Tao Berman owns the world record for paddling over a 30-meter waterfall last August in Canada, but his newfound celebrity hasn’t diminished his appetite for seemingly impossible first descents. The 21-year-old American has made more than 40 first descents, some of which no one else has dared attempt.
“I like to look at drops with an obvious feature that makes it look unrunnable. And when I see that I like to think, ‘Okay, how can I make this runnable,'” Berman says. One such drop is Log Choke Falls, named for an enormous log that blocks the 10-meter drop. Berman turned this intimidating feature to his advantage, riding it over the hairiest part of the drop like a skateboarder sliding on a handrail. “I come through the entrance, boofed the first drop and landed with the log right under my butt. It’s a big, round log and I slid down it sideways and fell into the pool down below,” he says. Berman is the only boater to attempt this drop on the Top Tye Creek in Washington State, and he’s done it twice.