New film explores Newman’s astonishing waterfall plunge

Frenchwoman Nouria Newman is a dominant force in whitewater kayaking. Her astonishing new film, Wild Waters, follows her adventure as a kayaking nomad, where she claims the first descent of Pucuno falls in Ecuador and becomes the first woman to bag a first descent of 100ft+ (30.48m) waterfall drop into the bargain. 

After years at the forefront of her sport, claiming first descents around the world, and winning awards and recognition for her intrepid expeditions, it was in making a first descent of the Río Pucuno in Ecuador that Newman broke this latest boundary. In February of 2021, she successfuly dropped what are now known as Don Wilo’s Falls.

In doing so, she became the first female kayaker to make a first descent of a falls over 100ft, eclipsing the 82ft (25m) recorded by Christie Glissmeyer at Metlako Falls in 2009 and winning herself a fifth consecutive Rider of the Year title at the Whitewater Awards.

Now viewers can see exactly how she faced up to the challenge in the new documentary, Wild Waters. The film offers a dive into the adventurous existence of the freestyle kayaking legend. Film-maker David Arnaud was able to immerse himself in her daily life for two years to retrace her journey from childhood to this incredible new record.

After a personal tragedy, Newman decided to leave for a globe-trotting adventure that she hoped would enable her to reconnect, not just with others with others, but also with herself. She explained: “It’s not all about sports. On a social or mental level, it goes far beyond. We touch on universal subjects. That’s the richness of this film and sport generally.”

The film reveals the non-conformist personality behind the elite athlete who, at just 30 years old, already has a huge list of achievements, including: three-time extreme kayaking world champion and five-time rider of the year.

Newman’s horizon-expanding expeditions are already well documented, with several films exploring unique spots among the most beautiful landscapes in the world, including the HimalayasPatagonia and most recently on frozen rivers in Iceland.

Watch Wild Waters in full on Red Bull TV.

Nouria Newman in her kayak on the top of a waterfall during a photo shoot in France.
Credit: Carl Zoch / Red Bull Content Pool

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