Top 5 Global SUP Crossings
Ever since man learned to propel watercraft with a blade we’ve been making journeys from A to B. Some of those crossings have been epic, while others have been more modest affairs.
Utilising paddlecraft to seek out new lands and uncharted territories was the preferred method of discovery in times past. Today we have motorised transport making the job a whole lot simpler, but the ‘want’ to cover distance by using a paddle has never left us.
SUP is the latest in a long line of paddlesports that lends itself to crossings, with records being broken and new routes being claimed on a regular basis.
Loco brings you the top 5 global SUP crossings to add to your own bucket list.
The English Channel
The English Channel is a well paddled path – even on SUPs – with many having taken on the challenge already. However, the draw of this particular crossing is tangible for stand up paddle boarders who love smashing out the miles. Close enough to seem ’doable’ but still far enough to be challenging, the English Channel is a route that appeals.
If you do undertake the 30 mile crossing, between Dover and Calais (the shortest stretch between the two land masses), then you’ll be dodging boat traffic in one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, racing against the tide and no doubt battling against the inclement weather.
That Croque Monsieur will be all the more deserved on ‘the other side’.
Maui to Moloka’i
Every year the world’s best paddlesports athletes descend on Maui (the Valley Isle) to undertake the marathon challenge that is the Maui to Moloka’i crossing.
Paddlers from many varied disciplines pit themselves against ferocious currents and strong Trade winds that affect the course, all vying for the number one podium spot.
Australian waterman, and internationally respected SUP athlete, Jamie Mitchell, has dominated the prone paddle board division for x10 consecutive years. No one else has managed to come close to the Aussie’s sheer dominance of the class and Mitcho will no doubt be aiming for the sky once again this year.
Mitcho crossing to Moloka’i – pic courtesy Quiksilver
Bahamas to Miami
The route between the Bahamas and Miami (or Miami and the Bahamas) is a well ‘trodden’ path. Offering a massive challenge to paddlers this particular crossing is just shy of 50 miles (at its shortest point) and wouldn’t be something to undertake lightly.
With big seas, dangerous currents, exhaustion, dehydration – among other hazards – you’d need to be at the pinnacle of your SUP game and have the relevant back up in place for such a mammoth task.
Ibiza to Formentera
With summer holiday season just around the corner, many Brits will no doubt find themselves in the proven holiday playgrounds of the Balearic Islands. This corner of the Mediterranean lends itself perfectly to SUP crossings with routes between islands regularly tracked by ferries, yachts and fishing boats.
The jaunt from Ibiza to its closest neighbour, Formentera, is perfect for a short (ish) blast between ‘rocks’on your stand up paddle board. A little under 3 miles, the distance between the southern tip of Ibiza and Formentera is perfect for SUPers who want to party and paddle. Boat traffic and strong currents are some of the hazards paddlers will face if choosing to this route.
Sangria and shape throwing at the end of your session waits for those inclined?
Senegal to Brazil
Chris Bertish is a South African waterman renowned for charging big waves. He’s also a man up for a challenge – which is exactly what he’s given himself by attempting to cross the 3500km open ocean distance between Dakar (Senegal) and Caicum (Brazil).
During an estimated 70 days, Chris will aim to SUP this monumental route, raising money for charity in the process. The equivalent of a marathon a day, this kind of challenge is not for the weak willed or unprepared.
Described as impossible by critics, Chris will be hoping to tackle his gargantuan task between December 2013 – March 2014. You can follow the chap’s progress via his website +