Battling lightning, torrential rain, wind, sizeable whitecaps, and a nasty gash on his finger, Shane Perrin paddled for 24 hours around a 1.2-mile loop on Simpson Lake in St. Louis to set a standard for men in the world of standup paddleboarding.
Perrin, 38, fell short of his 100-mile goal but covered an impressive 95.6 miles to establish a Guinness World Record for greatest distance by paddleboard on flat water in a 24-hour period. A GPS unit attached to the board documented the time and mileage to comply with Guinness guidelines.
SUP the Mag, detailing the achievement that was recorded over the weekend, reported that the women’s record is 90.7 miles but that no men’s standard had been set. Perrin took care of that.
“The record, while pretty cool to have, was more so to set a benchmark in distance SUP,” Perrin told GrindTV Outdoor in an email. “I hope it pushes people someday to pursue it and break it.
“I’m a little disappointed on the mileage I made. The conditions weren’t very good to attempt a record, but we had already postponed the attempt from April. Time-wise on my SUP season, May was the last free timeframe. So it had to be.”
Perrin is no stranger to setting SUP firsts. He was the first to complete the La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge (a four-day, 179-mile stage race), the Texas Water Safari (a 264-mile race), the Missouri MR 340 (the world’s longest nonstop river race), and the 300-mile Watertribe Everglades Challenge from Tampa Bay to Key Largo, Florida.
Days before his latest SUP achievement, Perrin cut his finger on a chain saw and it reopened early in his paddle.
“For some reason I didn’t put on gloves until three hours in,” he told SUP the Mag.
Weather was another issue.
“I was at 52.5 miles after 12 hours, and so was on pace to exceed my target of 100 miles, but then the wind set in and whichever way I turned on my loop, it seemed to follow me to become a headwind,” he said.
Wind dropped him to his knees for a while, but it was a balance problem that caused him to fall overboard. He was changing paddles with a support team member when a paddle he was reaching for got caught up in a jacket. He overreached and fell into the water—along with his smartphone, later revived thanks to a bag of rice.
The same thing happened to him during the Watertribe Everglades Challenge. His iPhone’s ringer failed to work after he and his phone were swept off his board and into the Atlantic Ocean.
Perrin told SUP the Mag that his next SUP challenge will be a 100-mile paddle in the U.S. Virgin Islands next month.
He might think about leaving his smartphone behind.
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