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Bore tide attracts spectators, surfers from around the globe

By Emily Carlson Photojournalist: John Thain - 10:32 PM June 20, 2014

Alaska has many beautiful features, but one of the most unique may be the bore tide. The powerful rush of water happens just twice a day — once every 12 hours. But those few minutes when the tide comes in attracts spectators and surfers from all over the world.

Turnagain Arm’s bore tide was taking shape Friday.

“It’s fantastic, it’s some of the best riding around,” said Leif Ramos of Anchorage. It’s like a party wave because it’s for everybody.”

Joining the bore tide was Brazilian surfer Sergio Laus.

“It’s so beautiful, the mountains with some snow, the trees. It’s super nice,” he said. “I love to be here, lovely place.”

On Laus’ bucket list: Surfing every bore tide in the world. He’s already crossed off China, Indonesia, England, France and Brazil. Friday he was attempting some much colder waters.

The state Department of Natural Resources describes the bore tide as a rush of seawater from the broad bay to a shallow and narrow inlet. The one in Turnagain Arm is one of the biggest in the world. Waves can reach up to 15 miles an hour, and surfers only have one shot a day to hang ten.

“When you see the waves forming, it’s unbelievable,” Laus said. “The power of Mother Nature coming and you just flow off these waters.”

Laus’ ride lasted nearly five minutes. It was a far out experience that the 34 year-old world traveler will never forget. If you haven’t seen the bore tide, it’s only a short drive from Anchorage. Beluga Point, Bird Ridge and Hope are some of the best places to catch it.

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