Conquering the Smoke That Thunders

Team LifeProof athlete Jonathan Parades teamed up with cliff diving veteran Orlando Duque and Red Bull Cliff Diving to conquer the world’s largest waterfall. Victoria Falls is a place of awesome, ancient power. It is here that the Zambezi river is hurled over the cliffs edge, through a rainbow and into a chasm measuring more than one kilometre long and 100m deep.

Diving from the Victoria Falls is a whole different ball game to previous dives the athletes have conquered, this river is ever changing and the 3m long crocodiles, shattered oars and eddies swirl waiting for the pair at the bottom of their dive make for an incredibly challenging analysis.

Jonathan and Orlando Scout Victoria Falls

Photo Credit: Craig Kolesky/Red Bull Content Pool

Both athletes face their own challenges, Duque takes the responsibility of setting the limit on their ambition and of course dives first. Paredes, on the other hand, battles a visceral fear of climbing to the take-off spot, Paredes often struggles to clear his mind of chattering doubt.

“Not many people understand, only us divers,” he admits. “But once you get up there, there is no easy way back. That helps. Orlando keeps telling me, ‘Just believe and trust in yourself. Forget about everything. It will be higher, but no worries, you can do it’.”

If one of the athletes is injured during a dive, there is a real risk that they may not be seen again. The murky whirlpools of water are known to carry people away in a flash.

Orlando Duque Diving Victoria Falls

Photo Credit: Craig Kolesky/Red Bull Content Pool

Don’t miss the full 45 minute documentary, The Smoke That Thunders, which will air on Red Bull TV on April 26. 

You may also like: Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2015 Highlights 

Alan Lund

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