When it comes to a surf trip with your mates, renting a boat in Alaska and searching for swell probably isn’t on the shortlist. Especially in the winter. But for photographer Remy Brand and a couple of his friends, it’s exactly the trip they chose. “It’s so rare that my mates and I are able to find time around work, life admin and family just to go surfing,” says Brand. “So I decided to organize a trip that we would remember.”
Brand, an Australia-based photographer, knew very little about Alaska before booking. “We actually chose the trip after a Google search of ‘Can you surf in Alaska?’ was successful [laughs],” he says. “Honestly. Without thinking too much I booked a 3-week surf charter on behalf of my two childhood best mates and prepared for the adventure of a lifetime.”
Adventure is exactly what they found. Frigid storms. Freezing water. Calving Glaciers. In their three weeks out on the boat they experienced every sort of weather imaginable, while also finding windows to surf in-between the bone-numbing, soul-crushing cold. The opportunities to get in the ocean were limited. But the crew made the most of each of them.
“We endured a pair of Alaska’s life-threatening winter storms — along with extreme seasickness — to start the trip,” Brand continues. “But afterwards, we scored empty perfection 8 miles deep into a fjord, with snow-covered mountains in the background. I’ll never forget that experience.”
All photos and captions by Remy Brand