or more
    • Altitude: High elevation peaks, often above 10,000 feet (3,000 meters)
    • Risk: High risk of avalanches, rockfalls, and crevasses
    • Equipment: Specialized skis, bindings, and safety gear

Missing your favorite Game?


Ranking factors for scary sport

  1. Risk of injury or death
    The potential for serious injury or death can make a sport more frightening.
  2. High speed or heights involved
    The faster the sport is played or the higher up participants are, the more intense it can be.
  3. Equipment
    Certain sports require specialized equipment that can add an element of danger.
  4. Competitors
    Facing off against particularly skilled or intimidating competitors can also heighten the fear factor.
  5. Environmental conditions
    Adverse weather or terrain conditions can make a sport even more challenging and frightening.
  6. Psychological factors
    Fear can also be heightened by the psychological pressure of competing in a high stakes event or performing in front of a large audience.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most scary sport. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or your favorite Game is missing from the list, feel free to help us improve the ranking.


  • 181 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Game once every 24 hours. The rank of each Game is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most scary sport

When it comes to sports, some are more adrenaline-pumping than others. While some sports may be considered thrilling, others can be downright terrifying. From the heights of mountain climbing to the depths of scuba diving, there are plenty of sports that can send shivers down your spine. But which sport takes the title of the most scary? It's a subjective question, as what might be scary for one person may not be for another. Nevertheless, there are certainly some sports that stand out as particularly spine-chilling. In this article, we'll explore some of the scariest sports out there and what makes them so terrifying. Get ready to feel your heart race as we delve into the world of extreme sports.