“More About Survival Than Competition,” Says Casper Steinfath on Red Bull Heavy Water

Kai Lenny Red Bull Heavy Water 2018
Global Partner

Casper Steinfath is ‘scared to death’ with an XXL wave forecast promising waves the size of two-story buildings for this year’s Red Bull Heavy Water event.

Casper Steinfath Red Bull Heavy Water white water finish
Casper’s goal is to overcome his fear in the raging swell where racers have to cross 3X in & out of the 10-15 foot surf. Photo by: Red Bull Media Pool

“It will be a survival trip more than a competition, and it makes me scared to death and deadly excited at the same time”
– Casper Steinfath

Red Bull Heavy Water broadcast is Friday, October 18th @ 2PM PST

Casper Steinfath, aka ‘the Danish Viking’, is determined to defend his 2017 Red Bull Heavy Water title Friday morning at Ocean Beach, San Francisco. But the 26-year-old Casper Steinfath is ‘scared to death’.

The world’s best 24 male paddlers and 12 female paddlers will face waves the size of buildings. This reality puts fear in the heart of the ferocious Dane even as he celebrates his 10-year-anniversary as a professional standup paddler this year.

APP World Tour Red Bull Heavy Water mens train swell
Racers battle up wind in the 2017 Red Bull Heavy Water, skirting massive swell before their race through the mountainous wave garden to the finish. Photo by: Red Bull Media Pool

“We are facing these fast moving and dense liquid mountains. It will be a survival trip more than a competition,” – Casper steinfath

APP Red Bull Heavy Water:  Broken Boards, Broken Leashes and Broken Dreams

Steinfath just finished a training session at Ocean Beach to taste the waves before Mother Nature turns the Pacific Ocean to something very different than the smaller waves he is used to in his hometown, Klitmøller in Cold Hawaii.

The Naish team rider claimed the 2017-title with a major margin to the nearest paddler, Ryan Funk from USA, under similar conditions that they will be facing this year. People who were at the beach that day or watched the recap, recall brutal and unforgiving conditions that put even the best paddlers at risk. Broken boards, broken leashes and broken dreams are expected where athletes will be navigating this heavy surf which has been building since it hit Japan last weekend.

Casper Steinfath’s coastline in his backyard of Cold Hawaii in Denmark is rough, but it’s incomparable to what he will face on Friday.

Kai Lenny Red Bull Heavy Water 2018
Former Naish team mate, Kai Lenny, battles his way through the surging white water at the 2017 Red Bull Heavy Water. Photo by: Red Bull Media Pool


“At times, there will be millions of tons of water pushing us back that makes these waves so strong.”

Waves Will Hit Racers at 50 KM/h

Cold Hawaii is nothing like this,” says Casper, a tested and true Red Bull athlete. “The waves will hit us with 50 km/h winds, and we will be paddling against it. At times, there will be millions of tons of water pushing us back that makes these waves so strong. I guess the wave speed in Denmark is half of this – on good days. Of course, many years of practicing in the rough North Sea conditions have hardened me for occasions like this.“.

At the last edition of Red Bull Heavy Water in 2017, the course began in the white water surf zone. This year, the paddlers will start at Aquatic Park in downtown San Francisco. Then, they will paddle through unpredictable currents and raging conditions under the Golden Gate Bridge.  Finally, they will find their way south to the mega-wave party at Ocean Beach, where racers will fight their way in and out through the 10-15 foot surf no less than three times.

The Danish Viking will – without a doubt – be paddling as hard as he can.  Yet, he humbly understands that expecting to defend his title will ultimately come down to what Mother Nature throws at him in the moment and how he reacts to that.

Casper Steinfath Red Bull Heavy Water Naish
Steinfath’s triumphant win in 2017 was a testament to his commitment, tenacity and waterman power to put him over the finish line first. Photo by: APP World Tour


“Fear will be right in front of us all and will be very real. But if you can control that fear, you’ll get through.”

Looking Forward to Danish Pastry on Shore

“I’m looking forward to standing on dry land again with a cold beer and a Danish pastry, hopefully with all my bones and my Naish board intact, he says.

But of course I want to take another win”, he adds.

To win the race and collect the $15,000 dollar top prize, Casper will need raw power and all his endurance to be out in front of the leading pack before they climb into the raging surf. Once in the turbulent wave zone, courage, control and strategy will be key componants to navigate the monster waves.

We will be battling our way in and out through the surf-zone three times. To win this race, it will require the ability to maintain as calm as possible in the midst of the chaos in order to come out on top and in one piece. Fear will be right in front of us all and will be very real. But if you can control that fear, you’ll get through,” Casper Steinfath says.


WATCH THE DELAYED BROADCAST at 2PM PST on October 18th, 2019 at www.appworldtour.com

Go get ’em, Casper!

Previous articleSUP Training Technology: What’s Out There & How To Use It
Next articleMavericks Surf Awards: Jeff Clark Returns to Promote, Protect & Preserve a Wave that Matters
Evelyn O'Doherty, editor & publisher of the new Standup Journal 2.0 is a former school teacher gone rogue. She left her career as a teacher in order to spend more time near or on the water after learning to surf turned her life around (upsidedown?). She is a year-round surfer and paddler living on the eastern tip of Long Island in NY who is a certified SUP instructor, seasoned SUP racer and avid longboard surfer. Evelyn was hired as Online Editor to Standup Journal in 2016. Her passion for the project quickly led to her success and eventually taking over the mag herself in Oct. 2018. Today, as editor, publisher and chief bottle washer at Standup Journal, Evelyn keeps her toes wet writing, traveling, paddling, surfing, and learning to foil. You can find her most days paddling out on Gardiner's Bay or surfing Ditch Plains in Montauk, NY.