Young people crave excitement and adventure and search for novel ways to experience it. And the feelings of an adrenaline rush are often intertwined with real imminent danger, because it lends an air of unpredictability that heightens the anticipation. Most of the time, the pursuit of excitement doesn’t lead to fatalities, but in a recent case a young man of twenty-two years old, Kyle Stocking, died while taking part in the latest trend dubbed “arch-swinging.” A very popular video on YouTube depicting arch-swinging has garnered nineteen million views, which undoubtedly has helped fuel the popularity of the pastime, and people seeking to try it themselves despite the undertaking being extremely dangerous.
What Is Arch-Swinging?
The YouTube video that features arch-swinging is filmed in Utah, on the Corona Arch, which is located in Moab and features an arch in the desert that is of breathtaking beauty. In fact, Utah can boast of having some of the most beautiful and grandiose natural sights in America with their deserts. However, in this case, people weren’t content to merely view the beauty of the Corona arch, but have undertaken swinging from the extremely tall arch with a DIY rope swing.
While the exhilaration and thrill of doing it has captured people’s imagination, the reality is that arch-swinging on the Corona Arch is extremely dangerous and shouldn’t be attempted by anyone, least of all young inexperienced people who don’t grasp the concept of how truly dangerous swinging from a manmade rope swing is. In the case of Kyle Stocking he overestimated how much rope he should use to build the swing and ended up hurtling straight to the ground, since the rope was too long. While medical help was called immediately, unfortunately Kyle Stocking had already passed and couldn’t be saved. The death of such a young person when it was completely avoidable has raised concerns about the Corona arch and how accessible it is.
Will Arch-Swinging Be Outlawed?
Kyle Stockton’s sad, preventable death and the prevalence of the pastime of arch- swinging has led to the state taking some action to try to prevent another fatality from happening again. The state of Utah has banned touring companies from charging people who want to swing on it, but that seems to be as far as they are able to go. Legally, people cannot be banned from swinging on the arch, just like they can’t be banned from climbing or jumping off a mountain. In essence, while the dangers of arch jumping should be strongly emphasized and warned about, ultimately people need to use their common sense and realize that their lives are worth more than a temporary, fleeting thrill. So while it doesn’t seem like arch swinging will be outlawed anytime soon, if ever, hopefully people will learn that the risks of arch swinging far outweigh any temporary thrills.
Safer Alternatives To Arch-Swinging
Young people, and thrill-seekers in general, should seek out safer alternatives to arch-swinging and there are many. While any type of activity has a chance of an accident, most likely if a mishap were to occur, someone wouldn’t hurtle to their death like in Kyle Stockton’s case. Other activities that people can do are:
- Riding rollercoasters
All of the previously mentioned activities provide an adrenaline rush, and when practiced in a safe and supervised manner, are much safer than arch-swinging. Young people can visit skate parks, ride rollercoasters with friends, kayak with a group of people, and also go skiing. They can take part in all of these activities as safer alternatives to arch-swinging. Kyle Stockton’s death shows how easily something can go wrong when attempting such a dangerous feat in a completely unregulated environment.