Surfer and whitewater paddling instructor Jared Munch finished a circumnavigation of Lake Superior on a stand-up paddleboard, the Duluth News Tribune reported last week. He paddled the 1,350-mile distance to raise funds for Neighborhood Youth Services in Woodland Hills. The program is dedicated to outdoor recreation and encouraging a healthy lifestyle. Munch is believed to be the first to circle Lake Superior on an SUP.
“I opted for SUP because I wanted the challenge of it,” Munch told Outside. “Kayaking around the lake would be too easy, and so many people have already done it.”
It took two years for the Duluth native to plan his trip. He began paddling from the mouth of the Lester River on May 20, spending a total of 49 days on the water and traveling at an average speed of about 3.5 miles per hour. In several cases, Munch crossed large bays rather than paddling along the shore, which is why his total mileage came to less than 1,800 miles, the full circumference of the lake.
“It shows what can be done with a paddleboard,” Tim Bates, associate director of the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Recreational Sports Outdoor Program, told the Duluth News Tribune. “Most people use them near shore, playing around. This shows that somebody with high skills and knowledge can do some amazing things on a paddleboard.”