Kayaker Sets Himself On Fire And Paddles Off Waterfall

Red Bull and GoPro athlete pro kayaker Rafa Ortiz teams up with J.E.M. FX and Keller Stunts to send Mexico’s 50-foot San Pedro Falls. No big deal for a dude who has run the 189-foot Palouse Falls except this time he was literally on fire—truly set ablaze.

Why? Simple enough, because as a kid he remembers seeing a video of someone running a 30-footer on fire and it stuck with him as something he’s always wanted to do. And why not, right? Why not indeed.

“Completely unnecessary but insanely cool. Nicely executed fire man,” comments TheTravelingClatt on GoPro’s YouTube channel, the latest of 174 throwing two cents on Ortiz’s latest stunt. B-Rad says, “Now all Olympic athletes should follow suit and set themselves on fire before they compete. Genius!” Cesar Estabillo says, “Esto ya no es extremo….es estupido.”

Meanwhile in the western United States Burning Man is an annual event described as an experiment in community and art, influenced by ten main principles: radical inclusion, radical self-reliance, radical self-expression, communal effort, civic responsibility, gifting, decommodification, participation, immediacy and leave no trace. Except maybe for the leave no trace bit and there’s no whitewater in the Black Rock Desert northwest Nevada this stunt would have been perfect fit. At Burning Man, the community explores various forms of artistic self-expression. Perfect.


  1. Take this post down. How can you promote and support something like this stupid F’ing stunt that pollutes our waters and is a reckless use of our wilderness. Are you just blindly following and reporting on anything?

  2. I also feel that this kind of childish attention seeking should not be indulged. I think most kayakers have a soulful connection to nature and stunts like are a net negative all around. The mission of preservation and responsible tread-lightly interaction with our shared natural world is harmed by this kind of thing. Please don’t continue down this path.

  3. Show how some kayaking affiliates have lowered the bar on safety, integrity and the perhaps even the sacred order of true kayaking. Stupid ass stunt for all the reasons listed above! Nothing cool about this at all!

  4. Yeah, know what they say: “those who play with fire get ……….” . This was one of the most idiotic video’s I’ve seen. What disappoints me most is that for some to enjoy the plethora of benefits that kayaking provides some feel that dumb circus tricks have to be performed and represent kayaking.


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