When most people think of surfing destinations, it’s not likely that Alaska is anywhere on their radar. However, the Last Frontier offers some pretty epic waves, mainly because it’s not that hard to find a set that no one on the planet has ever surfed before. So, if you’re thinking of taking a chilly trip to the 49th state, here are some tips for taking in some of the most amazing surfing you’re likely to find.
When to go
Shoot for visiting in the spring or fall because winter is just too darned cold. If you visit from April through October, you’ll get the water when it’s at its warmest. But even then, don’t expect water temps to creep much above 56 degrees, so bring an appropriate wetsuit. Speaking of that…
What to pack
As mentioned above, you’ll need a warm wetsuit. You’ll also want gloves and booties in the 3-5 mm range. As for boards, it’s really up to your own preferences, but most avid Alaska surfers prefer something on the shorter side with plenty of volume because the salt content is lower in Alaska thanks to glacial run-off.
How to get there
If you’re able, driving the ALCAN and Cassiar highways through Alaska is a bucket list event. You’ll obviously want to tack on some extra days to your trip because you’ll be on the road for a LONG time, but the scenery is worth it. If you’re flying, Alaska Airlines can usually get you to Anchorage International Airport for pretty cheap.
Where to stay
Camping is really epic in Alaska during the surfing season, but regardless of whether you want to chill in a tent, B&B or hotel, the south-central region of the Kenai Peninsula is a great place to stay.
How much will it cost?
Alaska will likely be one of the more expensive surf trips you’ll ever take, simply because of the remoteness of the areas and the relative costs of getting supplies to those areas. Depending on how much beer you drink and the other extra-curricular activities you engage in, you can probably expect to spend around $130-150 per person per day for lodging, food, and entertainment.