Chris Bertish makes his way from the open Atlantic Ocean into English Harbour on Antigua after standup paddling for 93 days from Agadir, Morocco. Photo: Jason Pickering / SUP magazine
Chris Bertish makes his way from the open Atlantic Ocean into English Harbour on Antigua after standup paddling for 93 days from Agadir, Morocco. Photo: Jason Pickering / SUP magazine

A Breakdown of the Year’s Top SUP Expeditions

Every year paddlers expand standup paddling into new frontiers with outrageous expeditions, and at SUP Awards we tip our cap to the most impressive feats completed. 2017 saw some of the most remarkable expeditions to date, including a 750-mile unsupported journey through the inside passage and the first-ever solo SUP crossing of the Atlantic Ocean. These are the nominees for Top Expedition of the Year and the pioneers pushing the boundaries of progress to advance our sport. Vote now for your pick in the 2017 SUP Awards presented by Salt Life!

Karl Kruger, a long way from home and a short way from SUP history. Photo courtesy of R2AK/Liv von Oelreich

Race 2 Alaska

Paddler: Karl Kruger
Expedition: On June 25, Karl Kruger—a longtime sailor and waterman of the Pacific Northwest based on Orcas Island, Washington—became the first standup paddler to complete the Race 2 Alaska (R2AK)—a 750-mile man-powered expedition race from Port Townsend, Washington to Ketchikan, Alaska. Among the 62 teams entered in this year's race with crews ranging from one to five people on vessels ranging from sea kayaks to row boats to SUPs to trimarans, only 27 teams finished the race. Kruger's solo team "Heart of Gold" was the only SUP to finish of six in the class.

Photo courtesy of Yukon River Quest Facebook.

Yukon River Quest

Paddler: Bart de Zwart
Expedition: After becoming the inaugural SUP champion of the Yukon River Quest last year, Maui expedition extraordinaire Bart de Zwart returned to take on Canada's 444-mile river race last June. The defending champion crossed the finish line with a time of 52 hours and 16 minutes, setting a new course SUP record and finishing nearly two hours quicker than his time from last year.

In our top news story from 2016, South African Chris Bertish launches off the coast of Morocco and into the history books with his attempt at the first-ever transatlantic SUP crossing. Photo courtesy of Chris Bertish

Atlantic SUP Crossing

Paddler: Chris Bertish
Early on the morning of March 9, South African waterman Chris Bertish completed a historic SUP expedition that redefined the realm of what's possible on a standup paddleboard. After 93 days and more than 4,000 miles alone at sea, 42-year-old Bertish became the first man to SUP across the Atlantic Ocean—solo and unassisted from Morocco to Antigua. #TheSUPCrossing, as Bertish dubbed it, brought international media attention to the sport of SUP and expanded the realm of possibility for paddlers the world over.

Vote now for the 2017 SUP Awards presented by Salt Life!