Resilient Peoples Place: Riding Northern swells with Zoé Bulard

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By Bethany Sonsini Goodrich

YAKUTAT —When conjuring an image of ‘surf culture,’ people tend to imagine Hawaiian or Californian breaks with dark-tanned bodies in swimsuits dropping into bright blue barrels. But what about surf culture in our own backyard?

Surfing in rural Alaska comes with a unique set of challenges. The waters are cold and dangerous. Wetsuits are expensive. Surfboards are costly and difficult to ship. Accessing local instruction and safety training is hard to come by.

Recognizing the healing and empowering nature of surfing, a growing group of local and visiting surfers, culture bearers, teachers, lifeguards, and more are working to remove those barriers for youth in Yakutat.

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