The video of Rafa Ortiz as he drops 40m falls

Amazing footage of Rafa Ortiz as he kayaks the truly jaw-dropping Big Banana falls.
By Tarquin Cooper

It's the moment kayaker Rafa Ortiz drops 40m off Big Banana falls in Mexico — and it's a heart-stopping one at that. Rarely does footage get as close to the action as this. But prepare yourselves. In our second webisode to look back at Rafa's epic 2010 drop, he takes us on his journey over the edge.

The experience I get from the waterfalls aren't measured in feet or records. My life's goal is to die exhausted instead of bored.

Rafael Ortiz walking trough the jungle
Rafael Ortiz hiking to the Big Banana Waterfall © Lucas Gilman/Red Bull Content Pool

That journey has almost a spiritual dimension for the Mexican kayaker.
“The river takes me to my destination and the kayak is my metaphorical vehicle — it brings me closer to the world's wonders,” he says. “It's the perfect way of defying my limits.”

In the above video, cut exclusively for Redbull.com/Adventure, Rafa talks about his relationship with the river and his emotions as he goes over the edge.

“It's a bit like flipping a coin — the water's pretty turbulent and treacherous. There's the possibility that you hit a rock or you come out unscathed as if nothing ever happened.”

Rafael Ortiz performs at Veracruz Big Banana Waterfalls during the Red Bull Chasing Waterfalls 2012 expedition in Veracruz, Mexico on November 15th, 2012
Rafa Ortiz in front of Big Banana Falls. © Alfredo Martinez/Red Bull Content Pool

Fortunately, as his fans know well, it turned out pretty well on this occasion. Despite receiving a nasty gash to his left eye and getting momentarily caught underwater, Rafa emerged unscathed. It was a huge achievement and a ground-breaking moment in kayaking. But for Rafa, he says it's not about the record.

“The experience I get from the waterfalls aren't measured in feet or records. My life's goal is to die exhausted instead of bored. The next step is to look for new challenges, new missions, new waterfalls.”

So far he's been pretty true to his word, and was last exploring 200km of beautiful whitewater canyons in the heart of Peru.

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