Video: Kayaker Loses Paddle in the Middle of a Class V Rapid, Self Rescues


An bout of hot weather and rain brought scarily high flows to Norway. This would be cause for celebration in most whitewater destinations, but the gradient and difficulty of the rivers in Norway means that high water severely limits our options for paddling. Unless, of course, you’re a complete sicko.

Sam Grafton, a big water connoisseur from the US, decided to test the limits of high water on the Tora River in Norway. Here’s what he has to say about the POV footage of his run: What made you decide to run this rapid at record high flows?
Sam Grafton: It looked good from the scout, and I’ve always liked running high volume drops. A few of us were feeling fired up and decided to go for it to see what would happen.

How important was that hand roll?
I was pretty sure I was going to swim after the paddle was ripped from my hands, but I figured I should try at least one hand roll. By some kind of luck, I nailed the roll. I still thought I was going to end up swimming in the huge hole in the run out, so I hand paddled my ass off and grabbed that shrub on shore to pull myself out of the water.

Would you run this one again?
I think once was enough for me. I took a pretty hard hit to the elbow and actually ended up with a big cut even through my drysuit. David Bain took a pretty gnarly swim right after my run. So I think once was enough, but never say never!

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The article was originally published on Canoe & Kayak

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