Photo credit: Penn State: Are Extreme Sports Paticipants Addicts
Sometimes it seems like there’s an extreme sport for every interest under the sun. And, that's not entirely incorrect. At x-wear we fill you in on everything extreme: from blobbing, to powerbocking, to base jumping. All of these sports carry some level of risk with them but, when practiced under the proper circumstances, can be safe enough to partake in.
This isn’t the case for all activities that parade themselves as ‘extreme sports’. Some sports are insanely dangerous, regardless of how much protective padding one wears, and should be refrained from at all costs.
Rooftopping is one such ‘sport’. Rooftopping is when daredevil photographers climb to the tops of skyscrapers, cut through bolts on doors, hop over protective railing, and reach the very tops of insanely tall buildings. The perches that these photographers find are usually incredibly precarious and would be, under normal circumstances, completely illegal to access. Rooftoppers then set up the perfect shot to demonstrate exactly how incredulous their location is. Basically, the more shocking the location, the more points a rooftopper feels that they’ve earned. This type of adventure photography doesn’t come without risk, however. In fact, it seems that rooftoppers die from a fall with surprising regularity.
The most recent rooftopper to lose his life in the pursuit of a skyscraper shot was nicknamed the Chinese Superman. 26 year old Wu Yongning was attempting to do pull ups from a 100+ story building several months ago when he lost his grip and plunged to his death. A carefully positioned camera several feet away caught the heartbreaking scene. Wu’s girlfriend finally confirmed his death an entire month after it occurred. Fans of Wu started piecing together evidence of his demise when his regular Instagram and Youtube posts came to an abrupt end with no explanation.
We have all seen the types of pictures that Wu was attempting to create. We’ve all gotten queasy stomachs imagining these young people risking life and limb to photograph the unthinkable. Although these shots stick with us as being exciting or daredevilish, is it really worth losing your life for? Absolutely not. There are nearly infinite ways to break into the extreme sports scene without being completely reckless. If not for your own personal safety, consider the safety of others. Was there anyone directly below Wu? They could have been incidentally killed upon his impact? How about of a rooftopper loses a shoe or drops their camera? Passerby below can be fatally wounded by the accidents of rooftoppers above.
For those looking to photograph their insane extreme sports, there are safer ways to do it than climbing to the tops of buildings with no safety gear. For action shots, a GoPro is definitely the way to go. This link will show you the best GoPros and accessories for your specific aspirations and offer tips on how to use your new gadget. Still, even if you have the best camera in the extreme industry, make sure that your endeavors are always safe for yourself and for others.