The 5 Best Whitewater Carnage Videos on the Internet
By Tim Gibbins3 Min. Read
There are thousands of rafting videos out there. Production quality ranges from GoPro footage on a selfie stick to Red Bull videographers suspended from a cliff, but some of the best flips captured on film are the result of Average Joes standing in the right place, at the right time. This compilation features a few amatuer edits, plus some professional footage, of the best whitewater carnage videos on the internet. Enjoy!
The Best Edit and Commentary
Pillow Rock Rapid, Gauley River, West Virginia
Here we have the notorious Pillow Rock rapid on the Gauley River at an exceptionally high flow. One after another, we see boats charging into the namesake boulder, and the paddlers reaching with their paddles to slap it for good luck before they enter The Room of Doom, which our fun-loving narrator remarks, “is high on [his] personal list of places that suck.” Mix that with the Red Hot Chilly Peppers classic from the 90s, Rollercoaster, and some epic slo-mos and reversals, and you’ve got yourself a winner.
The Best Backflip
Zambezi River, Zambia, Africa
The Zambezi River has some of the biggest whitewater on Earth, and here we see a range of guides and boats tackle the rowdy waves with mixed results. There’s a lot to watch here including an amazing rockslide at 2:05, ghost boating a Class VI, but this one is a winner for the sequence that begins at 3:20. The sheer speed and courage of this direct line is a made-for-Hollywood flip. It looks like a dynamite charge blasts beneath the boat as they hit the meat of the wave on the backside of this hole. It doesn’t get any bigger than this.
The Best Dory Flip
Lava Falls, Colorado River, Arizona
Veteran OARS guide, Jeffe Aronson, who was flip-free for 34 years and 116 trips, aims for the left line but ends up a little right of where he needs to be pitching him into the left side of “Humpback Chub.” After flipping, he and two of his passengers work to get the boat righted before heading into Son of Lava. A timer keeps the suspension going as you cheer for them to get the dory right-side up and ready for the next rapid. Before this video Aronson made a joke about going for the record, and immediately flipped, and then flipped a total of 4 times in the last 5 years; all in Lava (only 2 of which he says were his fault).
The Best Waterfall Drop
Husum Falls, White Salmon River, Washington
The only thing better than watching a waterfall is watching a parade of rafts go over it. Here at Husum Falls on the White Salmon we have the perfect combo of a healthy drop with a fairly safe recovery pool. It results in a lot of boats hitting the same line, with drastically different results. Some paddlers Superman on impact, others get bucked on the rebound, and a few even manage to stay in the boat. This is a long, but mesmerizing video with a well-chosen soundtrack. It reminds us that even the best lines are still totally open to chance.
The Best Non-Stop Carnage
Lochsa Falls, Lochsa River, Idaho
This heavy hitter fuses hardcore music with a decade’s worth of footage from Idaho’s Lochsa River Madness Festival. This happens every year over Memorial Day Weekend when the flow is guaranteed to be high, cold, and fierce. A crowd gathers along the banks of Lochsa Falls to watch all sorts of boats challenge the river’s biggest rapid. There’s a lot of videos from this event but this one is the winner for capturing the spirit of the festival combined with non-stop carnage.