Caleb Moore

I’ve been thinking a lot about this today.  I don’t know anything about freestyle snowmobiling, and I probably would have been surprised that such a thing existed before today.  I don’t know of a surer sign that our society isn’t using resources in the most sensible manner than the existence of a sport that involves aerial dancing on top of airborne snowmobiles.

But all jokes aside, I’ve been thinking for a long time about the morality of extreme sports. A young man died today.  I’m not ready to just say- he knew the risks, oh well.

I, along with most of my friends, grew up skateboarding in the late 80’s, when the sport of street skating was still in its infancy.  There were no mega-ramps, no Red Bull sponsorships (I don’t think there was even any Red Bull) and things like this:

were cutting edge.  I like this video part.  It’s by Daewon Song, one of my all-time favorites skaters.  But at no point is he in danger of much more than a broken wrist or a chipped tooth.

That’s not to say that no one was doing dangerous stuff back then- they were.  But you could make a respectable (though not lucrative) living as a professional without risking your life.

I know the mindset of a lot of these guys is- I can do this trick here, I’ll try it off this jump.  Then a bigger jump.  Then I will do it while being shot out of a cannon.  I can’t relate to that.  My first thought was always, I can do this trick, now I’ll learn a new one.

So part of me just doesn’t get it.  Another part of me likes seeing people doing crazy things that I would be too chicken to try.  And another part of me wonders if it’s worth it.  Pros can make more money now.  Pros exist in sports (freestyle snowmobiling!) I had no idea even existed, and they probably make way more than Mr Song was making back in 1993.  But it’s not MLB money.  It’s not even NFL money.  They’re taking up a collection for the family of Mr Moore as we speak.

Can we claim he knew the risks?  I suspect it’s hard to imagine someone doing your sport actually dying until someone actually does.

I’m still trying to collect my thoughts on this, I’ve got a lot to say and it’s not quite coming out right, but I will come back to this again.





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