Man Travels 4,000Km Across the Pacific With A Single Wing

Ocean traveler Chris Bertish has just reached Hawaii from California aboard a custom-built craft that uses a single method for propulsion: a kite.

Technically, it’s called a wing, and Bertish held it for about 12 hours a day to capture the wind needed to cross over 4,000km of the Pacific Ocean. After 48 days alone, he reached Hawaii after departing from Santa Cruz, California in his tiny craft.

chris bertish

Aboard The Flying Impifish. Photo: Bertish


While relatively new, the wing Bertish used is akin to old-school windsurfing gear, only hand-held, inflatable and packable down to the size of a small bag. Wings come in different sizes for varying wind speeds. More wind means you need a smaller wing.

It’s somewhere between a windsurf sail and a kite, Bertish said in a video explaining the newfangled tool. While the wing allows Bertish to move his small craft quickly, it also means he must constantly steer to maintain course.

When not steering, Bertish could sleep in the tiny cabin of his 14-foot craft, The Flying Impifish.

This was Bertish’s second attempt at the crossing after an electrical malfunction forced him to turn back last year. The delay ruined his weather window, forcing him to reschedule.

As we’ve previously reported, Cyril Derreumaux is currently attempting to kayak the California-Hawaii route. At last word, he continues to make good progress.

Andrew McLemore

An award-winning journalist and photographer, Andrew McLemore brings more than 14 years of experience to his position as Associate News Editor for Lola Digital Media. Andrew is also a musician, climber and traveler who currently lives in Medellin, Colombia. When he’s not writing, playing gigs or exploring the outdoors, he’s hanging out with his dog Campana.