If the question is: "Is this sport worth dying for?" The answer is No, no it is not. Even Shane Mc Conkey the most inspirational, legacy-leaving athlete of all time, has quietly faded from memory. Your legacy or accomplishments from your sport are tiny compared to how fun kids, family and a long life are.
If the question is: "Are you willing to die for this sport?" If you answer no to that when you are young and charging, you will never be one of the best kayakers out there and will likely be less safe because you will be sketchy.
Kayaking seems like the most important thing in the world while you are totally engrossed in it and have dedicated your life to it. It all seems quite silly when you are standing at the funeral. Actually the first athlete funeral I went to was for Trevor Peterson in Whistler, and his 5 year old kid Kye showed us a picture he drew of his dad on the river. Now Kye is a famous skier in his own right and his Dad never got to ski with him.
Most certainly not Worth it, but it just may be Necessary to reach that level.