Surf’s Up Alaska

Mark Sundeen, a great travel writer whose book The Making of Toro had me laughing till my gut hurt (or was that just gas?) has penned a great piece on surfing in Alaska that I highly recommend. The article was in Outside’s November issue and is available in its entirety online. It took him a while to get to the destination from LA, some three flights and lots of trudging, but he finally ended up in the fishing village of Yakutat, on the Gulf of Alaska some 300 miles southeast of Anchorage. Not exactly surf country in the way most of us think surf country should be.

But the waves are tasty and glassy and, yes, cold. He is in good company with a swarm of top notch surfers including six-time world-champion surfer Layne Beachley, probably the top chick surfer around. As an extreme surfer myself (that is, extreme amateur), I have to say that I’ll leave this one to hardy souls like Sundeen to cover. But I confess it would be interesting to see someone hanging ten with icicles hanging off their toes.