Glacier Wave Surfing in Alaska

SwellBrains | | SurfSurf

“It was the closest I’ve ever come to death.  I wanted to go home after the first day”

“I was up to my neck in water, looking up at this 90-meter tall glacier, waiting for the ice to break off and hoping that it’ll fall straight into the water — because if it falls flat you’ll be squashed under it.” – Garrett McNamara told CNN

Garrett McNamara is the same guy who currently holds the world record largest wave ever surfed – a 78-foot bomb in Nazare, Portugal.

Garrett’s 78-foot world record ride

Not much scares Garrett, but this glacier surfing did and that means that the rest of us should surely never try it.

Garrett spent 20 hours per day for 7 days in 32 degree water in December 2010 waiting for the right piece of glacier to break off in the right spot to create a surfable wave.  To ensure a better chance at catching the wave as it came to him, he had a buddy on a jet ski with a rope ready to tow him in once the moment came.

Glacier wave surfing
Glacier wave surfing

Eventually a 75-meter chunk of ice broke off the Miles Glacier and crashed into the Copper River below creating a 2-meter wave that Garrett successfully rode on his board.  He’s likely the only one to have ever done it.

Glacier surfing Garrett McNamara
Glacier surfing Garrett McNamara



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3 thoughts on “Glacier Wave Surfing in Alaska

  1. This has been done. All you need to do is a little research, amazing how lazy people are now. The guys that did, though I forget who (there was two of them), had said after that they doubted anyone would ever try it again because of all the dangers. They dealt with piles of driftwood mini bergs and cold.

  2. In actuation, it was cool, but no spectacle. But the idea of doing this and that it has been done is huge

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