It Turns Out the Kayaker Who Fell Off Lower McCloud Falls is a Total Badass

Three weeks ago I posted a funny video of a kayaker who attempted to ride off Lower McCloud Falls with the tagline “Kayaking Lower McCloud Falls for Dummies.” The video went a little viral, receiving over 100,000 views in the weeks since.

See for yourself:

I stand by the post, because it’s entertaining as hell. In fact, from afar, it kind of looks like Red Green was doing a kayaking skit. You know, this Red Green:

But I now want to clear the air about the guy who kayaked off the waterfall-


Someone sent us a message with the identity of the man and after a little research, he’s exactly the type of guy we like in Northern California. His name is Shon Northam and he kayaks:

He wakeboards:

He off-roads:

And he even wrangles rattlesnakes:

In his Instagram posts, he constantly uses the hashtag #thedude, an awesome reference to The Big Lebowski. So, I’m happy to dub him “The Dude of NorCal.” You can call him His NorCal Dudeness or NorCal Duder.

Keep doing badass stuff in NorCal, Dude!

Zach O'Brien

Zach O'Brien is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief at Active NorCal


  1. Hey Zach, I appreciate the follow-up story. I also stand by your tag line about dummies. The back story is that my buddy and I spent 30-40 minutes swimming / scouting the landing b/c of the rock slide (airlifted a dude a week before) along with a dude who was scuba diving. I was also on hiatus from kayaking as I got into whitewater rafting. Sooooo, I had shit for paddling confidence, wasn’t “feeling” the “send” but decided to “send it” anyway. Fn dumb. How I didn’t land on the rock outcropping just below the falls and below water surface is a question only the Universe can answer. I appreciate the kind words and description. I’m just a dude striving to live in the moment, live a fluid life, and putting love & good vibes into the Universe. Pura Vida!!! Seeking out discomfort (e.g., cliff jumping & sky diving to deal with my fear of heights, playing with rattlesnakes [side note: I have a vid somewhere of me playing this it’s a baby rattler — that was a rush] to get over fear of snakes), being on that precipice of caving to fear and going home or Going Big is where we grow our soul, our character, our being, imho. Much love to you guys at Active NorCal. Love the energy you guys put into the Universe. Namaste’ man and Hope you are living the Pura Vida!!!

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