Gotta Watch: Extreme kayakers plunge down waterfalls
A kayaker competes in the 15th annual Green River race.
December 16th, 2011
11:25 AM ET

Gotta Watch: Extreme kayakers plunge down waterfalls

This is kayaking like you’ve never seen it before. Some “extreme kayakers” are dropping down waterfalls and racing down rapids. You’ve Gotta Watch them perform death-defying stunts. We’ll let you decide whether they’re cool or crazy.

Free-falling feat – Extreme kayaker Isaac Levinson recently rode down Alabama's 90-foot Noccalula Falls, upsetting park officials. He says he decided to do this stunt “because it’s there.” Hear him tell about his wild ride and watch a helmet-cam video of the fall.

Daredevil drop – Now take that 90-foot drop and double it. Daredevil Tyler Bradt rode a 189-foot drop on Palouse Falls in Washington. Watch the jaw-dropping plunge from multiple angles. You can also watch Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s interview with him.

Wicked whitewater – Each year, whitewater kayakers gather to race down the Green River Narrows in Hendersonville, North Carolina. These are Class 5 rapids, which are considered "Extremely Difficult" or "Expert." Follow a first-time competitor down the river in this video. Click here to read more about the Green River race.

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Filed under: Gotta Watch • Sports • Washington state
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. chrissy

    Wow! Although i love kayaking and canoeing there would be no way in hell you would catch me takin that plunge!

    December 16, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |

    I WOULD.. it would be fun.. even better on weed..

    December 16, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • carruth

      Talks cheap.....let us know when you have video to post

      December 16, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |

      Even calm water paddling on weed would be stupid,dude!

      December 16, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      Smoking weed on a calm river is one thing, going down THOSE rapids though, would just be stupid. I garantee you none of those guys were on anything when they went down those rapids. You need all your concentration. I can tell by your comment you don't do much dangerouse stuff. I like my smoke, but I don't use it when I go skydiving.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  3. ron reyes

    hey! give me back my go-pro helmet cam.....:)

    December 16, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bugs Ears

    Purple is my favorite color! 🙂 I'd be more afraid of sky diving

    December 16, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      I skydive, and let me tell ya, what these kiyakers are doing is wayyyyy more dangerouse. Base jumping is more on par with what these guys do.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. bobcat ( in a hat )

    I was very much into thrill seeking in my younger days, but this ? I don't think so. And this dude was very lucky. At the bottom of Noccalula Falls is nothing but solid rock.

    December 16, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  6. chrissy

    For sure Brad! Aint no parachute on ur backside plungeing 90 ft and hittin water from that high up aint a soft landing! Course in ruffnutts case, he wouldnt feel it much for awhile lol

    December 16, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. jenni

    its not extreme anymore when tons of people have been doing it. skydiving isn't "extreme" anymore, every oldie and fatty has done it...and sitting in a boat going over falls is played out. good job cnn on a brilliant and informative story when our world is filled with actual news going on. I LOVE BLACK MEN

    December 16, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. bobcat ( in a hat )

    Well jenni, how about you give us some new examples of extreme stunts. Are you a doer, or one of those that sit and watch it on video ? Extreme video watching. Wow, makes you shake just thinking about it.

    December 16, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. aaron

    The kayker on the 90 footer has some pretty weak technique he tosses his paddle before he hits the water then misses his hand role. If you swim it doesn't count. He might as well not even been in a boat. Yes it takes big nuts, but where is the skill. Tyler Bradt is the real pro.

    December 16, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Critique is cheap. Show us your technique?\. BTW, did ya hear him say he tossed the paddle on purpose?

      December 16, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  10. chrissy

    lmao @ bobcat, ur on a roll again today eh?

    December 16, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Kayaker Dave

    For your info, tossing your paddle is almost mandatory on big drops like that. Try not having your arms dislocated on anything over 50 feet. And all boaters know.... even the BEST boaters swim, although I'm sure his friends made him drink a booty beer (beer drank from a kayaking shoe) for swimming. Anyway, props to him.... anyone with balls that big deserves a pat on the back.

    December 16, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Kayaker Dave

    Oh, and also the record is over twice that high... just so you know what CRAZY really is.

    December 16, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adiana

      Normally I\'m against kliilng but this article slaughtered my ignorance.

      January 3, 2012 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • woxreurx

      gJfsV5 wlbgcjwbuobp

      January 4, 2012 at 4:20 am | Report abuse |
    • yowjxukse

      1UiMSz lincxjtlmgjp

      January 6, 2012 at 6:56 am | Report abuse |
  13. brown claw


    December 16, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  14. SurferGirl

    Kayakers make me Hot!!!!

    December 17, 2011 at 3:07 am | Report abuse |
  15. Bugs Ears

    Hello hello hello... Is anybody out there?

    December 17, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |