Unfortunately, Thomas Oschwald had to stop his first attempt to paddle 5000 km on a Tahoe Zephyr SUP after just one week due to health problems. We had contact with him on Thursday, and he was already feeling unwell. Here is what he told us.

Thomas, tell us, now you’re en route for a week. How’s it going? Is everything according to plan, are there surprises? What’s good, bad? Already any great stories to share?


“Well I went ahead to turn my dream into reality. Some things work better than imagined others not. All the weirs and navigation locks turn out to be extremely difficult, involving long carrying distance of board and gear. Only gradually did I learn to see them as an integral part of my trip to rather than obstacles. It seems to me like I was a little caught up in my old everyday life. I’m curious how long it is until I can let go of it.

The fifth night of my trip did not go according to plan at all. All night I had to vomit and I am only recovering very slowly. So I’ve decided for a day of rest, so I that can give my body a chance again to recover. It seems to me that my approach is substantially chaning things. Even trivial everyday things suddenly get a meaning.

Seeing pollen dancing in the air, the beaver that wanted to use my board to build a dam or just the people seeing me from the edge and wishing me good luck.”

After the vomitting did not get better and he also started to feel pain in the wrist, Thomas decided to cancelt he first attempt in Montbeliard, France. If health permits, he will start another attempt, maybe at the end of the month already. We wish him a speedy recovery! Nevertheless, respect for the paddling from Elm, Switzerland to Montbeliard, France in less than one week.

This would be the equivalent route by car:

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Und hier ein paar Fotos (c) surfline.ch