Watch a Daredevil Take His Kayak Straight Down a Stunning 100-Foot Waterfall

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Written by Alan Lemus

Updated: November 10, 2023

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Kayak Over Waterfall
© Eder/

Kayaking is a fun and exhilarating sport you can enjoy all year round. Whether you want to go for a leisurely paddle on a calm lake or challenge yourself with a whitewater trip, kayaking is a great way to spend some time outdoors.

Tips That Will Help You Kayak a Waterfall

Kayaking a waterfall is something that most people dream of doing at some point in their lives. The thrill of it, the challenge, and the excitement are all appealing. 

Kayaking a waterfall is not something you should do without proper training and planning. Nevertheless, Dane Jackson successfully kayaks down the 134-foot Chilean waterfall Salto del Maule in the video at the bottom of this page. Watching his waterfall kayaking skills is truly amazing.

Everglades National Park - Kayaking

Kayaking can be a relaxing or exhilarating activity that you can do solo or in a group.


While very few people will ever be the daredevil that Dane is, the following tips will help you kayak a waterfall, if you ever muster the courage to try it.

Have a Good Stroke

A good stroke is imperative to your success in kayaking. It helps maneuver through the rapids and allows you to control your kayak. If you’re beginning, focus on mastering basic strokes such as forward, reverse, and turn. This will help you build confidence while paddling down the rapids.

Move Your Body

Your body needs to be in sync with your paddle stroke. To ensure this happens, keep your body centered over the kayak and move it back and forth with each stroke. For example, when you’re paddling over rapids, try to keep your upper body still and only move your lower body back and forth.

Keep Your Kayak Straight Up And Down

When you hit a wave, your boat will want to tilt sideways. If you don’t have control over your kayak at all times, it could capsize or even flip over completely, depending on how steep the waterfall is. This is why it’s vital to always brace yourself for impact before hitting waves or eddies. Always remain upright with your feet planted so that no matter what happens, you control where your body and boat go.

Stay calm and breathe deeply. 

Stay calm and breathe deeply if you’re nervous about paddling a waterfall. You can’t control the currents, but you can control how you react to it. 

If you panic, your body will tense up, making it harder to paddle effectively and increasing your chances of flipping over or getting stuck against a rock. By staying calm and taking deep breaths, you’ll be able to focus on paddling and ensure you don’t get caught in an eddy or whirlpool.

The Benefits of Kayaking

Kayaking is easy to learn and good exercise. Kayaks are stable and easy to transport.

© Barrington Photography

It’s Easy to Learn

Kayaks are stable boats that are easy to maneuver and control. You don’t need any special skills or previous experience to get started.

It’s Good Exercise

Because kayaking requires you to use your upper and lower body, it’s an excellent workout that strengthens your core and improves your balance, coordination, and endurance.

You Can Take It Anywhere

You don’t need much space to set up a kayak; they fit easily into the trunk of most cars or trucks. And they’re light enough that one person can carry them across the land from one body of water to another without too much trouble.

Is It Normally Safe to Kayak Waterfalls?

No, it is not. Tyler Bradt the record holder for the world’s highest waterfall of 180 feet, at the time, suffered a broken back when he attempted to kayak down Abiqua Falls which is considered the most difficult. Tim Gross, who also attempted it, damaged his knees.

Where Is Salto del Maule Located on a Map?

The waterfall that Dane Jackson successfully kayaked down on February 7, 2020, is Salto del Maule, which stands tall at 134 feet. Salto del Maule is situated in central Chile, south of Santiago. It’s located within Valle de Los Condores, a volcanic area in the San Clemente, Maule region. It is near Cascada Invertida, known as the Inverted Waterfall.

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About the Author

Alan is a freelance writer and an avid traveler. He specializes in travel content. When he visits home he enjoys spending time with his family Rottie, Opie.

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