Press Releases

Kokatat sponsors first ever Arctic Ocean crossing expedition

This July, a Kokatat-sponsored team will embark on one of the exploration world’s last great firsts: a non-stop, unsupported row across the Arctic Ocean.

This July, a Kokatat-sponsored team will embark on one of the exploration world’s last great firsts: a non-stop, unsupported row across the Arctic Ocean. The four-man team of Paul Ridley, Collin West, Neal Mueller and Scott Mortensen aim to be the first.

No one has ever successfully crossed the world’s least traveled ocean by rowboat— With modern technology and communication capabilities, but no support boat, the Arctic Row team will row more than 1,100 miles across some of the most pristine habitats on earth.

Starting in Iceland, and finishing in Svalbard, Norway, the Arctic Row will take an estimated 20-30 days, depending on the weather. Team members will rotate between the two rowing positions; each rowing for two hours on and two hours off for 24 hours a day. Along the way they will consume some 5,000 calories each day and carry nearly 1,000 pounds of food with them.

The cold conditions add an additional level of complexity to the trip. Exposure to the water is not survivable for a long period of time. In order to minimize cold weather risks, the team will be harnessed to the boat at all times.

Kokatat has provided team Arctic Row with its award winning GORE-TEX® Expedition dry suits that are relied on by some of the world’s most renowned adventures.

The vessel was built with the latest rowing technology; the team will have two watertight cabins—one for sleeping and the other for food and gear. The boat’s instruments are powered by solar panels mounted above the cabins.

The solar panels will charge batteries that connect to a VHF radio, GPS, and navigation system. The team will rock out to an iPod and use a laptop to track the weather, update their blog, and tweet.

The team will be documenting their historic journey for a documentary film and will be conducting research along the way. Twice-daily samples of plankton will be taken from a trawl deployed behind the boat and water temperature and salinity data will be monitored

constantly from on-board equipment.

“We are working with the organization Adventures and Scientists for Conservation to identify appropriate and impactful data collection opportunities that will advance awareness and understanding of pace of climate change in the region,” said team member Collin West.

Team Arctic Row will keep followers updated via their blog, and on Twitter “@arcticrow” as they embark on the first ever Arctic Ocean crossing by rowboat.

For more information on this and other Kokatat sponsored expeditions visit

About Kokatat Watersports Wear: 

Celebrating over 40 years of innovation, Kokatat is an independently operated, US manufacturer of technical apparel and accessories for water sports. Handcrafted in Arcata, California, Kokatat employees are focused on building the finest functional product for people who work and play on water. Our gear is designed for paddlers, by paddlers, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience on the water all year long and in all weather conditions. Into the water with Kokatat! Please visit and follow Kokatat on Facebook and Twitter “@kokatat”.