Four-time Freestyle World Champion kayaker Dane Jackson is no stranger to making 100-foot descents off the most iconic waterfalls around the globe. Jackson is best known for his humble yet aggressive approach to adventure with only a paddle and his signature pink kayak.
His expeditions to Chile, Pakistan, Africa, and most recently, Mexico have showcased vivid geography and unmatched athleticism on what can be done in a kayak. The three-time Grand Prix Champion’s knack for progression runs through him, just as it does the water around him.
In Jackson’s latest feat, he explores the Santo Domingo Gorge in the remote wilds of Chiapas, Mexico. The four-part gorge drops a mind-bending 300 feet in less than .2 miles. It is the steepest rideable waterfall on the planet. The Santo Domingo Gorge is as remote as it is wild. Its aquamarine-blue waters have carved deep river gorges through travertine stone.
“Having seen this place in photos and video for over 14 years, it was a section always in the back of my mind,” said Jackson. “Coming up on 10 years since the last crew was able to make it happen, we knew it was finally time.”
Much of the Santo Domingo River is inaccessible except by kayak, leaving few rescue options and taking the risk factor to the next level. The Santo Domingo Gorge has four powerful waterfalls: Angel Wings, The Dome, Toboggan, and Raw Dog. The flourishing falls are just as threatening as they are strikingly scenic. The steep 300-foot descent required a hand-selected safety team to mitigate the risk of the vertical drops and unpresented water levels. One error at the top would present a potential worse case scenario.
Despite the risk, the team comprised of Israel “River” Maderos (Mexico), Bren Orton (United Kingdom), Adrian Mattern (Germany), David Sodomka (Czech Republic) and Issac Martinez (Mexico) built a calculated plan through a series of scouts, emergency procedures and strategic positioning along the drop. The nearest hospital was nearly two hours away by car on battered backroads. That’s after extracting an injured kayaker out of the deep gorge, which would take countless hours.
“I have been to so many incredible places all over the world, but the Santo Domingo Gorge is truly a one-of-a-kind sequence of waterfalls,” said Jackson after his successful descent. “It is one of those places you can’t believe when you see it. You can look up at that majestic sequence of waterfalls and know you can run the entire thing; there is nowhere and nothing like it.”
Content was produced by SanDisk ambassador, Lucas Gilman. Much like Jackson’s descent, there is no second chance or take-two to capture a feat as monumental as this. The stunning photography and videography were taken on a Nikon Z9 8.3K 60 + 4K120 FPS RAW, DJI Mavic 3 5.1K + 4K 120FPS, Panasonic Lumix GH6 5.7K 60 + 4K 120FPS in addition to several GoPro Hero setups.
With no intent of slowing down, Jackson continues to outdo himself as this generation’s top freestyle and expedition kayaker.
Press Release provided by Nicole Swickle of Honest Interactions PR.