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Kayakers take on Niagara Falls, and shoot the documentary Chasing Niagara

Would you be willing to face a chance of death to pursue your hobby or sport? Would you risk your life for your dreams, or be willing to watch a friend die for his or her dream? For professional kayaker Rafa Ortiz, staring death in the face is just part of a day at work. This extreme athlete pushes his limits by kayaking over increasingly large waterfalls, and now with the

Rafa Ortiz
Rafa Ortiz Red Bull

help of Red Bull, has created a documentary that follows his journey leading up to Niagara.

Ortiz’s dream has always been to make history by paddling his kayak over Niagara Falls and live to tell the tale. There are countless reasons why you would think Ortiz crazy to attempt this stunt, as it is ridiculously dangerous and illegal to boot. Kayaking over Niagara is not something accomplished without in-depth preparation and practice. So, Ortiz assembled a team of the best kayakers in the world to help him prepare, including world-renowned paddler Rush Sturges.

They map out some of the worlds most challenging waterfalls to attempt in order to build up to Niagara in an adventure that spans a three-year period. Ortiz’s travels lead him to some of the most beautiful places in the world as he perfects his skills, while nearly dying in the process. The team travels from the rainforest rivers of Mexico to the towering waterfalls of the U.S. Northwest, according to Red Bull.

Braving waterfalls is not the only difficult challenge the team will face to give Ortiz a shot at his dream. It is illegal, for one, for him to even attempt the falls. Therefore, the team must conduct surveillance and map law enforcement patterns in the area to avoid detection. The team members accurately describes their preparation to avoid interception as similar to choreographing for a diamond heist.

The team’s preparation is exhaustingly detailed, and as a life is potentially at stake in the process, that makes sense. The imagery is breathtaking, and viewers will likely be drawn in to this captivating story even if they do not relate to Ortiz’s motivation.

The documentary, Chasing Niagara, is now available in theaters, on iTunes, Amazon Video, Google Play, Microsoft, and on demand.

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