Surfers in Alaska ride waves for an astonishing five miles

By: Pete Thomas,

For most surfers, a really long ride might last about 20 seconds and cover 50-60 yards, so imagine the thrill experienced by a group of standup paddlers recently when they rode waves for a distance of nearly five miles — amid the splendor of the pristine Alaskan wilderness.

The magical event played out on the Turnagain Arm in the Cook Inlet near Girdwood, thanks to a phenomenon called a tidal bore, caused when the leading edge of an incoming tide pushes against an opposing current or the direction of a river. This creates actual tidal waves.

[Video:Surfer films great white sharks circling his board]

Tidal bores occur in very few places around the world and the Turnagain Arm exhibits a tidal bore only when conditions are right.

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