Casper Steinfath Attempts 130km Viking Crossing

The time is ripe for groundbreaking standup paddling expeditions.

In the midst of Chris Bertish’s historic SUP crossing of the Atlantic Ocean and on the heels of Florida paddler Robert Norman breaking the 24-hour SUP distance world record, another paddler has attempted to go where no paddler has gone before.

Enter Denmark’s most renowned standup paddler, Casper Steinfath.

Steinfath started his journey in the dark morning hours. Photo courtesy of Mark Wengler/Red Bull Content Pool

During the freezing morning hours of February 1st, the three-time ISA SUP World Champion set off with the goal of realizing a childhood dream–to paddle 130km across the legendary Skagerrak Strait. The journey would take Steinfath from his hometown Klitmøller (Cold Hawaii) to Kristiansand in the southern part of Norway, the same historic route his Viking ancestors used to travel centuries prior.

The first 12 hours of the journey went off without a hitch and brought the Red Bull paddler within 20km of reaching the Norwegian shoreline. Unfortunately, the favorable weather conditions only held out for so long. As both temperatures and darkness fell, the winds and currents elevated to dangerous levels.

Can you tell it’s cold? Photo courtesy of Mark Wengler/Red Bull Content Pool

Combine this with hypothermia and fatigue levels that were beginning to affect Steinfath’s balance, and suffice it to say the situation was quickly deteriorating. Finally, after 16 hours and 20 minutes of paddling through the blustery Scandinavian winter, the decision was made to call off the mission.

Despite the impressive accomplishment of paddling 116 km across the Skagerrak Straight, Steinfath is already eyeing another attempt at this harrowing crossing.

“I feel positive and motivated to make a new attempt in the near future, but still under the same conditions–it must be winter, dark and cold,” Steinfath said. “I see it as both a thrilling battle against myself, to see how far I can push myself, but also as a battle with Mother Nature. Like the Vikings said, sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war!”

The same route as his ancestors, minus the freighter. Photo courtesy of Mark Wengler/Red Bull Content Pool

We wouldn’t expect anything less from the man who is affectionately referred to by his paddling compatriots as the “Viking”.

To get an inside look into just how extreme his experience was, check out the fascinating 10-minute video at the top of the page.


Learn more about this Danish paddler.

Video footage of Steinfath SUP surfing in Denmark.