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Mexico is a Whitewater paradise. One of the planets steepest playgrounds. Combined with being amazingly beautiful scenery, a friendly and welcoming community, delicious food it makes it a desirable destination for winter whitewater kayaking. I first went to Mexico in 2011 and instantly fell in love with kayaking there. I couldn’t wait to go back and this year everything was lining up for me to spend ten weeks eating tacos and hucking some of the worlds best waterfalls.

Upon arrival I got my boat on a bus and headed to Tlapacoyan, the land of waterfalls. After a quick sleep and a delicious breakfast at the Aventurec hostel I set out to hit the river with some of the other kayakers already staying there. It turned out the rivers were extremely high and showed little sign of dropping. The style of Mexican whitewater is steep and deep which means many of the best runs are in tight narrow canyons, many have sections of un-escapable, un-portageable, in short not a place that you want to be in flood conditions. But not disheartened we saddled and paddled what we could of the classic runs in the area. We looked into other possibilities for first descents in the area with an amount of success.

Two weeks into my trip I linked up with Team Jackson’s own Dane Jackson, Joel Kowalski and Rafa Ortiz, along with Juanito De Urguarte and Ciaran Heurteu and headed off on an exploratory to Michoacan. Michoacan is a western part of Mexico which has not previously been explored by kayakers. It was awesome. That’s all I can say for now, wait and check out the Red Bull Tv show later this year, as well as magazine articles in Kayak session and other publications.

Once our exploration was concluded I headed back to Tlapacoyan where the water was a little lower (although still fairly high by normal standards), certainly more manageable, and set about getting some of the best kayaking in the world. One of the trip highlights for me, was tackling Cascada Tomata. I ran this 65ft waterfall two years ago and got my butt kicked. This year after two years of dreaming about it I finally got my redemption. If you have never run a big waterfall before it is difficult to describe the feeling when you have a good line and roll up at the bottom, satisfaction, elation, adrenaline, excitement, success. But these words don’t really do the feeling justice, it is much more than words, a primal feeling almost, you have pitted yourself against nature and come off better.
Having a Karma in Mexico was perfect, fast and responsive with enough volume to tackle any problem. Quick to turn and easy to manage and as an extra bonus stiffer and lighter than any other creek boat I have had so far. In short AWESOME.

photos by Brett Barton, and myself