Man Crosses the Pacific on a Standup Paddle Board

Antonio de la Rosa setting off to cross the Pacific on a standup paddleboard (Photo: Antonio de la Rosa)

San Francisco, California to Honolulu, Hawaii. The two places are 2,900 miles apart.  A five-hour flight, or, to endurance athlete Antonio de la Rosa, a two and a half month paddle.

On June 4th, de la Rosa set out from San Francisco on a paddleboard poised to cross the pacific and make it to Hawaii with the purpose of raising awareness about the man-made pollution in our oceans.

(More: Hawaii to California Swimmer find plastic in ‘Great Pacific Garbage’ Patch has Increased by 1000%)

As one would imagine, the paddleboard used for this expedition was no ordinary unit.  It has a small shelter in the front with sleeping quarters as well as extensive storage for food and necessary tools for the trip. Fully loaded the board weighed in at around 1,500 pounds

  De la Rosa had no motor and no support team following him.  Sleep was scarce and the work was hard.  On a good day, he would push forward around 50 miles.  However, if the current wasn’t cooperating, he might only make it 10.

Antonio de la Rosa and his paddleboard, fully loaded and setting off. (Photo: Antonio de la Rosa)

His greatest challenge came on the last day as he navigated through the islands of Molokai and Oahu. Strong winds and choppy waters pulled him dangerously close to the rocky shores.  If the winds had succeeded in pulling de la Rosa into the rocky cliffsides injuries would have been catastrophic and maybe even fatal.

After 76 days battling with the winds and currents, Antonio de la Rosa completed his journey.  He became the first person to cross the Pacific Ocean from California to Hawaii on a standup paddleboard.