Paddleboarder Competing in 750 Mile R2AK Race

These days, the term “long distance” gets thrown around a bit too freely in our opinion. Most long distance SUP races–with the exception of certain races such as the M2O or Devil’s Isle Challenge–top out at around the 13-mile mark. While that’s undoubtedly a long paddle, it pales in comparison to the R2AK.

This brutal competition consists of an unsupported 750-mile paddle from Port Townsend, Washington to Ketchikan, Alaska. The only requirement? Your craft must not have a motor. The winner of this event takes home $10,000 while the runner-up gets a set of steak knives. Yeah, it’s one of those races. Unsurprisingly, the entry list to this race has been dominated by boats.

However, this year the race received its very first SUP entry. Paddler Karl Kruger on Team Heart of Gold became the first standup paddler to attempt the race and so far, so good. He has already logged 400 miles and is well on his way to finishing this daunting race.

A video crew recently caught up with Kruger to ask him about his journey thus far and what lies ahead.


Our print feature story on Chris Bertish’s historic SUP crossing of the Atlantic Ocean.

More SUP expeditions.