A daredevil kayaker was filmed paddling over the edge of a waterfall in Mexico earlier this year, plunging 60 feet into the pool below before emerging from the river unscathed.
Emrick Blanchette, 23, traveled to the Tlapacoyan, Veracruz, region of Mexico to tackle its numerous waterfalls, according to the Mirror. Though an experienced athlete, Blanchette noted that he was apprehensive when facing Tomata Falls, a 60-foot vertical drop.
“I was pretty nervous at the top, scouting and visualizing my line,” he recalled. “I had seen a lot of people landing near-flat or over-flipping on video. The lip is kind of tricky as it is angled at almost 90 degrees. So every little movement, stroke and body position will have an influence on your line and landing angle.”
“Once I was in my boat, a big part of the stress went away and I knew I could stick it,” he added.
As the Daily Mail observes, Blanchette is part of the kayaking team Quebec Connection. While in Mexico this past March, he tackled a number of other major waterfalls, an achievement he believes was facilitated by his experienced and trustworthy crew.
“The big parts are safety and filming,” he said. “Personally, I think the best thing when running steep rapids or big drops is to be with a crew of people you trust. This way you can share thoughts about the line and you make sure you have friends you can trust for setting safety or if anything goes wrong.”
In 2012, former MTV star Bam Margera was injured during a kayak jump similar to Blanchette’s. Though Margera performed a tandem fall with pro kayaker Steve Fisher, he underwent a hernia operation after plunging over the 100 foot waterfall, as the Inquisitr noted at the time.
In the five years he has been kayaking, Blanchette has always managed to pull off his stunts safely. Facing the Tomata waterfall required a great deal of skill, however, as an improper landing could have broken his back, or left the kayaker unconscious as tons of falling water held him below the surface.
[Images: Mike McKay via the Daily Mail]