1. A throttle on the paddle lets Baker control the kayak’s speed25 or 30 mph as it approaches the lip of the falls.
2. The shell of the kayak is an eight-foot production-model Liquidlogic Jefe Grande.
3. A 50-horsepower motorcycle engine between the kayaker’s legs powers a Yamaha jet ski’s pump and impeller. With so little space in the boat, venting the exhaust is a critical safety issue. “The early version boiled the flesh on the back of my legs,” says Baker.
4. When the kayak makes impact and its air intakes are submerged, compressed-air canisters inside will maintain thrust by supplying the engine with oxygen.
An airfoil will stabilize the craft as it flies. Baker isn’t sure yet whether the kayak will have wings or the kayaker will wear a winged suit.