Can the SUP board cross the Baltic Sea?

do you still remember The duo of the Curious Pedals Duo, Valtteri Heinilä and Alvari Poikola, who traveled incredible bike adventure From Helsinki to Singapore? This summer, one of the members of the duo, Valtteri, went on a new unique adventure, traveling on the SUP board across the Baltic Sea over 300 kilometers from Stockholm to Turku. Read more about a trip that put Valtter's mind, body and equipment for extreme test in the Baltic Sea waves!

SUP on the board in the Baltic Sea

Canoeing over the Baltic Sea

The eight -month cycling adventure across 21 countries made Valtteri Heinilä's adventurous -minded thirst for more. This summer, returning to everyday life and working schedules no longer allowed the same long adventure, but something new had to be invented. So he decided to jump on the SUP board and travel across the Swedish and Finnish archipelago, crossing the Åland Sea. An additional challenge for a shorter adventure was that Valtter had no previous experience in competing. However, he wanted to do all this alone - without a safety boat and a canoeing partner.

"The idea took off in late 2022. We kicked in Cambodia and named ourselves Curious to Paddles for one afternoon. Since then, I have been investigating what opportunities are adventurous at sea or in waterways. I had never traveled over the water before and I was excited to explore the Finnish archipelago. The 300 kilometer journey felt like a complete small escape. At the same time, my goal was to attract attention from the very vulnerable state of the Baltic Sea, ”says Valtteri.

Included only essential accessories and merino wool

Valtteri just went with the necessary accessories. Because the SUP board is only about 3 meters long, the choice of essential goods had to be carefully planned. There was a need to get changing clothes, food, drinking water, cooking equipment, first aid kit, safety equipment, spare parts and 4 different cameras for documenting the trip.

Paddle Boarding Gear

"When choosing clothes, it was self -evident that I only packed merino wool clothing.
North Outdoor merino I was in a tough test for the whole 8 -month bike trip. As I learned from it, I realized that with the help of merino wool I could pack the most effectively. Merino wool is not only lighter in weight than other options, but allows the use of shirts and knitwear at the same time for several days of the natural merino wool antibacterial Because of the reason, ”Valtteri describes. 

Valtter had on his journey Gorge knitwear, warmed her in the evenings in her tent. During the day he did succeed alone All Day With 150 t-shirts and by merino shorts

Along the archipelago toward fascinating the infinity of the offshore

Valtteri started his canoeing adventure, traveling across the Swedish archipelago, spending nights on the islands and asking local drinking water from the well. The start of the trip was the most expected. The direction of the wind carried Valtter almost straight north towards the last destination on the Swedish coast, from which he was to cross the Baltic Sea to the Finnish side.

"I was much faster than I imagined. The winds were blowing hard, almost too hard, causing some waves of almost two meters high. Two days and 110 kilometers later I was ready for a big crossing," Valtteri describes.

Söderarm Lighthouse

Valtteri arrived at the Söderarm lighthouse on Tuesday afternoon at 3 pm. His first destination after crossing was a small island off the coast of Åland. However, the island in question was over 30 kilometers away. Valtter's mind was also concerned that if he accidentally overtaken this island, the next stop would be another 30 kilometers.

"It was the only moment during the trip when it was scared. And of course, it didn't help at all that at the same time, many people sent me messages, calling for not crossing the sea because they thought it was too turbulent to cross the SUP board," Valtteri recalls.

Paddle Boarding Open Sea

Also, the weather forecast did not seem promising for the crossing. Wednesday's early morning seemed to be the only time for crossing. Valtteri was prepared for all necessary security measures for crossing the open sea. For example, there was a satellite phone in case something would go wrong.

"As the sun rose, the wind had calmed a bit, so I decided to try. As soon as I got to the open sea, I was able to relax because the sea was much easier to control than I had scared. The infinity of the open sea without land or ships in my sight in any direction, ”Valtteri describes.

Paddle Boarding Across the Baltic Sea

And this is what Valtteri had sought for his adventure: “Active fun for 12 hours a day and the ensuing complete exhaustion may not be everyone's idea of ​​a peaceful holiday, but for me it was just that. I was completely alone and enjoying my own space and silence. When you are completely thrown at the mercy of nature, it is much easier to assemble your own thoughts. ”

Concerned with the vulnerable and sensitive state of the Baltic Sea

In addition to peace and silence, the purpose of the trip was to pay attention to the Baltic Sea and its sensitive state. The biggest threat to the Baltic Sea is the eutrophication due to too little nutrients. In addition, oil and chemical transport, the impoverishment of nature and climate change threaten the unique water in the north. During his trip, Valtteri cooperated with the John Nurminen Foundation to raise awareness and collect donations for generations to protect the Baltic Sea.

Standup Paddle Boarding The Turku Archipelago

During the trip, Valtter's awareness of the state of the Baltic Sea also increased: "The Baltic Sea is an extremely shallow sea, with an average depth of only 55 meters. As a result of comparison to human actions. ”

Exciting encounters

During his trip, Valtteri did not meet other people, except for a few boaters and people living on the islands. However, in some places, encounters with the animals provided even surprisingly intense interaction.

Lågskär lighthouse

One of the most memorable encounters of the trip happened when Valtter arrived at Lågskär Lighthouse, a beautiful little island in the middle of the Baltic Sea. The island could be compared to the islands of the northern Galápos, as there are a lot of wild animals living there. The island is also Finland's largest breeding area for Lapland. "When I arrived on the island, I quickly noticed that the birds were not very enthusiastic about my visit. They immediately attacked me in a loudly sparkling. Fortunately, I finally found a suitable tent place far from the bird nesting area, giving them and resting," says Valtteri.

Other animal encounters came at sea, where Valtteri saw jellyfish, fish and small shrimp. Sometimes he found himself in the midst of extensive cyanobacterial ferries. These were moments when falling into the water did not seem like an attractive option. “I have a slightly special relationship with cyanobacterial. On the other hand, it is an illustration of the poor state of the sea, a great threat to sea animals and often harmful to humans. At the same time, however, the blue -green algae boards were breathtakingly beautiful, creating miles of green stripes in water, ”Valtteri describes.

Escape from everyday life

The adventure offered Valtter a lot of time and space to reflect on the world. On average, there was about 50 kilometers a day during the trip - a total of 6 full days, standing up to 12 hours a day on the board. Valtteri sometimes felt that the fun was really pregnant, but at the same time it had its own special fascination. There was also a broader effect on Valtter's well-being. He says he has never slept as well as during his trip. When the body was tired of the tough performance of the day, there was full calmness and peace in mind.

"It seems that I have formed the structure of a complete escape. Nature, physical sustainability, far away from society's norms. Exploring new places and the voiceless life most of the time. These elements seem to enable me full presence and concentration on simple things," Valtteri says. Also, learned to appreciate completely new things, such as the flat cliffs on the islands, which served as a perfect tent spot during the overnight stay. "Neither has a quick coffee cooked in Trangia, never tasted as heavenly," Valtteri says.

Valtteri has not yet had time to plan his next adventure, but it is almost certain that this adventure will not be the last. “Yes, it seems like the adventure is not subside. Let's see what I come up with next, ”Valtteri laughs.