Surfing in Alaska

When many think of surfing they picture sandy beaches, a crystal clear ocean, and beautiful sunny weather. However, many of the places with the best surf are actually very different from these stereotypical beaches. Surprisingly, there is a lot of surf to be enjoyed in Alaska. And, the best part is, you can usually get it all to yourself. Whether it’s a day trip to the beach, a short multi-day trip in a helicopter or boat, or a full-on expedition, there are options out there for everyone. 

When planning a trip to Alaska with an intention to go surfing you will likely want to go in the spring or the fall. These are the times with the best combination of daylight and continuous and consistent waves sets. Some  of the best destinations include Seward, Kodiak, and Sitka. There are also several surf shops and guiding companies who are able to aid you in your surfing endeavors. 

Alaska Surf Guides

Based out of Seward, Alaska Surf Guides are a go-to for remote surfing adventures. Jump on a day-long helicopter supported trip where you’ll get the opportunity to explore and surf a unique remote beach. On your return trip you’ll enjoy a flightseeing tour. Or you can take a retired commercial fishing boat on a multi-day expedition. 

Icy Waves Surf Shop 

Located in Yakutat, this small family-run surf shop is a must for any one curious about surfing in the natural beauty of Alaska. Stop by to rent wetsuits, surfboards, and SUP boards. Go share the waves with the local surfers who love showing visiting adventurers the best spots. Mind the line-up and be respectful as a visitor to these established surf cultures.

Surf Alaska/Ocean Swell Ventures

Partnering with Ocean Swell Ventures for boat-based surf trips, Surf Alaska utilizes their boat the M/V Milo to get out further. They also offer SUP trips and operate a surf shop in Seward. Taking a boat can keep you close to the water and get you to your experience sooner.

Snowy mountains with blue skies and water on the ground

The Turnagain Arm, near Anchorage, is where you can have an extended surf on the Bore Tide

Surf the Bore Tide

This is an option for those surfers looking for a more extreme experience. Located in the Cook Inlet along the Turnagain Arm, a bore tide occurs when water leaving a river or narrow bay confluences with the high tide of the ocean. This creates a fairly fast and tall wave. The best part is if you manage to surf it, you can ride it for several minutes. However, it is important to be familiar with tidal charts since you only have two opportunities to ride the tide a day.  Stop by the TA Surf Co for lessons, paddle board tours, and for help with logistics to surf in Alaska.

Alaska has so much coastline with incredible views that are just asking to be explored. And surfing in Alaska is one of the best ways to do it.  Feel the flow, spot wildlife in their natural habitats, and get connected to the incredible ocean waters of the Last Frontier.

Written By: Hope Macke