As this video proves, paddleboarding on a relatively calm surface isn't always easy. But that's what makes Chris Bertish's feat all the more impressive. The South African surfer has just become the first person to cross the Atlantic Ocean alone on a stand-up paddleboard. Granted, his 1,360-pound board was a bit fancier than most. The 20-foot-long craft equipped with radio, GPS, weather forecasting equipment, solar panels, and a tiny cabin for sleeping helped Bertish overcome massive waves, intense winds, and even "shark encounters" during his 93-day venture more than 4,050 nautical miles from Agadir, Morocco, to Antigua's English Harbour, where he arrived Thursday, reports SUP Magazine. At times, it looked like he might not make it. Roughly 2 months into the trip, Bertish told SUP his craft had been taking on water for nearly two weeks due to rough conditions.
"I have a sea grass growing on my entire deck because it's underwater the entire time," he said. The New York Times reports he ended up having to "jury-rig" a dozen broken items, and suffered a torn rotator cuff that will require surgery. But he kept paddling, nabbing an additional record for longest distance traveled solo and unsupported across open ocean in a 24-hour period at 71.96 nautical miles, per NPR. He also raised more than $490,000 for three charities with the goal of building schools in South Africa, providing food for hungry kids, and funding cleft lip and palate operations, reports CNN. His message for the kids he's helped after 2 million strokes across the ocean, per a Facebook post: "There is no such thing as impossible, unless you believe it to be." (Read about a shorter but also impressive paddleboard feat.)