Paddle Boarder Becomes First to Cross the Florida Straits
I, Randy McCoy, recently did a story about paddle board yoga as a new form of exercise, but this paddle boarder did more exercise than yoga. Ben Friberg became the first person to paddle board across the Florida Straits between Cuba and the United States, a 110-mile stretch of water.
A support boat with Ben’s father followed along on the 28-hour trip as he left Cuba on Thursday and arrived in Florida on Friday. When the trip was over he was dehydrated, but otherwise in good health. This is not Ben’s first extended paddle board trip, last year he broke a world record when he traveled 238 miles on Canada’s Yukon River in 24 hours
Friberg is a 35-year-old musician from Tennessee, he plays guitar and leads a band and now is believed to be the first person to paddle board across the entire Florida Straits. In 2011 a Miami lifeguard Cynthia Aguilar did paddle board from 14 miles off the Cuban coast across the Strait, but she couldn’t go the entire distance of 110 miles because she didn’t start from dry land, not having received permission from Cuba to set foot in their country.
Friberg said the reason for the trip was to promote a healthy lifestyle (by killing yourself in shark infested waters?) and to promote peace and understanding between the United States and Cuba.