Man from Minnesota breaks world record after paddling giant pumpkin on river

Yes, you read that correctly… A man from Minnesota in the United States has broken the world record for paddling a pumpkin, after travelling a whopping 26 miles down a river.



But it wasn’t plain sailing for Rick Swenson, who initially thought he’d only have to travel eight miles in his giant pumpkin to break the record.

However, when he was more than seven miles into his journey on the Red River at Grand Forks, paddling in his 1,086-pound vegetable, he received a text message. The message said a rival competitor who was also desperate for the world title had just paddled 15 miles in her pumpkin in Washington State.

“A half a mile beforehand, just as you’re getting mentally prepared, it all comes crumbling down,” Swenson told reporters after the event.

Shortly before 4pm on Saturday 15th October, Swenson broke the 15-mile mark meaning he grabbed the unofficial Guinness World Record. He then continued paddling for five more hours at a speed of just over 2mph, before reaching 16 miles and calling it a day.

But breaking the world record for pumpkin paddling has its dangers. Whether it will float is one concern, but with the soft interior, a grown man sitting inside one for an extended period of time might start to wonder if could survive the distance without falling apart.

But Sweson’s vegetable managed to stay whole, much to his delight! He said the following to the Grand Folks Herald of his effort: “I’ve done a little bit of paddling in a kayak, but not a lot, and especially nothing like this. I’ll never get an Olympic medal. I might as well try to get a Guinness record.”

It will now take a number of weeks before Guinness can confirm his title, with adjudicators speaking to witnesses and checking GPS records.

We applaud the effort from Mr Swenson, but not sure we’d encourage people to paddle their local waterways in a giant vegetable! Instead, why not take a look at our range of canoes, kayaks and SUP boards for sale and paddle out on something a bit safer?!

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