From the Orange to the Kunene on a surf-ski kayak

Two men, one kayak and 1 600 kilometers: Ian Daniel and Desmond Howard from Windhoek will attempt a new record and paddle the entire Namibian coastline from the mouth of the Orange River to the Kunene mouth. If everything goes to plan, they will start their adventure on Monday (10 July).
“Ian has always had this idea of a big adventure on a surf-ski,” explained Ciske Smith to namib times. Ciske is the moral support and back-up driver for the two kayakers. She continues: “When Ian saw that no one has ever done the Namibian coastline with a surf ski, he decided that’s what he wants to do.” That is how the Skeleton Coast Challenge – border2border was born. While Ian and Desmond will paddle in a double surf ski, Ciske will travel by land and meet up with them regularly with supplies.
The planning for this once in a life-time trip started a while ago. “We are quite nervous,” Ian admitted to namib times. Ciske added: “After all, it’s not called the Skeleton Coast for no reason.” Besides paddling the extreme distance, they intend to paddle more than 200 kilometers on the first day and thereby set up a new record for the longest continuous paddle in one go. The entire trip is expected to last about 30 days.
“They intend to start on Monday, but that is very much dependent on the weather,” Ciske says. While normal kayaking requires a lot of power and strength, surf skiing is a fairly new sport. “With a surf ski you literally paddle and then surf the waves the entire time. It is not about strength, but about riding out the opportunities,” she explained.
It is exactly for this reason the commencement of their trip is depending on the weather. “If it is east weather conditions they cannot start,” she noted. “But they will definitely start sometime next week.”
While Ciske meets up with the two paddlers at various strategic places, including Lüderitz, Walvis Bay, Swakopmund, Henties Bay and Terrace Bay the duo will have extended periods they have to camp on the beach each night and keep their supplies rationed.
“In the surf ski itself, they carry more than enough water, food, a tent, sleeping bags, a solar charger, a GPS and much more,” she says. They will also have one fishing rod, in case somewhere along the way they feel like eating fish.
If Ian and Desmond do make the trip within 30 days, they will have to paddle an average of more than 50 kilometers daily. “We set out a route with various stages. Sometimes they will paddle 25 kilometers a day, sometimes up to 200 kilometers,” Ciske explained.
Both Ian and Desmond are avid kayakers, having recently returned from the Investec Mauritius Ocean Classic Surf Ski week. This surf ski trip they used as a training camp for their new challenge. “We are very, very excited. It’s going to be trip of a lifetime,” Ian concluded.
Ian Daniel and Desmond Howard will attempt to paddle the entire Namibian coastline, over 1 500 kilometers, starting next week. They intend to do the entire trip from the Oranje rivermouth up to the Kunene rivermouth in a double surf ski.

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