Surfing Bore Tide

Ron Niebrugge Alaska, Photos, Travel 2 Comments

A stand up paddle boarder surfing the bore tide, Turnagain Arm, Alaska.

A stand up paddle boarder surfing the bore tide, Turnagain Arm, Alaska.

The difference between the low tide and the high tide on Turnagain Arm on Monday was an incredible 43 feet!  Well 42.96 to be exact.  Last year we never did see a tide as low as Monday’s and this year only June 5th will be lower – mark your calenders it could be a great show at a convenient evening time.

When the water level rises that much in such a short period of time, the incoming tide begins as a wave of water sometime 6 feet tall or more.  This wave of water is called a bore tide.  The wide area of land you see just beyond the surfer was completely covered by water just a short time after this photo.

So given the extreme tide on Monday, expectations were high for a really large wave, and this brought lots of onlookers, surfers and photographers including a photographer from Seward (me).

For some reason a big wave never did form – as you can see here, the wave isn’t even up to the surfers waist.  I have seen plenty of bore tides just as big on my drives back and forth to Seward over the years.  But, it was a beautiful Alaskan evening!

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