There are those in Alaska with a strong conviction that information about surfing here in the last frontier should not be shared.
From what I gather by reading the emails and comments SurfAlaska.net receives the source of this attitude stems from a fear that if surfing spots are publicized then they will become overcrowded and the fun will be over. Many Alaskan surfers have experienced this very thing themselves in their previous lives at other surf locations around the world and now they fear it will happen in Alaska too. The North is full of independent spirited people that came up here to ‘get away from it all’.
Any surfer can understand the desire to surf uncrowded breaks, to never pass up a good wave because someone else already caught it and to have something special all to ourselves. If you discovered the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow would you post its location on the internet?
This decision of whether to share information or not has been taken seriously and we’ve discussed it to great length. I understand the fear of crowds. One of my favorite things about surfing here is that it’s something we do with friends. We get the joy of feeling like we discovered something ourselves and we decide who to share it with.
I share photos and information on SurfAlaska.net because I believe that the opportunities for surfing in Alaska are much greater than the perceived risk of overcrowding.
After traveling to almost every corner of Alaska’s coastline one thing is for sure – we are only touching the surface of the virtually unlimited surfing potential here. Alaska alone has more coastline than the entire contiguous states combined. So what keeps us from all these potentially epic surf locations?
The biggest hurdle to overcome is access. There are not many spots that we can drive our cars to. There are countless spots that we can fly or boat to, but we don’t all have boats or airplanes ourselves or the budgets to operate them. How can this access logistic be overcome? My belief is that the way to do this is through pooling our resources, knowledge, and expertise. There are surfers with boats, airplanes, cabins at surf spots, and knowledge of breaks we’ve never heard of.
Reciprocity is the answer. I’ve seen it work many times. The surfing community in Alaska is coming together and the result is that we are all catching more waves. That new guy who just paddled out into your local break might just have a floatplane and be looking for a friend that can join him for some fly-out surf trips he’s been wanting to do.
Be a friend and reap the rewards, that’s what I’ve found to be the answer. By sharing some information about surfing in Alaska I’ve in turn been given knowledge and ideas for a lifetime of surfing this last frontier along with offers of boat, airplane, and helicopter rides.
I know many readers are thinking that sharing is good, except when it comes to their local break. I understand that every situation is unique and when I consider posting something to SurfAlaska.net I do my best to be respectful of peoples concerns whether I agree with them or not. The number of positive and thankful emails and comments received far outweighs the negative and I don’t want those few unhappy voices to determine the direction of Surf Alaska.
As always, please feel free to email or call me. I hope that we can have a constructive discussion about this issue and focus on the awesome potential Alaska offers us.