Extreme Kayaker's World Record Plunge

Kayaker Tyler Bradt plunged nearly 200 feet into the record books.

ByLEE FERRAN via via logo
July 28, 2009, 7:32 AM

July 28, 2009 — -- If you had been walking by Palouse Falls in Washington state in late April, you may have caught a flash of a red kayak barreling toward certain doom over the falls.

That flash was extreme kayaker Tyler Bradt and it was not certain doom he was plummeting toward, but the record books.

Bradt braved the 180-foot-plus plunge over the falls, reaching estimated speeds of nearly 100 miles per hour during the drop, and crashed into the foamy white water below. All the action was captured by Bradt's production company, Revolutionary Innovations.

He survived the feat with only a sprained wrist.

"I was expecting to take quite an impact and potentially hurt myself," Bradt told "Good Morning America."

But he said he did not expect to be seriously hurt, otherwise, "I would not have done it."

Bradt says, "Just got a sprained wrist at the bottom," when the paddle he was holding pointed straight down, snapped upward on impact.

"Not even broken. Happy days," he said about his wrist.

The feat set an unofficial world record for longest drop by a kayaker.

Bradt said he doesn't know what he was thinking on the way down, "I really couldn't tell you," because he was concentrating so hard on landing in the correct landing position.

Bradt set a previous record back in 2007 when he paddled over the 107-foot Alexandra Falls in Canada's Northwest Territories, according to the Seattle Times. That record was broken in March by a Brazilian who went over a 127-foot waterfall, but Bradt questioned that record's credibility since the Brazilian reportedly landed on his head and not in a proper nose-first fashion.

Waterfall kayaking is an extreme sport that, for something like Palouse Falls, Bradt said athletes can't really train for.

"It's not like you can go out and do half of it," Bradt said. "Visualization is really important. Having kayaked for most of my life, I can really visualize what it's like to run a waterfall."

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