Joe Bidawid recalls 59-Mile Lake Michigan Sup Crossing – 10 Years later

Joe Bidawid Lake Michigan crossing finish
Joe Bidawid Lake Michigan crossing finish
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Ten years ago, Joe Bidawid did something incredible.  Ten years ago, standup paddling was still a fledgling sport on our shores and NO ONE had heard of or attempted any kind of large water crossing.  Joe did.  Joe Bidawid helped to pioneer the sport of standup paddling in Michigan when he accomplished the 1st ever 59-mile Sup Crossing of Lake Michigan alone and unassisted.

Joe Bidawid Lake Michigan crossing
The Godfather of Sup in the Great Lakes, Joe Bidawid has some tales to tell.

10-Year Anniversary of the 1st solo Lake Michigan crossing

This summer marked the 10-year anniversary of Joe Bidawid’s historic 59-mile unassisted standup paddle Lake Michigan crossing.  While sup crossings are common place in today’s world, back in 2007, Bidawid’s crossing not only put standup paddling on the map on the Great Lakes region, but also turned heads around the world.

Prior to Joe’s successful journey across Lake Michigan, the longest sup crossing at that time was Laird Hamilton’s 17-mile crossing of the English Channel.

For the first time, Bidawid opens up about his life altering journey and unveils vivid and colorful details about the events of that historic day on August 27th, 2007. While the focus has always been on the magnificent accomplishment, he vividly describes the gut wrenching emotional and physical struggles that have come to largely define the experience for him.

Joe Bidawid Lake Michigan crossing finish

Michigan Lake Sup Crossing:  10 Years later, but still alive in memory today

Much has changed in 10 years since the day, but the crossing continues to define Bidawid’s existence within the stand up paddling community.

“People still ask me about it. The more I try to keep it quiet, the more people want to know about it. It continues to take on a life of its own.” – Joe Bidawid

Seemingly alone at St. Joe’s Sliver Lake Beach, Bidawid, recalls rising to his feet just as the sun had set.  Under a half moon, he nervously pushed away from shore and locked into a committed stair across the horizon. “I will never forget the moment I left shore and the rush of mixed emotions”.

Nineteen hours later, he arrived at Monroe Harbor in downtown Chicago. “The entire event felt like an out of body experience.”

Written by, Ryan Bond



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Evelyn O’Doherty
Evelyn O'Doherty, owner & publisher of the new Standup Journal 2.0, worked her way up the ranks in the world of stand up paddling. A former surfer gone rogue, Evelyn stepped onto a SUP for the first time in 2009 when a plaguing neck injury kept her out of the water from surfing. Discovering the core benefits and expanded perspective on the water that stand up paddling brings, Ev immediately was hooked. She became a strong SUP racer in the North East and a year-round SUP surfer, gathering multiple top brand sponsorships including becoming a team rider for Starboard SUP and a national ambassador for Kialoa, as well as celebrating all aspects of the sport with additional brand ambassadorships including lululemon athletica, Clif Bar, Cobian, Kaenon & Indo Board. Her love of watersports and commitment to advocacy in preserving our marine environments led to a short film made with The Nature Conservancy as part of their Clean Water initiatives on Long Island, NY, called "A New Perspective". Evelyn just keeps paddling. Today, she's stepped up to take over the helm at Standup Journal after having worked for the magazine for 2 years as senior online editor. Her dedication and belief in the power of print to immerse readers in the watersports they love even if they don't have access to the water in a daily existence plus a powerful desire to spotlight the amazing people doing rad sh*t on the water is what drives her vision for Standup Journal 2.0. Evelyn welcomes the conversation about how to make the magazine benefit as many people as possible and encourages feedback, letters to the editor and communication at . Now, as owner/publisher for Standup Journal., Evelyn continues to live in East Hampton NY where she has daily access to the water. When the swell is working, you can find her in Montauk rattling around in her Ford Ranger surfboards hanging out the back headed for points East.