ISLE Share Your StoryISLE Share Your Story

ISLE Share Your Story

Melanie Bartenstein: For the Love of Surfing

Turnagain Arm - Anchorage, AK

For the Love of Surfing

Instagram Handle: melanieb_24

Location: Turnagain Arm - Anchorage, AK


Where do I even begin? Well, let’s start with this: if you don’t know what a bore tide is, go look up some videos, then come right back here to finish reading this.

Okay, now that you know what a bore tide is, I’ll share my story.

I am a born and raised Alaskan, and I grew up doing all of your typical adventurous Alaskan things. The one thing I always dreamed of trying was surfing. I read the book “Soul Surfer” like 48 times when I was a kid. I LOVED Bethany Hamilton. I wanted to be a surfer just like her. BUT, unfortunately, surfing isn’t much of a thing up here in the last frontier … so I just kept on dreaming. Until one day when I was 20 years old and met this wild but wonderful dude. He asked me to go surf the bore tide with him and that’s when I knew he’d be fun. Well, the first time he took me surfing (remember I had never surfed before in my entire life) I caught the wave AND rode it for about 10-15 minutes. If you looked up what a bore tide is you’ll get that this is a big deal cause you only get ONE chance to catch the wave. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. And once you fall off, you’re done. And I did it first try — for comparison, it takes most people a half a dozen tries to catch their first bore tide. When we got back to the car I couldn’t stop screaming with excitement. It was the best feeling I think I had ever had. I knew in that moment I was gonna marry this wonderful guy who took me surfing, and did I mention I’d only known him two weeks? Well let me tell ya something, the next time we surfed, he yelled at me as we are riding the wave “I love you!” Now how many people can say the love of their life said those three words for the first time while RIDING A WAVE!? Yeah, that’s what I thought. And to make it even better, it wasn’t all just a dream. That was three years ago and here we are now. Engaged and getting married this summer. Yes, our wedding guest book is a surf board for our friends to sign. And yes we still surf every chance we get. I fulfilled my childhood dream and got the guy. Life is good.

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