It doesn’t sound quite right does it? But sure enough … it’s possible and Red Bull were there to check it out, along with ace big wave surfers Raimana Van Bastolaer, Jamie Sterling, Maya Gabeira, and Carlos Burle.
This video was taken in March 2009 – coming up to the end of winter but not yet in Alaska. You would expect the water to be unbearably cold, however, thanks to the Japanese current, summer water temperature can climb all the way into the mid-60s, but average somewhere in the mid-40s to mid-50s for the better part of the year. It would be true to say, though, that no matter how epic the waves, Alaska is not for wimps!
Wimps aside, with something like 47,000 tidal shoreline miles in Alaska, and with ample swell activity pumping through the North Pacific year round, there’s certainly no shortage of good waves. According to local surfers, the potential is absolutely mind-blowing.
Jack Endicott, owner of Icy Waves Surf Shop, Yakutat Alaska, warns “You simply won’t find the real quality waves if you don’t have some local knowledge and a trusty boat.” However, several functional spots in the immediate Yakutat area don’t require any form of aquatic transport. The big waves off-shore do of course. Cannon Beach, Ocean Cape and Point Carrew all have pockets of sandbars that make for fun surf if conditions are clean. Venturing deeper south into the Alexander Archipelago seems to be where the bounty of quality surf is literally unlimited, but this region is really only accessible with a good seaplane, or a boat that can handle severe open ocean storms for days on end. If you can manage to pull one of these together you and your friends will enjoy some truly solo sessions.
Red Bull – hello???
Red Bull is a godsend to all extreme athletes. Without their help and co-operation, also their financial weight, a lot of these more extreme adventures would never get off the ground.
Red Bull and Extreme Sportsmen and women are like peas and carrots – a marriage made in heaven!