March 21, 2020
by Christopher Parker (@wheresbossman)

WATCH: 170 paddlers in Russia commandeered an ice floe and turned it into the world’s largest paddleboard

While the idea that you can’t be on the water for several months of the year is suddenly dawning on much of world due to the spread of the coronavirus, in the far north it’s an annual feeling as long winters freeze the rivers, lakes and, some places, even the ocean.

This is why paddlers in Vladivostok, Russia seemed so happy to celebrate the “opening” of the 2020 paddle season yesterday, with more than a hundred adventurous souls gathering on an ice floe and turning it into the world’s largest paddleboard.

According to locals there were 170-200 paddlers on the ice at once, and if you watch closely you can see they’re not just hanging out — they’re actually paddling the damn thing.

Here’s another angle of the celebrations:

It seems that paddling ice floes has become the annual tradition for SUP’ers in Vladivostok, an outpost city in the far east of Russia. Every 12 months, epic images like this make us stop and look. There’s even a hashtag on Instagram #угонльдины that loosely translates to “ice theft”.

But this is by far the biggest gathering I’ve ever seen.

Seems like there were a lot of drones on the scene to capture the magic — credit for the video up top goes to @125_kirill84 and @alexeyugh (via @mihailtfv).

With so much bad news the past week, this definitely made me smile 😆

scroll through this carousel for a closer look:

close-up of the stoke!

Vladivostok paddlers are happy paddlers:

and here’s one of my favourites from the same location a couple years ago: