Jimmy Chin’s Edge of the Unknown: Gerd Serrasolses on Being Knocked Unconscious by 50-footer

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Edge of the Unknown: Gerd Serrasolses

In case you haven’t seen it, the new documentary series EDGE OF THE UNKNOWN WITH JIMMY CHIN, which premiered September 5 on National Geographic and streams on Disney+, is a 10-part series that takes audiences inside the minds of pioneering adventure athletes as they recount the most consequential moments of their lives. And, to no surprise, paddling is featured prominently.

Among the athletes featured in the series are extreme kayaker Gerd Serrasolses,  who shares his story about being knocked unconscious after falling down a 50-foot waterfall while filming in Chiapas, Mexico. His clip is titled Fight or Die. Kayakers Ben Stookesberry and Chris Korbulic are also included in the series’ “Deadly Waters” segment, highlighting them when pushed to their ultimate limits on a dangerous two-month expedition through Africa.

 

Gerd Serrasolses Interview

To shine some more light on the series, Paddling Life caught up with Serrasolses for a little more insight into the segment.

Paddling Life: When and where was that waterfall?

Serrasolses: The waterfall is located in the Agua Azul river near Palenque in the state of Chiapas, Mexico. On this trip we were filming for Rafa’s movie ‘Chasing Niagara’ in March of 2013.

Paddling Life: Who were you with?

Serrasolses: On this trip I was with my brother Aniol together with Rafa Ortiz, Rush Sturges, Evan Garcia as well as cameraman Matt Baker, Adam Elliot and Tatcher Beam and driver Israel.

Gerd Serrasolses whitewater kayaking.
Gerd Serrasolses getting ready to drop. (Photos courtesy Rush Sturges/RIver Roots Productions)

Paddling Life: How did you get knocked unconscious, and how long for?

Serrasolses: I stayed underwater for around 4 minutes after not being able to hand roll and swim from my boat. Once underwater I couldn’t come back up to the surface to breathe due to the strong current that was pulling me down that vortex at the pool of the falls.

Paddling Life: You’ve certainly run bigger; what made this waterfall so hard?

Serrasolses: The waterfall itself is not hard and we had previously run it, however the pool is very aerated so it’s hard to handroll, it’s pretty small and very active, with very strong currents, undercut walls… it’s not a place to be out of your kayak because you don/t really know what’s going on under the surface on a place like that.

Paddling Life: How do you think the documentary series portrays the incident?

Serrasolses: The documentary narrates the incident and how I felt back then and how I feel now, what I’ve learned throughout all these years and how it has shaped my life so far.

Paddling Life: Any big plans for 2023?

Serrasolses: This fall I’m going to Chile for some good kayaking and I’m hoping to go to Norway next summer in between firefighting training.

Gerd Serrasolses
Gerd Serrasolses going over the edge. Photos courtesy Rush Sturges/RIver Roots Productions

 

Related Edge of the Unknown stories

Death on the Congo: Stookesberry Team Member, Hendri Coetzee, Killed by Croc

 

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