This story featured in the 2012 June issue.

Steve Fisher

Photo: Greg Von Doersten

Is Ben Marr Male Paddler of the Year?

Tyler Bradt (in blue) with Steve Fisher, Ben Marr and Rush Sturges in a moment of relative calm during the first descent of the Inga Rapids of the Congo River, Oct. 26, 2011. Measured by volume, these are the biggest whitewater rapids on the planet, with an average of 1.6 million cubic feet of water flowing per second over jagged basalt formations, creating what Bradt calls "the most tremendous display of whitewater I believe I will ever see as long as I live." Bradt had broken his back on 100-foot Abiqua Falls just eight months earlier; on the same day that 17-year-old junior world champion Jason Craig shattered his spine on a 30-foot waterfall in California. Read about both paddler's remarkable recoveries in this month's feature, "Fall and Rise," on p. 38.