Risking Life, Limb and Liberty on Niagara Falls​

Rafa Ortiz had a dream — to kayak Niagara Falls. See the trailer for his documentary here.
Chasing Niagara © Lane Jacobs
By Josh Sampiero

With an international border, a height of 170 feet and a volume of 750,00 gallons of water per second, there's a reason Niagara Falls is one of the most famous waterfalls in the world.

Which is just one reason why Rafa Ortiz wanted 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 even with the possible consequences of that decision. Check out the trailer below.

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 200-foot-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. "No kayakers have 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 hasn't been a short journey. The hour-long documentary follows Rafa Ortiz and his friends as they challenge themselves and face serious questions about whether it's a good idea to risk life, limb and liberty on Niagara Falls.

Want to see the whole film? Chasing Niagara is available now on iTunes and OnDemand.

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