Photos: Kayakers going crazy for waterfalls

For whitewater paddlers, it’s all about going over the edge into an unseen future. Enjoy the drop.
By Marc Schwarz

What's the best part of any river? Whether you're just looking or if you're paddling, it's the waterfalls. Here's a few of our favourite drops from the last few years, including many images from the Red Bull Illume Image Quest, which showcases the best action and adventure photography. Take a big breath, just in case!

Pro tip: use your keyboard to jump between photos
Ice falls
Red Bull Illume 2013 Top-250 Mike Leeds
Ice falls Erik Boomer takes an icy drop off of Sahalie Falls on McKenzie River in Oregon. © Mike Leeds/Red Bull Illume
Slip and slide
Slip and slide Tao Berman sends it down a 65m-tall slide in Washington state. © Jock Bradley
Dropping Tomata
Red Bull Illume 2013 Top-250 Tim Kemple
Dropping Tomata Tyler Bradt goes vertical south of the border in Mexico. © Tim Kemple/Red Bull Illume
Dane Jackson closes out the trip
Kayaker Dane Jackson on a Michoacan Kayak Expedition in 2013
Dane Jackson closes out the trip Dane runs the final drop of his Michoacán expedition; he took this 40m beast after well over an hour of scouting it and setting up safety. The high water made the athletes a little unsure about the entrance, but all went well. © John Rathwell/Red Bull Content Pool
Kowalski cleans the falls
Kayaker Joel Kowalski on a Michoacan Kayak Expedition in 2013
Kowalski cleans the falls Joel takes his shot at Tomata 1 and styles it! © John Rathwell/Red Bull Content Pool
Feeling the spirit
Eric Johnson conquering the Spirit Falls.
Feeling the spirit Eric Johnson goes over the Spirit Falls in Little White Salmon River, WA. © Tait Trautman/Red Bull Illume
Erik goes boom
Erik Boomer dropping down the Sahalie Falls.
Erik goes boom Erik Boomer dropping in on Sahalie Falls, OR, in heavy conditions. © Tim Kemple/Red Bull Illume
The end of the world as they know it...
Steve Fisher, Sam Drevo and Dale Jardine checking the waterfall.
The end of the world as they know it... Steve Fisher, Sam Drevo and Dale Jardine checking the location at Victoria Falls, in Zambia. © Desré Pickers/Red Bull Illume