I was watching a YouTube video featuring clips from award winning kayaking films.
One thing I immediately noticed was multiple instances of kayakers running waterfalls who seem to be intentionally throwing their paddle away during the drop (you can see what I'm talking about pretty clearly at about 2:20). This seems to be contrary to what I always learned that your paddle is your life. I understand that for the initial landing not having your paddle in your hand might reduce the chance for injury, but it seems like the almost complete lack of maneuverability due to no longer having a paddle should make holding onto the paddle worthwhile. Not the to mention the expense of losing paddles if they run away or the time involved in trying to find your paddle.
Are these people just dropping the waterfalls and immediately bailing out of their kayaks at the bottom when the camera stops so they don't care about maneuverability? Do they just count on friends out of frame that have an extra paddle to give them at the bottom? Or is the risk of injury just so great above a certain height that the paddle has to go?