Karl Kruger Chips Away at SUP’ing the Northwest Passage

Extreme stand-up paddle boarder Karl Kruger is off again on his multi-year standup paddle board expedition through the Northwest Passage. Last year, he traversed 675km. And last month, he picked up where he left off, continuing his paddle board journey through Canada’s Nunavut territory.

Krüger is originally from New York and currently lives in Washington state. This is not his first time on an SUP. He has been paddling since he was just three years old, under the tutelage of his father. In 2017, he participated in the 1,200km Race to Alaska. He was the only one who chose this mode of transportation and completed the course in just over two weeks and six hours.

In 2022, he started his Northwest Passage adventure. This summer, he plans to paddle 724km through the fabled passage. He is one of three self-propelled expeditions this year, including a rower and a party of kayakers.

“This summer I plan to start in Paulatuk, Northwest Territories, where my SUP has been since last summer,” he wrote. “I will then paddle to Kugluktuk, Nunavut to resupply.”

From there, if conditions allow, he will then continue to Gjoa Haven on King William Island.

Kruger aims to chip away at this route every summer until he reaches Pond Inlet, where the Northwest Passage ends. This could take him well into 2026.

So far, Kruger has been battling strong easterly winds ranging from 15 to 20 knots. He even had some close calls with winds trying to push him onto the cliffs. Other challenges include long bouts of fog, polar bears, waves, and sudden winds.

You can track his progress here.

Kristine De Abreu

Kristine De Abreu is a writer at ExplorersWeb.

Kristine has been writing about Science, Mysteries and History for 4+ years. Prior to that, Kristine studied at the University of Leicester in the UK.

Based in Port-of-Spain, Kristine is also a literature teacher, avid reader, hiker, occasional photographer, an animal lover and shameless ramen addict.