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The Paddleboarders Who Took Over a Russian Ice Floe

The ice chunk was (roughly) 80 feet.

To most pilots of floating craft, a massive ice floe is a obstacle to be avoided. To the stand-up paddleboarders of Vladivostok, Russia, though, it’s something else: a challenge.

This past weekend, despite subzero temperatures, a few dozen athletes came out to paddle their boards around Ussuri Bay. But as one participant, Vladimir, later explained to SUPRacer, a shish kebab snack break on one of the many ice floes soon inspired a new plan.

“So many paddlers arrived that we thought, ‘Why not try and paddle the ice floe like it’s a giant board?’” Vladimir said.

Why not indeed? The paddle club, SUP Vladivostok, posted an action video on Instagram in which colorfully attired, psyched-up paddlers successfully set the (roughly) 80-foot floe to cruising. “A regular weekend in Vladivostok 🙈,” reads the caption below one photo.

According to the Siberian Times, stand-up paddleboarding, or SUP, has been gaining popularity in eastern Russia. “Many Vladivostok surfers continue paddling even in winter despite freezing temperatures,” the Times writes. Or maybe, one gets the feeling, because of them.

Every day, we track down a fleeting wonder—something amazing that’s only happening right now. Have a tip for us? Tell us about it! Send your temporary miracles to cara@atlasobscura.com.