There was a really interesting article in the most recent AW called "The Great Debate." It started off as a reply from Tyler Bradt to Doug Ammons on his article a few months back where he addressed the cutting edge of kayaking and took a jab at Tyler and those running BIG waterfalls and claiming that running big waterfalls isn't really that cutting edge. So what is cutting edge, and why do we get so amped about people hucking off big falls? I tend to agree with Doug. And while I know for a fact that the people running these big falls are enormously talented boaters, it seems like the actual skill involved in successfully navigating these big drops is relatively small when compared to the element of luck. I say this based on the pictures that I've seen which make the falls (Alexandria, Salto Belo) look like basically class II/III water to huge falls to pool. And yet the success rate is pretty varied, with alot of the people getting ripped from their boats. Would a class III boater fare any better or worse on these monsters if someone pointed and said, "go off there"?
My hat is still off to these brave souls, but I would still pose the question, how much skill is really involved in running one of these falls?