The Lanier Lap

Joshua Forester recalls lessons from paddling The Lanier Lap, a 400-mile non-stop shoreline circumnavigation of Georgia's Lake Lanier by kayak.


A project that was Ambitious, daunting, unthinkable…

It is a 400-mile shoreline circumnavigation of Lake Sidney Lanier, Atlanta's largest and most popular recreational lake. The five day, non-stop paddling endeavor was a test of will and a first-ever feat to paddle the longest shoreline of the lakes exclusively in Georgia. The only person to have attempted it in the past had done so in segments, throughout the course of a full year. I attempting the undertaking in order to set a speed record; paddling continuously, with little to no sleep, for an arduous and punishing 160 hours. I named the project “The Lanier Lap”.

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JUNE 6, 2019

The Lanier Lap Began.

The Rules

What counts as a “non-stop shoreline circumnavigation”? As this is a speed record setting attempt, there are a few rules that must be used in order to ensure fair consideration for comparison.

  • The entirety of the shoreline circumnavigation must be completed by one and only one paddler.

  • The paddler must remain within 50 meters of the shoreline—either within the water or on land—for the duration of the non-stop attempt.

    • Portaging the boat across land is not allowed.

    • The paddler may take breaks ashore, but will not be able to return to their home or otherwise for extended breaks—as they will be constrained to the shoreline.

    • While the water level, or pool, of the lake greatly affects the definition of “shoreline”, it is unconstrained—the record may be set at flood pool or during a drought.

    • For the purposes of the record, “shoreline” is defined as the place where the water meets the land, breakwater structures above the waterline, the lake-facing sides of land-connected docks, or the lake-facing side of any markers for marina spaces or swimming areas.

    • Fingers of the lake are considered shoreline so long as they are at a minimum 50 meters wide. They must be entered and exited to the point where they are less than 50 meters wide or become the spill of a river, whichever occurs sooner. Where it is not obvious what is river and what is lake, recorded precedent from earlier successful attempts will be used.

  • The movement of the paddler and the boat of the paddler must only be powered physically by the paddler (fins or propellors are allowed so long as they are exclusively powered by the paddler). Motors, sails, kites, or other devices specifically designed to use wind to assist in movement are not allowed.

  • The attempt may include a support member or crew. Support for the paddler may be provided at any time either by water or on land, provided the paddler adheres to the 50 meter rule. Support excludes any assistance in the paddler or the boat of the paddler’s movement (i.e. no towing, pushing, creating wake for surfing).

  • Weather is an accepted factor in outcome and has no bearing on consideration of results.


The lanier lap training

Regular paddling sessions as well as longer feats of endurance along the way to prepare for The Lanier Lap. Interested in joining?

Supporting The Lanier Lap

If you are interested in joining in and helping, there are plenty of ways to assist along the way. From partying to paddling—find out how you can become an ally of The Lanier Lap!

The lanier lap blog

Planning this expedition; the struggles, the training, the equipment, the experience—start to finish. Interested in reading more?


The Lanier Lap Sponsors

Many thanks to the generous sponsors of The Lanier Lap. I’d like to extend my sincere appreciation to these awesome companies, without whom The Lanier Lap would still be a pipe dream. These guys have thrown in their brand with mine, so go check them out and see what they are about.


Epic kayaks, inc

For over 20 years, Epic Kayaks Inc. has a legendary surfski, kayak & paddles brand. Epic surfskis are designed in the USA by Epic founder and world renowned Sprint Kayaker, Greg Barton. Greg competed in three Olympics, where he won four Olympic medals, including two golds. His design philosophy is that every Epic customer should benefit from excellent, performance driven designs that allow them to paddle to the best of their ability, and have fun on the water. View our range of kayak paddles, kayaks, and accessories designed by world champions.

Railriders, Toughest clothes on the planet

RailRiders Clothing is engineered for adventure. Priding itself as having the Toughest Clothes on the Planet, their gear has been to the extreme ends of the earth and back, in one piece! Whether you’re scaling El Cap, kayaking the Amazon, Adventure racing in the Sahara desert, hiking the Inca Trail, or traveling through quaint European towns, you’ve found the perfect partner. You should expect your clothing to not only survive, but to thrive. RailRiders Clothing are clothes that go places – they were born at sea, but they’re ready for everything.


Live Tracking

Live tracking and messaging were possible during The Lanier Lap via Satellite GPS/Messenger: