Meet the kayaker who wanted to drop Niagara Falls

Rafa Ortiz has a dream – and that’s to kayak Niagara Falls. See the trailer for his new movie here.
© Evan Garcia
By Josh Sampiero

567,811 litres of water per second. 51m high. An international border. There's a reason Niagara Falls is one of the most famous waterfalls in the world.

Which is just one reason Rafa Ortiz wants to run it. Chasing Niagara is about that dream. How a young kayaker, raised in Mexico City, and now one of the world's preeminent whitewater paddlers, decided to do the near-impossible, and the consequences of that decision. See the trailer above. 

Training in Mexico

Rafa Ortiz takes a big drop over a waterfall
That's how you take centre stage © Marcos Ferro

Rivers like the Santo Domingo in Chiapas, Mexico and waterfalls like the 60m-tall Palouse Falls in Washington State are the training grounds. "This section of the Santo Domingo is the steepest section of whitewater on Earth," says Ortiz of the Santo Domingo. "No kayaker has ever completed a full descent of the river. We plan to the be the first."    

Rafa Ortiz - running any waterfall requires foresight and planning
Contemplating a drop… © Marcos Ferro

Needless to say, this is not a short webclip – because it hasn't been a short journey. The hour-long documentary documents Ortiz and friends as they trial themselves – and face serious questions about whether it's a good idea to risk life, limb and liberty on Niagara.

Want to see the whole film? Check the release dates below. 

US/Canada: Limited Theatrical Release, mid-July
Germany, Austria, Switzerland: August 25th 
Poland: September
Global home entertainment release (except countries with theatrical release:) July 1st 

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