August 19th, 2007
Extreme sports enthusiasts and laymen alike will marvel at a new dangerous sport – Ice surfing – which is becoming more and more popular as global warming continues to melt glaciers. This activity consists of waiting till a huge piece of glacier breaks off and hits the water hundreds of feet down below. This sends up a huge wave of icy water, and it is at this point that you can get an exhilaratingly long period of time riding the ice-cold water which, it must be added, is filled with hundreds of small pieces of sharp ice.
It is undeniable that the pictures look really funky, but I can’t understand how besides it looking quite fashionable, ice surfing can be a very pleasant experience at all. Kealii Mamala who usually surfs in the exotic waves of Hawaii has recently broken a record for spending a whole minute surfing on a glacial tsunami in Alaska. He describes his experience:
“It wasn’t very big but it got the hairs on the back of my neck tingling. I felt myself at the barrel’s edge. It was a rush but it was a good feeling, all natural and super-powerful.”
Mamala and his fellow surfer Garrett McNamara had to wait for a month before their chosen glacier caved in and they could perform their surf. They towed towards the glacier on surfboards using jet skis and like Kealli, McNamara is thrilled with the experience. He says:
“It’s the heaviest thing I have ever done in my life. It’s like the Empire State Building about to come down on top of you.”
Well, congratulations to them for achieving something so new and different – though I’d rather them than me!