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!

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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
Don't slip on the banana...
Rafael Ortiz kayaking down the Big Banana Falls.
Don't slip on the banana... Rafa Ortiz nabs the first descent of the 40m high Big Banana Falls in Veracruz, Mexico. © Lucas Gilman/Red Bull Illume
Sending the Sahalie
Galen Volckhausen kayaking down the Sahalie Falls.
Sending the Sahalie Galen Volckhausen dropping down Sahalie Falls on the McKenzie River in Oregon. © Tait Trautman/Red Bull Illume
Tipping over Tomata
Rafael Ortiz kayaking down the Lower Tomata Falls.
Tipping over Tomata Rafa Ortiz negotiates the rarely-run Lower Tomata Falls in the state of Veracruz, Mexico. © Lucas Gilman/Red Bull Illume
Little Ben, big falls
Ben Stookesberry dropping the 70 Foot Lower Mesa Falls.
Little Ben, big falls Professional kayaker Ben Stookesberry dropping the 22m Lower Mesa Falls on the Henry's Fork River. © Lucas Gilman/Red Bull Illume
Wheeee!
Wheeee! Tao Berman ramps up the fun factor! © Jock Bradley
You forgot something...
You forgot something... Tao Berman leaves the paddle behind. © Jock Bradley
Kyle Hull killing it, kayak-style
Kyle Hull droping down Mamquam Falls.
Kyle Hull killing it, kayak-style Kyle Hull drops into Mamquam Falls in Squamish, BC. © Steve Rogers/Red Bull Illume
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