Feb 14, 2020 - Sports

What it's like to kayak over a 134-foot-tall waterfall

A waterfall

Courtesy: Corey Rich/Red Bull Content Pool

On Wednesday, American kayaker Dane Jackson (see that little red dot above?) safely navigated the 134-foot Salto del Maule waterfall in the mountains of Chile ā€” the second-tallest such descent on record. Here's the video.

What he's saying: I spoke with the 26-year-old national kayaking champion, who is based in Tennessee but spends 10 months out of the year living in an RV or traveling abroad.

  • How'd you get into kayaking? "My dad was a pro kayaker and competed in the 1992 Olympics, so I was thrown into it right away. I ran my first river when I was two, and we lived in an RV full-time for most of my childhood, traveling to wherever we wanted to kayak and being around the river all day."
  • How do you train for this? "There's not a whole lot you can do, honestly, because every waterfall behaves differently. And not only that, but if you run the same waterfall 10 times, you'll have a different line every time. There are just so many variables. So for this, it was more about building up the confidence to do it."
  • What's next? "I actually head to Indonesia tonight to meet up with some friends of mine. I'll be there for two months, mostly on the island of Java, trying to find as many new waterfalls as possible."

Watch the video:

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