KAYAK JUMPING FROM WATERFALLS
Kayaking ─ is not only water sports or tourism, but also active recreation on the water in a special boat (kayak). Extreme kayaking includes rafting on rough water and jumping from waterfalls. Their popularity is growing every year, and especially at waterfalls. Daredevils make jumps, conquering the most dangerous and highest rapids, overcoming thousands of kilometers to find them. Waterfall jumping has an international classification of obstacles, the most difficult sixth category. Such jumps are, first of all, extreme and sharp sensations.
The emergence of kayaking occurred several centuries ago. The peoples living in North America, Asia and Greenland came up with a long, light boat ─ a kayak. Its base was made of wood, and covered with skins. It was used mainly for hunting. If you translate its name from the language of the Eskimos, it will sound like “a boat for hunting.” There is also a legend that the girls from these boats were lowered from the waterfall as a sacrifice. There were times that they survived, and this was the first step on the path to kayaking. In the early years of the 20th century (1905), the Germans made the design of the kayak more advanced, it could be assembled and disassembled. In subsequent years, they began to make them from fiberglass and plastic, and their buoyancy became much better. Kayaking became a separate sport in 1936, when the first competition between France and Germany took place. The sport has become more popular since 1997, at which time a flat-bottom boat was developed. Now for jumping from waterfalls they use rafting kayaks made of polyethylene, which do not break when hit. The seat is pasted over with foam-like material (an apron). It helps to fix the kayaker in the boat, which seems to be putting it on itself. Their length is not more than two and a half meters.
Kayakers try not only to make a kayak jump from a waterfall, but also to achieve some results. The first record belongs to Sean Beiner, who set it in 1987, at a waterfall 15 meters high. In 1996, he broke his record at Aldejarfos (Iceland). After that, in 2000, a world record was set from 30 meters high by an American ─ Theo Berman. A 34 meter waterfall, another American, Tim Gross, in Silverton, Oregon, managed to overcome. And in 2009, another resident of this country conquered the Palouse Falls waterfall, 57 meters high.
Women are also fond of jumping from waterfalls. Frenchwoman Nuria Newman, the world champion in rowing slalom in canoeing, has repeatedly conquered strong and fast currents. Recently, she flawlessly jumped from 21 meters high on the Mackenzie River (USA). Thousands of daredevils dream of conquering impassable waterfalls, and some succeed. More recently, the first pass of Onotsky (small) was made by a Russian raider, Yegor Voskoboinikov. Ben Stokksberl is the first kayaker to bend from a 29-meter waterfall in a glacier, on a kayak.
Kayaking from a waterfall is not a safe activity. The risk of personal injury and death is very high. Therefore, a thorough preparation is indispensable. First you need to train a lot and practice the technique in calm water. It is very important to learn how to return the kayak to its original position after the coup, without leaving the boat. Before jumping from a waterfall, you need to study it in detail and calculate everything. What will be the depth at the landing site, how the flow breaks, where it is better to go. It is necessary to think out the plan of descent to the smallest detail. Such jumps help to develop intuition, and learn to control the situation. They give vivid and unforgettable impressions that you want to repeat again and again.