ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0210.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Behavior Sciences Keywords: adventure sport; extreme sport; ecological dynamics; transdisciplinary; form of life; skill; skill development; decision-making; freeriding; avalanche education
Online: 14 January 2022 (11:51:24 CET)
The last few decades have witnessed a surge of interest in adventure sports, and an emerging research focus on these activities. However, recent conceptual analyses and scientific reviews have highlighted a major, fundamental question that remains unresolved: what constitutes an adventure sport (and are they ‘sports’ at all)? Despite several proposals for definitions, the field still seems to lack a shared conceptualization. This deficit may be a serious limitation for research and practice, restricting the development of a more nuanced theoretical explanation of participation and prac-tical implications within and across adventure sports. In this article we address another crucial question, how can adventure sports be better understood for research and practice? We briefly summarize previous definitions to address evident confusion and lack of conceptual clarity in the discourse. Alternatively, we propose how an ecological perspective on human behaviors, as in-teractions with the environment, may provide an appropriate conceptualization to guide and enhance future research and practice, using examples from activities such as freeride skiing / snowboarding, white-water kayaking, climbing, mountaineering and the fields of sport science, psychology and avalanche research and education. We draw on ecological dynamics as a trans-disciplinary approach to discuss how this holistic framework presents a more detailed, nuanced, and precise understanding of adventure sports.