Stab Magazine | Really, Who Paddles From Alaska To Mexico?

Really, Who Paddles From Alaska To Mexico?

Documentary detailing the most gnarly paddling adventure ever nearing completion.

Words by stab

Anthropologists believe the earliest humans to settle North America crossed from Siberia to Alaska about 13,000 years ago. It took another 4,000 years for people to reach California. When I met the Higginbotham brothers in San Clemente one day, gaunt and weathered, they’d just finished paddling the distance in seven months. 

“You gotta meet these guys, they’re paddling through Imperial Beach to the Mexican border this weekend,” said a longtime lifeguard friend.

That’s how Ryan and Casey Higginbotham appeared on my radar in 2016. Twin brothers who had been lifeguarding up along the San Luis Obispo Coast, pretty much on a whim they decided they were going to spend the offseason paddling from Alaska to Mexico.

I should never have met them. They should have been lost in the wilderness to animal, tide, weather or Sasquatch. When they started out on their Bark paddleboards, self-funded and self-supported, they were loaded with firearms, axes and all their worldly possession in a couple of wet/dry bags. If ignorance is bliss, they delightfully set out on the craziest paddling trek ever.

They eventually traded their guns for food after realizing that even the Grizzlies aren’t as crazy as they are. They went weeks along the Pacific Northwest coast without seeing another soul. In Washington, they slept in a sea cave. In Oregon, they broke a board and had to swim for their lives. Like underwater vultures, sharks had to be tracking them every stroke of the way.

Over the years Stab’s reported on the boys’ adventures extensively, and now we’re happy to share that they’re on the cusp of releasing the full-length documentary detailing their trip from Alaska to Mex (they’ve since paddled the entirety of the Baja Peninsula). They’ve got luminaries like Oscar-winner Jimmy Chin of “Free Solo” fame backing the project. Kelly Slater, Jamie Mitchell, Keith Malloy, the world’s most aquatic humans are backing their program…because, really, who paddles from Alaska to Mexico? It’s an incredible story. And while we freely admit, the “waterman” ethos is oft overplayed, these guys are fucking ironmen. 

Along with their new trailer, they’ve also launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund this. Remarkably in this day and age of voyeuristic, self-indulgent social media “influencers,” the Higginbotham boys boot-strapped this sucker themselves and have scraped for every nickel. If you’ve got a little extra scratch in your pocket, kick them down a few bucks, we’re backing their crazy asses 100-percent. 

Comments

Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up

Advertisement

Most Recent

Does The Stab In The Dark Winner Work For The Everyman?

Joyride: Testing Sharpeye's Inferno72 in a range of waves

Jun 19, 2021

Remarks On Some Big-Ish Surfing In 115 Degree Desert Heat

Day 1 at the Surf Ranch Pro.

Jun 19, 2021

Coco Ho And The Lost Art Of Footwork

A first-hand glimpse into the benefits of some extra wiggle room.

Jun 19, 2021

The New WSL Finals Format Is The Perfect Addition To The Most Chaotic Season In Modern Pro Surfing

Yes, it’s unfair—and we should all be very happy about that.

Jun 19, 2021

Stab Podcast: “There Is A Shit Load Of Hero Worship In The Surfing Community”

Jed Smith analyzes the bizarre social matrix inside of a surf town.

Jun 18, 2021

Stab’s Psychic Pick To Win The Surf Ranch Is…

Here’s what our metaphysical consultant had to say.

Jun 18, 2021

Episode 2: The Electric Acid Surfboard Test Starring Mason and Coco Ho

Brace yourselves, a swell is on the horizon.

Jun 18, 2021

Stab Podcast: Is Kelly’s Pool a Legitimate CT Venue?

Or is it a chlorinated charade?

Jun 18, 2021

If You Rip This Hard The Least You Deserve Is Free Surfboards

An ode to my French mate Titouan.

Jun 18, 2021

Stab Exclusive: 2021 Jeep Surf Ranch Pro Astrological Forecast

You’re God damn right we consulted a psychic.

Jun 17, 2021

Nat Young Has Been Through Hell. Now, He’s Back In A Jersey

A raw and rallying conversation with former child phenom and current CT wildcard.

Jun 17, 2021

Noa Deane Dumps Hard Drives Into New Edit ‘Flipper’

One person's trash is another person's surf motivation.

Jun 17, 2021

Watch: South Africa Has Been Luxuriously Good

One week at home with Shane Sykes.

Jun 17, 2021

The Best Surf Craft/Transport Combo To Enter The Most Localised Parking Lots In The World

Chippa redefines inconspicuous in Wilson’s Foam and Rubber.

Jun 17, 2021

Meet The Obscure Companies That Will Help Make Wave Pools As Common As Driving Ranges

Yeah, that's the future—and seven cost-efficient new technologies are quickly pushing us there.

Jun 16, 2021

Is Jack Robinson Riding A Stab In The Dark Board At Lemoore?

Those white rails look awfully familiar.

Jun 16, 2021

Want To Surf Better? It All Starts With The Brain

How that works, and simple ways to optimise your brain for surfing.

Jun 16, 2021

Why Is A Surfer From Italy The Olympic Alternate For Jordy Smith?

The ISA’s process for selecting substitutes is... different.

Jun 15, 2021
Advertisement