Stand Up Paddle Challenge


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6 am, Salzkammergut – Austria. The mountain air is fresh and clean. David is already on the lake. His SUP glides smoothly and almost soundlessly on the crystal-clear and cold water. The sun starts to rise and the first sunbeams are reflecting on the water’s surface, turning it into a rich turquoise-green. David closes his eyes for a moment to enjoy the silence and the warmth on his face. Right after he checks his sports watch. Another 1,02km done. “It is indescribable, how amazing it feels, to be on the lake, alone.”

Since February, David explored the most beautiful lakes of Salzkammergut, Austria. “I wanted to achieve 200km on my SUP in total, by being on different lakes all over my home area”. A very ambitious goal. The Hintersee, the Altausseersee or the Wallersee are just a few on his personal bucket list. One day David had the idea to use this personal experience to raise money for a good cause. “The me-time in the morning allows me to think, reflect and being grateful. I very much appreciate all life has taught me and to be able to do all I want in life”. David is humble in his words and in his quiet celebration of his ability to live independently and without pain or physical limitations. Things, which are associated with spinal cord injury. “It was clear to me, that I not only want to do something for myself. Furthermore, I wanted to do something good for others. For every kilometer I paddle, one Euro should go to Wings for Life.”

David was paddling the whole year round. Under windy conditions and only once did he lose his balance on the board and fall into the 15° C cold water. At the end of his year-round journey, he had visited 19 lakes and spent 218 kilometers on his board. “I was thrilled  with the distance – I met my goal. Only the number was a little odd”. On December 24th – for one last time – David took his SUP and of course his wetsuit, due to the wintery conditions in Austria. “And there was the even number. 222 Kilometers.”

David is already planning his next fundraising campaign. But this time he wants to include family and friends. Potentially hiking or mountain biking and use the covered distance to raise donations. If you want to support us too, please upload your campaign here. 100% of the donations will exclusively been used to fund life-changing research projects to find a cure for spinal cord injury.