Surfing Alaska's Bore Tide

Many years ago, I worked as a tour guide in Alaska, falling deeply in love with the state. One of my favorite drives was along Turnagain Arm, a long and shallow branch of Cook Inlet, a beautiful landscape that is home to a fascinating natural phenomenon. Bore tides occur when an incoming high tide collides with the outgoing tide in a narrow channel, generating a turbulent wave front. Getty Images photographer Streeter Lecka was recently lucky enough to spend six days on Turnagain Arm, photographing the brave souls who venture out onto the mudflats to ride these waves. Waves can reach as high as 10 feet tall, crashing over calmer waters, moving upstream at 10-15 mph. Gathered here are some of Lecka's images of the surfers riding the bore tides of Turnagain Arm.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Brynn Anderson / AP

    A Sea of Flags: Commemorating More Than 675,000 Americans Lost to COVID-19

    Images of a temporary art installation made up of hundreds of thousands of small white flags representing Americans lost to COVID-19

  • Desiree Martin / AFP / Getty

    Photos: A Destructive Eruption on the Canary Islands

    More than 100 houses have been destroyed by a recent eruption on La Palma island.

  • Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: Grenadier Guards, Floating Island, Wrapped Arch

    Flooding in southern France, cliff diving in Ireland, civilian astronauts’ launch from Florida, an elephant bath in Pakistan, scenes from the Met Gala in New York City, and much more

  • Hannibal Hanschke / Reuters

    Scenes From Greenland

    Snapshots from the largest island in the world