Metlako falls in the Columbia River Gorge, USA, is the site of the current women’s kayaking world record, and several other “highest ever” drops including two tandem kayak attempts (the first, the second – and Bam’s bootie drink) and one extreme inner-tuber, who actually had a surprisingly good line.

And now we can add a riverboarder to the list of people who’ve staked their claim on the world famous waterfall, after an extreme kayaker and riverboarder from Maine named Mike McVey fired up the drop this past week, as he says on the video, without even looking at it.


Metlako Falls – stock image.

For sheer epicness, the waterfall is spectacular, cascading out of a mossy, rock-lined narrow gorge into a pool some 101 feet below its source. Official kayaking records call the drop 82′ / 25m, due to the slide at the top of the drop for the first 6m or so.

Using a Fluid Anvil and decked out in a full-face helmet, downhill mountain bike pads, and a motocross neck brace, Mike hiked up Eagle Creek with 2 of his kayaking buddies for an attempt at breaking legendary South African explorer Mike Horn’s riverboarding world record, which has stood for close to 20 years and been listed at heights varying from 22m to 29m (but the highest recorded drop was photographed at an estimated 22m / 72 feet).

If the drop over Metlako was successful then, this Mike – Mike McVey – would be able to claim a new world record, breaking the previous Mike’s record.

Says Mike (McVey), “So Ive been looking for a huge waterfall to huck my self off and i found this one I didnt even look at the falls when hiking up and just jumped in above Punchbowl ran Punchbowl and then went to the lip of Metlako…

After his 2 friends dropped the falls in their kayaks and set up safety in the pool below, Mike jumped on his board in the pool that leads to the entrance to the drop, and went for it. He said it was quite an amazing rush as he went over the lip and began his freefall.

Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 10.00.33 AM

Looking over the horizon, totally committed to the drop, screenshot from YouTube.

From the pictures and what he told us initially after the drop, he started to over-rotate and “so i made decision to chuck the board” partway down. Mike told us that “the landing felt like a car hit me at 80 mph“, which, given the height he was falling from, is probably not too far from the truth of the impact!

Thankfully, with good protective gear and forgiving water, Mike surfaced and swam away unscathed, taking some time in the pool below to enjoy the pristine beauty of the setting and revel in how big he’d just gone.

Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 10.01.45 AM

Mike in the pool below Metlako, screenshot from YouTube.

While technically not a world record due to landing without the board, it’s the biggest drop anyone has attempted with a riverboard that the sport has seen evidence of.

On going big again in a bid for the coveted world record, Mike says, “running a waterfall that big i doubt u will land wit your board” but then adds “[I’m] all set tying the board to me” for the next attempt.

Enjoy the video of Mike’s extreme adventure below.