Loch Ness is know for one thing … and it’s not paddleboarding. David Haze is trying to change that, but it seems Nessie is trying to be a monster when it comes to his record-breaking attempts to paddleboard across the loch. However, it better think twice because this guy is a formidable foe on the paddleboard and in life.
“It did get a little bit hairy out there. The wind picked up in the middle of the loch, the waves were probably rolling about 3ft or 4ft.”
David Haze held six world paddleboarding records -- in 2021 he paddled the lengths of Scotland’s 25-mile Lake Awe, England’s 12-mile Lake Windermere, 19-mile-long Lough Neagh in Northern Ireland and Wales’ 4-mile Llyn Tegid in four days. Then he paddleboarded across the River Thames in London in world record time, followed by the 27 mile length of Lough Corrib in Southern Ireland—but claims none prepared him for the winds and waves of Loch Ness. Haze was an experienced university sailing champion and a surfer before switching to paddleboarding. However, his quest for records is much more than athletic.
“The second time when I was inside I realized the only one really in charge of your own destiny is yourself. I had to take this journey of self-discovery to learn my red flags, my green flags, what I’m capable of and what I truly want from life and what makes me happy.”
“Inside” in Haze’s case means inside prison. After achieving success as a foreign exchange broker, he tells The Mirror he turned to drugs and, after losing his job, to crime – finally ending up incarcerated twice for burglary. After his second stint two years ago, he became a consultant for the criminal justice system … and a record-setting paddleboarder.
“I’ve never seen Loch Ness, it’s one of the most famous lochs in the UK and also pretty famous around the world. Having the opportunity to see it will be amazing, but being able to paddle board on it will be even better. I think this is one that I’m going to remember.”
That it was. Haze had a special 14-foot board designed for the attempt – it features an image of Nessie -- and used the quest to raise money for the Jubilee Sailing Trust. (Photo here.) As reported by The Press & Journal, on March 9, he placed the paddleboard in the waters of the 23 miles long, 800 feet deep loch and started paddling.
“I think I fell in more times in this challenge than I have in my whole paddleboarding career.”
Five hours and 45 minutes later, Haze reached the other side and broke the previous record by over an hour. His time was verified by multiple witnesses, two-minute-long videos every hour and a GPS tracker. However, he says he would have been even faster … if not for what he claims was interference from the Loch Ness monster.
“I blame me falling in on Nessie, I reckon she knocked me in.”
Did Nessie not like Haze – or was it the charity he selected? Would “Save Our Monster” have been a better one? Or “Keep Loch Ness Clean”?
Whatever the case, kudos are in order for David Haze for braving Loch Ness, its monster and his own demons as he set his seventh world record.