Since Alex Linnell was a five year old boy swimming in Lake Itasca and hopping across the stones at the headwaters of the Mississippi, he has been all about outdoor adventures, trying things most others do not, and pushing limits. The only things that changed since that day are his age and the scope of his aspirations. Today this 21 year old Minnesotan, born and raised, is planning to not only to return to the waters that become the Mighty Mississippi, he plans to stand-up paddle (SUP) the entire length of the river to the Gulf of Mexico
Alex grew up around water, trying new things and pushing his personal limits. Three years ago he discovered SUP, using an old windsurfing board and oar paddle. To date he’s paddled on Lake Superior, the Gulf of Mexico and inter-coastal waters around Sarasota, FL, as well as a number of Minnesota’s 10,000+ lakes. Alex had the honor of paddle surfing with Jeff Sweet in the Malibu area in January 2011. He also successfully competed in a SUP race in Clearwater, FL in March 2011. Spending summers boating at his grandpa’s cabin in Northern Minnesota; participating in an extensive variety of Minnesota’s outdoor opportunities since he was a little boy (his dad works for the MN Department of Natural Resources); annual BWCA trips; buying his own kayak at age 12; and teaching himself to windsurf five years ago after finding forgotten equipment, all set the stage for this adventurer.