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Date of birth: June 20, 1987 

Hometown: México City, Mexico

Favorite Place to Paddle: THE WORLD….no limits man

Accomplishments: 2nd Tallest Waterfall ever paddled (128.6 ft Big Banana Falls) and first descents around the globe.

Playboat: Star

Creekboat: Villain S

Crazy Facts: Named his own move at 15 respectfully…. the Burrito Flip

Why Rafa Loves Kayaking: Kayaking is my metaphorical transport machine, the excuse to check out the marvels that our planet hides, the perfect way to challenge ourselves and to get back home and not have to turn the TV on.

Special talent: writing. My philosophy of life is die exhausted.

Favourite food: any local food when I'm travelling.

Favourite music: Cuban, blues & jazz, rock, flamenco.

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Sponsors: Redbull , GoPro

About: Rafa Ortiz is a Professional Mexican Extreme Kayaker who has descended many of the tallest waterfalls in the world.

"My life's goal is to die exhausted, instead of bored."


 Available on APPLE PODCAST


The late-season snowmelt in Montana brings out perfect conditions for white water kayaking. Watch Rafa Ortiz and friends paddle the Big Timber Creek.

Extreme Kayaker Rafa Ortiz pushes the limits and the progression of his sport by paddling down a 50 ft. waterfall completely  ablaze.

Chasing Niagara

From Rafa's blog...."I had one moment myself where I ran a waterfall in San Luis Potosi, El Mico. We ran it super-low, kinda fucked up the line, ran it upside down. I almost killed myself. I had a full-face helmet and I broke it. If I was not wearing that helmet, I would have died. I was actually upside down at the bottom of the drop. It was the only time in life when I've actually accepted death.  I got out of the river and walked to an outlook and sat there looking at the water for two hours. I was crying so hard. “Ok, you're slowly driving your life into this sport that can maybe kill you. But you're a rational, smart person. Are you doing this because there's no other option? Because you're making commitments you can't quit? Like the Red Bull sponsorship? Or are you really doing this because this is what you want to do?” And I made a pact with myself: “OK, I'm willing to live a shorter life and I will accept that rationally. I will make that decision in exchange for living the best life that I can possibly live.”

"Fear is good because it concentrates you. Fear is what ends up releasing the adrenaline that gives you superpowers that let you do incredible things."

"My style is pretty aggressive actually. I'm not the smoothest kind of kayaker. I'm more like dropping in on a big waterfall and just you know, super aggressive kind of style

As one of only four kayakers in the world to have completed a drop of over 100ft, Rafa Ortiz is very much at the forefront of his sport.

" The river does not always lets you do what you want. You have to learn how to interact with it, to paddle with the river, become part of it. Not only doing what you want over the current. It's like becoming part of the flow, descending with the water and not only on top of it."

After being the second extreme kayaker to conquer the world's highest waterfall that stands at 57m /187 ft. high. Rafa Ortiz returns home to the waterfalls on the Alseseca Veracruz River to start his new Chasing Waterfall project.

" ... and whenever we go there we see that waterfall like a monster that stalks you, ready to have a duel with you."

Rafa Ortiz 2014 quest for new challenges and new waterfalls , as part of his Chasing Waterfalls Part 2, led the young Mexican south of the country. Starting off in the state of Chiapas, one of the top destinations for extreme kayaking characterized by its long and abundant rivers, Rafa explored the Lacandona jungle for four days in the basin of the Usumacinta River which is considered the most extensive river in Guatemala and Mexico. Against the backdrop of stunning scenery, Rafa even found a river he had never paddled before, the Lacanja River.



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