mike horn – hydrospeed

mike horn down the amazon

towards the end of the 90’s i read an article about a south african guy named mike horn who had become the first person to hydrospeed/riverboard the entire length of the amazon river. the trip was close one 7 000km’s long and lasted 7 months. reading that article made a big impression on me & i was especially struck by the incredible mental fortitude that one would have to have in order to pull off such an adventure.

from there, my interest in mike’s exploits grew & i regularly followed his adventures via his website Mike Horn Website, which includes circumnavigating the globe on the equator entirely solo and without mechanical assistance, which took him almost 2 years to complete…

then, recently i came across some video footage of mike & a friend named cedric (dont know surname) running some whitewater in Peru which I think was around 1994. the footage is something of a ‘holy grail’ of hydrospeeding / riverboarding and includes mike’s world record setting 21m waterfall descent. the narration is in italian (anyone able to translate?) but if you ignore that & just watch the footage it is probably still the best video footage ever of the sport of hydrospeeding / riverboarding. i believe the filming was arranged by mike’s main sponsor at the time: sector watches. he was one of their “no-limits” team members. dont know the chap who put the footage up on youtube, but my thanks.

take a look and i’d be interested to hear your opinions…

read more about mike horn here: mike horn on wikipedia

9 thoughts on “mike horn – hydrospeed

  1. I am reading this post just right now in 2011…
    I am reading Mike’s book (Latitude 0°) and I’m interested in all this type of sport adventures…
    If you want I could translate the video for you because I speak Italian quite well (I am Italian)

    1. Hi Andrea, thanks for visiting mylifeinwater and for taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your offer to translate the video. It is not mine unfortunately, I found it on YouTube…
      Mike Horn is an inspiration!

      1. Yeah I know, because I saw it before on YouTube. By the way the translation could be hard because they recite an old poem and an old Italian language has been used.
        From now to on I will read carefully your posts because I would like to begin “a life” in the water too. I mean that I would like to try to use a hydrospeed to join mountaineering and white water falling…
        Thank you for the quick reply! Let me know if a translation could please you.

  2. Wow that is incredible! I heard about riverboarding a few years ago and finally gave it a try in the Fall of 2011, amazing experience! I’m currently in the process of purchasing a board now, just trying to do my research seems good info is hard to come by. Any suggestions or advice? I riverboarded the lower Gauley on a ripboard and had a blast. Online I was looking at the new Fluid Anvil and that looked pretty cool. Would you have any board suggestions? Thanks for posting this video and taking the time to answer my questions.


    1. Hey Zach,

      Thanks for visiting mylifeinwater & for taking the time to leave a comment.
      I’ve been Riverboarding for around 12 years now, mostly on our local rivers here in Cape Town (South Africa), but I’ve also run some rivers in Europe and up into Africa. Dont know if you’re familiar with http://www.facelevel.com, but it is a great resource for information on Riverboarding. There are some great boards available & I guess the kind of rivers you intend running will have an influence on what board you choose. It would be hard for me not to be biased (so I wont try), but my obvious choice would be the Fluid Anvil. Basically, I designed and helped bring the Anvil to market for exactly this reason. I wanted to help make Riverboarding more accessible by introducing a good quality board that is durable and well-priced and absolutely rocks on rivers. You can find out more about the board here on my blog on these pages: https://mylifeinwater.wordpress.com/2012/03/04/factory-fresh/ & https://mylifeinwater.wordpress.com/2011/09/13/testing-the-anvil/

      As for Mike Horn… he’s a LEGEND!



      1. Charl,
        Thank you so much for responding so quickly, I really appreciate all the information. Its pretty amazing to get advice from someone who helped create the Anvil. I created an account at FLI to hopefuly find some riverboarders in my area so again thank you for that resource. You have a great blog and im going to enjoy following it and as for Mike Horn, I think I need to read his book.

        Safe travels,

  3. No worries Zach,
    It’s exciting that you are keen to get more into Riverboarding. Someone who can also be of assistance is Josh Galt. He is the founder of facelevel.com, and though he lives in Costa Rica at present, he is American and very knowledgeable on Riverboarding in the States. He is pretty much one of the Pioneers of the sport in your country.You can contact him on: josh@facelevel.com

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