Stand Up Paddle Boarding The Mississippi River

Starting on June 1st, Minnesota native Alex Linnell departed Lake Itasca, the headwaters of the great Mississippi River, on a journey to the Gulf of Mexico via Stand Up Paddle Boarding. Alex is trying to raise money for people affected by natural disasters like the recent floods, tornadoes and wildfires. If you would like to donate click here!

To put his epic journey into perspective the average surface speed of the Mississippi water is near 1.2 mph – roughly 1/3 as fast as people walk.  When the water reaches New Orleans the river increases its flow to that of 3 mph on average. This would mean that in optimal conditions Alex could travel at a top speed of around 5 mph.

Now put on your math caps. He is traveling 2,400 miles down river and is paddling for approximately eight hours a day and camping each night.  How long will it take him to reach his Gulf of Mexico destination?

Wow! Middle School math class flashback…

Answer: It will take Alex, with optimal conditions, about 60 days to complete this adventure. If he were to chill and float south at the rivers natural flow of three mph it would take him nearly 100 days. So let’s give Alex some incentive for his paddling… donate if you can!

To keep up to date on Alex’s progress head over to his site and check on his progress.

Multiple World Records

Alex has the possibility of triumphing over a few records as he heads South. If he completes his task he will be the 1st person to Stand Up Paddle Board the entire length of the Mississippi River. As an added bonus, if Alex paddles 2,350 miles down the Mississippi he will surpass the World Record set by Tom Jones (1507 mile) for the longest Stand Up Paddle Board trip set in the summer of 2010 when Jones paddled from Key West, FL to New York City.

He’s Not Alone

Hot on Alex’s heels are two men trying to complete the same Stand Up Paddle Board journey down the Mississippi. We may be bias here at the Minnesota based House Boardshop, but we’re rooting for Minnesotan!

Matt Crofton

Matt Crofton

Hot on Alex’s heels is Matthew “Tumbleweed” Crofton, of Florida. This time last year matt found himself in the ICU on life support, faceing total organ failure,  Matthew was given 48 hours to live.

“Well, two weeks later, I did wake up. My organs came back to full function. I spent six months learning how to walk again and now here I am a year later attempting the adventure of a lifetime and spreading the news that miracles still exist” To lean more about his story pleas visit http://www.mattcroftonwrites.com

Dave Cornthwaite

Dave Cornthwaite, the second man racing to set the record, is a British adventurer who seems like he’s out to prove that anyone can Stand Up Paddle Board the Mississippi. Evidentially even a tax attorney in cheap shoes.

Here are a few of the things you would need should you attempt a Stand Up Paddle Board trip down the Mississippi:

4 Responses to “Stand Up Paddle Boarding The Mississippi River”


  1. Alex has been a customer of yours for windsurfing for several years. You were the ones that put him in touch with the SUP rental company in St. Pete’s a couple years ago, so he could paddle the Gulf and Intercoastal waters in the Sarasota and Clearwater areas! Thanks for the article!


  2. This is amazing!


  3. Diana Yates on said:

    A year ago Matthew Crofton was given 48 hours to live. He was trying to be the first to paddle board the Mississippi to raise money for his hospital charity but now he will be the 3rd. He commits to STANDING at least 8 hours a day even though his disease brings him much pain. And, he is the ONLY one that is doing it solo with no sponsorship and all his gear strapped to the board.


  4. Evil Eye on said:

    Matt Was just on with the Monsters in the Morning on Real Radio 104.1 in Central FL.

    He’s in IOWA now.

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