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America's Wildest Winter Adventures

Cold-Water Surfing

Alaska Stock LLC/Alamy

Cold-Water Surfing

The Venue: Big waves in the frigid Gulf of Alaska.

The Adventure: Dodge ice chunks and hang ten on waves in one of the planet’s more improbable places to surf. Alaska boasts dozens of choice spots along its immense coast, from breaks near the town of Seward, just south of Anchorage (where water temps average around 50 degrees) to beaches in Yakutat, which sits at a latitude of 59 degrees north. Yakutat’s Icy Waves surf shop services the 20 to 30 local surfers in the area—plus visiting wave seekers—who even in below-freezing temps hanker to suit up and paddle out for a set.

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