On Sunday morning at 2am, world champion paddler Casper Steinfath launched his paddleboard near his home in Klitmøller, Denmark and aimed north into the darkness across Skagerrak Straight, a 130-kilometer (80.8-mile) stretch of frigid, inhospitable ocean separating Denmark and Norway.
Steinfath’s mission, dubbed “The Viking Crossing 2.0”, was to become the first-ever standup paddleboarder to cross Skagerrak, requiring him to paddle 130 kilometers in subzero temperatures through the night and most of the day on water notorious for harsh currents and conditions.
Casper Steinfath Launches for “The Viking Crossing 2.0”
After nearly 19 hours at sea, Steinfath made landfall in the Norwegian city of Kristiansand just before 8pm as the day’s last light dipped into the ocean.
“I have no more energy left in my body; this Viking Crossing is the gnarliest thing I've tried,” Steinfath said at the finish.
“None of the four world titles (I’ve achieved) come close to what I experienced today. I didn't feel I conquered (Skagerrak), Skagerrak conquered me.”
Steinfath makes land in Norway after 130-km and 18.5 hours
Steinfath’s crossing of Skagerrak is a first in the history books of standup paddling, though it came with his second attempt. The Danish ISA champion tried the same crossing a year ago and fell excruciatingly short of completing it, having to abort in the face of overwhelming wind and current just 5 kilometers offshore from Norway. After returning to complete the expedition, Steinfath can now add the unprecedented crossing to an already tremendous list of accolades. Time will tell what feat The Viking will add to his resume next.