Kayakers take an intentional 100 foot drop off a water fall

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/07/24/kayakers-take-an-intentional-1.html


Having once gone over a waterfall slightly taller than that and most definitely unintentionally and survived almost by sheer luck, let me just say…hell no!


Did you jaunte out of the situation? (Always wondered how you got the screen name!) There must be a heck of a back story.


It happened when I was a kid. I was exploring a rural river I didn’t know and there was a large falls behind a bend. I was merely an okay swimmer and it’s amazing how quickly a current can pick up. Almost certainly the closest I ever came to death. I was so hopped on adrenaline that I hiked home and my family had to point out to me that I had a small branch impaled in my lower right leg, so I was also lucky I didn’t bleed out. I still have the scar. Basic dumb city kid gets really lucky.


( Edited: see below, I stand corrected, no offence intended, AWW publishes some stats on this that I hadn’t seen. )

Yeah, white water kayaker here, I love it, but I’m not anywhere near as good or as aggressive as those guys.

There’s a film of three kayakers taking on a waterfall in Iceland where two make it, the third gets away with a shattered arm… this sort of stuff is always touch and go IMHO.


And here I thought I had a false memory of a time when kids got to do things like that! Even dumb city kids like me. Nowadays, they live in bubble wrap. My daughter tells me, “I can’t believe the stuff you let me do as a kid!” but she lived with all sorts of restrictions that my wife and me never had.

The one that sticks in my memory was stepping in a spruce trap when I was about eleven. Nothing like being stuck in snow over your shoulders, with your snowshoes entangled in tree branches, and needing to dig, dig, dig with your hands even to reach the bindings. But that’s nothing compared with your harrowing tale!


The video sucks though.


Darwin Award fail.

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Mammalian males are redundant. Kill 90% of them and the tribe’s birthrate barely ripples. As a result, the young ones are wired to risk death.

  • Cave bear? “Send me in, Chief!”
  • Neighbouring tribe has cattle? “Let me go, Chief!!”

That’s just two of the countless ways that our species has dealt with the oversupply of young males. Those that fail to eliminate themselves from the gene pool go on to breed and in later years lead the tribe.

Today, it’s not so easy, but we are an ingenious species and have invented cars, snowboards, basejumping, and kayaking over waterfalls.


I saw one of Iceland where one of the guys basically disappeared in a massive whirlpool/eddy line, and neither he nor his boat were ever seen again. Serious business.

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Yeah, that was wildly unexciting to watch.

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If they failed would they say there was not enough aeration in the falls? Seems like a logical target for blame when failing.

Sort of like when the stars are right and the Old Ones can return to the Earth and devour us?


Hooray for risking life and limb for clickage!

Nobody posted this yet?

I lost my old username, but made a new one just to comment here. The misinformation you pose about white water deaths is patently false. American Whitewater, Charlie Walbridge to be specific, collects data on the deaths relating to white water recreation and professional kayaking or kayakers who comfortably frequent class V are not the most common. The majority of deaths are on class III rivers.


And “killing themselves” would be a bit harsh, no? The implies some desire to do so or a blatant disregard for ones safety. The folks that I know that love running hard class V want to do it until they are very old! I know one 70+ y.o. who still can rip on class V.

Finally, crazy would not be the way I would choose to describe it. I’m a modest class IV kayaker who sometimes ventures into class V in the right circumstances depending on group, water level, location, etc. It’s only crazy if you don’t know what your doing. Things can get rowdy, or out of hand at times, but how one deals with it makes all the difference. Which is why there is so much footage like this out there. Skillz!

The sport as a whole gets so mis-represented it’s bloody shame. And you’re perpetuating that. Folks run much harder shit than this water fall. This is impressive. I couldn’t do it and don’t have the desire to run big water falls, but the record is 186’ and there harder things to do out there and waterfalls unfortunately is a sub genre that gets over played IMHO. Unfortunately paddlers and non-paddlers alike eat this up.

I mean no offense, but he didn’t insult you personally, did he?

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Hi David; you’re right, I used a poor choice of phrase, I beg pardon for the offence, and stand corrected. I have a lot of respect for American White Water, I’ve only paddled a bit in the U.S., but AWW clearly do a lot of super work. I hadn’t seen that compilation, basing my opinion rather on the handful of incidents I had heard. I suppose having built my skills in Europe, where the sport seemed to be well regarded, I’m not as attuned to negative reports of it.

I’ve paddled mostly in Europe and Canada, always with a super team, which makes all the difference. We used to joke that the most dangerous thing we did was drive to the put-in.

I’ve got mixed feelings about the guys who publicize big drop runs like that. I don’t think that there is any control past the top and I’ve personally had enough surprises on smaller drops to be wary. I was at Tutea falls in NZ the day after a guy disappeared running that classically friendly Class III+ drop. Fortunately he’d just ended up behind the falls after bailing. Folks had been quite frightened while he was taking a few minutes to work up the guts to jump out through them again. NZ’s Huka falls, based on my chat with kayakers there (I’ve not run that one), goes straight into a deep pool and can, apparently, be almost a “dry hat run”, but has also been the site of some close calls.

The most recent club I paddled with here in Canada had one member with 20 years experience who had started when he retired at 64. I look forward to giving him a run for his money.

I probably was a bit too heated. It’s something I’m very sincere about. I was not intending to drag him through the mud. It was just a casual comment on his part. In the US river sports, I think, are perceived differently. All over the media focusing so much on big waterfalls which take skill, but at the cost that no longer does the wider public ever see the simple pleasure and joy of running a fun river within ones ability, whether that is class I or V. To me few things in life compare and the sport has changed my life in a way that downhill skiing, surfing, mt biking and other activities never did. Sorry for the rant. I love that kayak stuff shows on on BB at times!


WORD, thanks! and I agree with like, everything you just said!

Myself, I have a 1 person canoe, because I am a calm water type. Much respect, life is water is life.

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