Over the Edge

Extreme Waterfall Paddling Adventures

Over the Edge

This is Jesse Coombs dropping the first descent of the 96-foot-tall Abiqua Falls in Oregon. This was scary to shoot as the drop had never been done successfully. Jesse survived unscathed and stayed in his boat. He only had a compressed lung, cracked ribs and a broken rotator cuff.

World-class paddler Rafa Ortiz drops the massive 189-foot-tall Palouse Falls in Washington. This is the largest waterfall ever run. I was super nervous when I shot this. I set two Nikon D800s up as remotes (both horizontal) to show the scenic aspect of the massive gorge and shot the D4 in a vertical format. We only saw Rafa on the lip of the waterfall for a split second before he was engulfed in 20,000 CFS of whitewater. He was down for about three minutes, which seemed like forever. I was psyched when he wasn't hurt and resurfaced downstream.

This was shot at the 101-foot-tall Metlako Falls with paddler Evan Garcia. The hardest part of the shot was getting down into this spot on the edge of the cliff that was covered in poison oak, which I'm deathly allergic to.

Evan Garcia drops a crazy looking falls called Upper Lewis Falls in Washington State. I shot this with a Nikon D3X and a NIKKOR 16mm Fisheye for effect.

This is legend Eric Jackson dropping 30+ feet off of a bridge onto flat water in Veracruz, Mexico. This area is sketchy due to the narcotics trafficking and gang wars.

Spanish paddler Aniol Sarrasolses hadn't paddled in three months before getting in his boat and dropping this 85-footer in Veracruz, Mexico. He took two paddle strokes and made a beautiful line.

Rush Sturges showed why he is one of the best paddlers in the world on a super technical drop called Lower Tomata Falls in Veracruz, Mexico. I was glad I had the speed of the SanDisk Extreme Pro SD Cards and the Nikon D4's 10.5 frames per second to make this sequence really come together.

I set up a Nikon COOLPIX AW100 with a SanDisk Extreme Pro SD Card up on the bow of my buddy's boat and set it to self-timer. After a few runs we walked away with this shot and I was psyched!

Pinterest Tumblr

Lucas Gilman

Lucas Gilman captures action sports around the globe from an extreme perspective.
Read More

What’s the most adventurous outdoor activity you’ve ever tried?

Share Your Stories Instagram

Use the hashtag #sandiskstories for a chance to be featured on this site.

Sign up for special offers!

Get special promotional offers and photography tips from SanDisk.