Amazing Places

This Surfer Crossed The Atlantic On A Stand-Up Paddleboard

If you've ever tried stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) on vacation, you know it takes some practice and a lot of patience. Think you've got it? Now, try paddleboarding across an entire ocean. South African surfer Chris Bertish became the first person to cross the Atlantic ocean solo on a stand-up paddleboard in March 2017... all in the name of bettering the planet.

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Row, Row, Row Your SUP

Bertish boarded his 20-foot-long vessel in Morocco with more than one mission. In addition to becoming the first person to cross the Atlantic on a SUP, Bertish wanted to increase awareness for ocean conservation. He also reportedly raised $6 million for charities that build schools, pay for cleft palate operations, and feed hungry children in South Africa. These lofty goals kept him afloat across the 4,600 nautical miles between Morocco and Antigua.

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How else did Bertish survive the 93-day trek? According to NPR, his SUP, called ImpiFish, "boasts satellite weather forecasting equipment, handheld radio and GPS, solar panels and a tiny cabin where he could sleep at night." That sounds pretty high tech, but this was no glamour cruise. He survived off of freeze-dried meal packets for three weeks while waves threatened his craft and sharks threatened his life.

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Because They're Worth It

Was the journey worth it? Whenever there were malfunctions that left Bertish feeling like his paddleboard was falling apart around him, he remembered the charities. As he tells National Geographic, "knowing the impact this will have made every day out on the open ocean worthwhile."

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The SUP Crossing with Chris Bertish

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Written by Curiosity Staff April 14, 2017

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