It took world champion paddler Casper Steinfath nearly 19 hours to cross the 137-kilometer-long Skagerrak Straight separating Denmark and Norway, Norwegian national broadcaster NRK reported. The record feat is all the more impressive given the subzero temperatures the Dane had to endure in the area, which is notorious for its harsh conditions and hazardous currents.
Steinfath embarked on his journey from his home at Klitmøller on Sunday morning at 2am to reach the Norwegian city of Kristiansand just before 8pm, shortly before nightfall.
"I'm empty of words. My legs are shaking, my stomach doesn't feel so good, but my heart is right," 24-year-old Casper Steinfath told NRK upon his arrival in Kristiansand.
Steinfath's mission was dubbed Viking Crossing 2.0 in memory of his first, painfully unsuccessful attempt, which he had to abort after 17 hours of paddling being short just several kilometers of Norway's coast.
Casper, what is it you have been training for all Winter? What is the #VikingCrossing? And why are you training in the Dark? 🤔🌘 ~ These questions have become more and more frequent. No point in keeping it secret anymore, so here are some answers for all of you in this article with @totalsup (Link in Bio) ~ I am crossing my fingers that this week will provide the ocean conditions we are looking for to attempt the Viking Crossing. I am super eager to get going, but also trying to remain patient and realistic! 😉 ~ Feel free to share the news and send a prayer to the Viking Gods asking for safe passage soon 🙏 ✌📸 @fredrikclement #VikingCrossing #BreakBoundaries #GiverVinger #NaishPower ~ @naishsup @redbulldanmark @mysticboarding #NetIP @appworldtour @qbpaddles
"We humans are stronger than we think. We can push ourselves farther than our minds and mental boundaries. I did it today and I learned a lot of things about myself on my way here," Steinfath said.
Steinfath is a four-time world champion in SUP. By his own admission, he used to wake up in the early hours for 3-o'clock-in-the-morning training for his body to adapt to paddling in total darkness and with no horizon in sight. Nevertheless, he values his recent feat far above his previous merits.
"None of the four world titles come close to what I experienced today. I didn't feel I conquered Skagerrak, Skagerrak conquered me," Steinfath said, as quoted by SUP the Mag.
Feel the Power of the Dark Side! 😉🌑 #DarthViking ~ Walking through the shorebreak is pretty crazy when you can't even see the waves crashing towards you. I guess it comes down to just letting go and trusting in your instincts to only react on what is immediately around you. Paddling in the dark is super stressful for the mind, but the reward of accomplishment is like no other! 🙏 ~ 📸 @fredrikclement ~ #VikingCrossing #GiverVinger #BreakBoundaries #NaishMaliko @naishsup @redbulldanmark @mysticboarding #NetIP @appworldtour @qbpaddles
The Skagerrak runs between the southeast coast of Norway, the southwest coast of Sweden, and the Jutland peninsula of Denmark, linking the North Sea and the Kattegat sea area, which leads to the Baltic Sea. It contains one of the world's busiest shipping routes, as well as an intensive fishing industry.