| Tao running big drops in Mexico
HuastecaSecreta.com, Mexico resort
Click here for some action-packed footy
Residence: White Salmon, WA
Tao Berman is recognized as one of the most talented and daring extreme kayakers on the planet. He is a three-time world record holder with the World Waterfall Descent, Vertical Distance Descent, and Speed Altitude Descent records under his belt. In addition to being a one time Pre-World Champion, Tao has completed over 50 first descents around the globe. We catch up with him to find out what makes him so successfull on the world's most dangerous rivers.
(MZ) My most memorable experience in kayaking came when...(TB) I set two world records in 24 hours (Vertical Distance World Record and the Speed Altitude Descent World Record. These records where set high up in the Cascade Mountains on tributaries to the Snoqualmie river in Spring 2002). Or maybe when I set the World Record Waterfall Descent on Johnston Creek(98.4 ft). So much training and planning when into these records. It was a very rewarding feeling to paddle away from the bottom of the drops knowing I wasn't injured.
I've been successful as an extreme kayaker because...I've spent so many days on and off the river training. The other part of being good is because of my state of mind. I don't really feel fear above drops so it has allowed me to push the limits without having doubt cloud my judgment. I've also had a lot of support from my sponsors. I would like to thank Red Bull, Timberland, Mion shoes, Dagger, Voz Sports, Stohlquist, and AT.
The last thought in my mind just before I drop into a huge waterfall is...about each move I need to make to have a good descent.
I am most proud of...many things. Setting the World Record Waterfall descent was a big achievement, and also becoming the pre-World Champion.
My experience has helped me...be able to give something back. Because of what I've accomplished, I have the credibility with kids to talk at schools about making positive choices.
Confidence is something you...either have or don't. But I believe if someone works hard enough confidence can be learned.
I am different from most other guys in that I...think I train harder and have a very high level of motivation. There are some other guys in my sport that also take training very seriously and I respect that. I think the other difference is that I really try to work with my team because I know more can be accomplished working together. I would like to thank Eric Link, Jock Bradley, Chris Jonason, and my team managers for everything they have done to help my career.
I live by the phrase...do everything I do the best I possible can.
If I had a younger brother, one piece of life advice I would give him is...live life on your own terms.