Are headphones putting your senses on pause?

Mark PawlakContributor IAugust 12, 2010

We’ve only five senses. Unless you can draw on a sixth, it seems foolish to interfere with them during extreme sports or adventure sports activities.

It’s difficult to separate your music from your sport. Golfers may find it easier to leave their mp3 players back in the clubhouse, but that’s because their sport has no soundtrack, whereas extreme sports is powered by music, ‘amped’ in fact.

Checking out the earliest surf movies, it soon becomes clear music has always been part of the sport’s wider culture. Fast forward to the MTV era and it wasn’t long before Beastie Boys tracks were backing up the tricks of BMX legends Dave Mirra and Matt Hoffman.

Nowadays its X-Games and a generation of people, who either grew up with MTV, or stream and share their tunes online.

So going for a blast on a mountain bike, or getting clipped in before another run, you just know the music is going on.

But take care: There’s no doubt that the more you push your sport, the more focus you need to keep things safe.

And that’s what your senses are designed for: to keep a grip on reality by establishing what’s around you.

Cycling on a busy road with your iPod on shuffle is not a wise move. You need to be hearing traffic not T-Bone, and spotting cars, not dreaming of singing with the stars.

Tuned-out cyclists hit by 4x4s, joggers unbelievably running in front of trains; I’m sure you’ve read the stories.

Now, considering how long we’ve been piping in the tunes, it’s surprising there’s not been a ruling on wearing them in extreme sports. Research suggests it’s necessary, and there are even groups that campaign for volume controls and noise limiters.

We’d never be so draconian. Just take real care when you roll with headphones, unless you’ve mastered that sixth sense…

Related posts:

  1. Keeping Extreme Sports Safe