Nik & Erendria Wallenda: Daredevil Couple vs Niagara Falls
The mighty Niagara Falls has been attracting daredevils and risk-takers of all kinds for over 150 years. Tightrope walkers like Blondin, The Great Farini, and Henri Julien Rechatin crossed the Niagara Gorge performing a number of stunts along the way. School teacher Annie Edson Taylor, along with her cat, were the first to survive a barrel ride over the Falls in 1901, spurring other like Bobby Leach, “Smiling Jean” Lussier, and John “Super Dave” Munday to make the trip in a variety of contraptions. The list goes on and on, with museums, books, and websites all dedicated to documenting and preserving the aspect of Niagara’s history. All of these legends have paved the way for daredevil couple Nik & Erendira Wallenda to perform their death-defying feats of bravery and ingenuity. While many before him have crossed the Niagara Gorge, Nik Wallenda was the first to ever cross at the actual brink of the Falls, with the water rushing directly below him, with the mist and winds blowing around him, with the sheer thundering sound filling his ears—a feat none before him had dared. But more on that after.
The echo of Nik Wallenda’s accomplishment was still circulating the region when the announcement that Erendira Wallenda, his wife, would perform one of the most tooth-rattling daredevil stunts at Niagara Falls. Visible from the Skylon Tower’s world-class Revolving Dining Room, Erendira Wallenda dangled from a rope outside of a helicopter over the Niagara Rapids, as seen above. She would be hanging on upside-down by her legs, then by her fingers and even by her fingernails! But the most amazing moment was when Erendira Wallenda hung onto the rope with her teeth.
The Skylon Tower has seen many daredevils temp the waters of Niagara, but none so bold, none with so much spunk.
Having married into a daredevil family, Erendira carries on the legacy of a long line of death-defying artists who have performed incredible, breath-taking stunts the world over. Let’s rewind and take a closer look at when Nik Wallenda walked a tightrope across the brink of Niagara Falls, a moment that not only captured the attention of the Niagara Region but the world. Nik Wallenda crossed the Niagara Gorge where potential turns kinetic and the powerful waters plummet past, five hundred fifty meters under his feet. If that weren’t risky enough, all the while Nik spoke with his father on a headset, taking questions from ABC, during this record-breaking crossing.
Nik safely reached the Canadian side where he was greeted by customs officers looking to inspect his passport before the celebration could ensue. This was a monumental moment in not only for the Wallenda family legacy but for Niagara’s history as well. Both Erendira and Nik commented on the winds swirling around them while they went about their famous performances. Erendira mentioned that, “It was windier than I expected it to be,” while Nik mentioned that those winds hit him from every direction, and the wind was definitely more than he expected.
Anyone who has dined in the Skylon Tower’s Revolving Dining Room can attest to hearing those same winds up on the Observation Tower, but that is only a glimpse what Nik and Erendira Wallenda have experienced in the airspace above the Niagara Gorge.
Upon landing, and aside from commenting on the wind, Erendira Wallenda was asked to take a moment to address the young girls in her audience across the Western world, to which she replied, “Never give up on your dreams,” and communicated that a girl can do anything a man can do, with a little more grace on top. Great advice from a world-renowned trapeze artist who had just dangled from a flying helicopter.
Whether you come to Niagara for the Falls or the Fun, remember that the Skylon Tower has the best view! Whatever the world brings to Niagara next, rest assured that the Skylon Tower will be there to witness it, so make sure to join us.