The Danish Viking Who Crossed from Denmark to Norway on a Paddleboard

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The Danish Viking Who Crossed from Denmark to Norway on a Paddleboard

28-year-old Danish Casper Steinfath battled several meters high waves, storms and snow, in his attempt to become the first person to cross from Denmark to Norway on a stand-up paddleboard (SUP). Read the fascinating story about the Danish Viking who crossed from Denmark to Norway on a paddleboard.

Sunday morning, 3rd April at 2am, six-time 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.

The Danish Viking Who Crossed from Denmark to Norway on a Paddleboard
Six-time world champion paddler Casper Steinfath launched his paddleboard near his home in Klitmøller, Denmark and aimed north into the darkness across Skagerrak Straight. Photo: TotalSUP

Related: Exotic Surfing Paradise in Norway

As the son of an American father and a Danish mother, Steinfath travelled the world as a child with beaches and water often involved. When his family finally settled at Klitmøller in Denmark, Steinfath’s passion for SUP developed in ‘Cold Hawaii’ despite an initial fear of water. He carried nothing but a tent, a sleeping bag, a cooking set and some meat packages.

The Danish Viking Who Crossed from Denmark to Norway on a Paddleboard
As the son of an American father and a Danish mother, Steinfath travelled the world as a child with beaches and water often involved. Photo: Limfjord Update

His mission was dubbed “The Viking Crossing 2.0” and his aim was to become the first-ever standup paddleboarder to cross Skagerrak through the night and most of the day on water notorious for harsh currents and conditions.

Related: Extreme Surfing in Norway

Traditionally, it’s Hawaiian stars who dominate prestigious SUP events. Steinfath exploded onto the competition scene in 2013 with several European and World titles following. His ambition, though, also lay in seeking out new challenges where he could truly test his mind and body. He said: “I want to taste the world and push the boundaries of what’s possible.”

The Danish Viking Who Crossed from Denmark to Norway on a Paddleboard
His mission was dubbed “The Viking Crossing 2.0” . Photo: SUP

“Growing up by the North Sea in Jutland, I’m used to playing in any type of conditions,” Steinfath said. “But yesterday was pretty horrendous … I’m currently sunburned, windburned and I have frozen fingers. It’s a weird combination.”

Related: Surfing in Norway

This was his second attempt. He trained and prepared like never before, both mentally and physically. After nearly 19 hours at sea, battling wetsuit chafing in between a rest every 45 minutes and between 50,000 and 60,000 paddle strokes, Steinfath made landfall in the Norwegian city of Kristiansand just before 8pm as the day’s last light dipped into the ocean.

The Dane had created his own piece of Viking history. He revealed: “I’ve never felt so alive in my life, but also never so scared.”

“I have no more energy left in my body; this Viking Crossing is the gnarliest thing I’ve tried,” Steinfath said at the finish.

The Danish Viking Who Crossed from Denmark to Norway on a Paddleboard
The Dane had created his own piece of Viking history. Photo: Jakob Gjerulff Ager

Steinfath was inspired to take on the challenge while grounded during the pandemic. “Before corona, I spent 10 years travelling the world for watersports competitions and was away for at least nine months of every year, so the pandemic is the longest period I’ve spent at home since I was a child.”

The Danish Viking Who Crossed from Denmark to Norway on a Paddleboard, written by Tor Kjolberg

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