Rowdiest Water On Record

The North Fork of the Payette Riv­er in west­ern Ida­ho is known for its fast and pow­er­ful rapids, but at flood stage it’s down­right riotous.

This trail­er for the remark­able film Wild­Wa­ter fea­tures some of the best kayak­ers in the game risk­ing their lives in the high­est water on the river’s record.

Com­bine that with stun­ning cin­e­matog­ra­phy and the wise words from kayaking’s deep­est thinker, Doug Ammons, and you’ve got a mul­ti-faceted film that deliv­ers on a whole bunch of levels. 

The Grand Canyon of the Stikine Riv­er in British Colum­bia is a pad­dler’s equiv­a­lent to Mount Ever­est. To even approach it you need com­plete mas­tery of every white­wa­ter skill. The 45-mile-long Grand Canyon is a gaunt­let of mas­sive Class V‑VI rapids that are sur­round­ed by 1,000-foot sheer walls.

This video by Adri­an Kier­nan plunges us through the chaot­ic com­plex­i­ty of the white­wa­ter. Watch how the waves explode upward in spin­ning cowlicks or how the eddy lines form three-foot walls that rip against the cur­rent. To get a feel for the pow­er these waves pack, watch the punch one of the kayak­ers gets from a mas­sive wave at 5:14.

You’ll see why pad­dling leg­end Doug Ammons called this stretch one of the great­est white­wa­ter runs in the world.