Text by Tetsuhiko Endo

Anywhere there are waves, there are also surfers. Which explains why there will be lots of men and women in wet suits running around the Severn River in Gloucester, England, today and tomorrow.

The river's estuary, the Bristol Channel, has the second highest tide range in the world (47.5 feet, beaten only the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia), making the Severn home to a famous tidal bore. The size and length (and therefore rideability) of the bores varies depending on the strength of the tides, but a few days every year produce rollers that measure six to ten feet on the face and offer legendary rides of over an hour. The United Kingdom Environment Agency rates the bores on a scale of one to five stars and posts a yearlong bore forecast on their website that is accurate up to the minute. Wednesday saw a few three-star beauties grind up the banks—and even send spectators running for cover. Sources on the ground are talking about a possible four-star rogue set at 10:20 a.m. Thursday morning

Although the frequency and quality of the bore will peter out this spring, things will pick back up in late summer and early autumn. If you are interested in riding, bring at least a 3/2-mil wet suit and a board that paddles quickly and has lots of volume to float you through the flat spots.

If you are looking for a more wild experience, there is no shortage of tidal-bore surfing around the world. To date, there are 67 known tidal bores across the globe, not all of which have been surfed.  Although the Severn bore is one of the more famous, larger and far more powerful ones exist in China's Quiantang River and in the Bay of Fundy.  Perhaps the most spectacular is the mythical Pororoca, that appears in the mouth of the Amazon River in northern Brazil.  However, unlike Gloucester, you also have to share the wave with crocodiles and piranhas.     

Comments

  1. jake
    February 11, 2009, 1:21 pm

    ASAP i would be concerned it is far too cold for me to surf! Take in consideration late huge snowing in England! But still there is a woman who was swimming it such conditions whole Atlantic! Check it here:
    http://extreemblog.com/adventure/52-first-woman-tough-enough-to-swim-across-atlantic

  2. Neil Law
    February 17, 2009, 6:17 am

    For sure it was cold. Very cold, even for a Brit bore rider like me. The higher, more inland areas of the bore country needs a relatively low level of freshwater to work, and with our recent snowmelt that was never going to happen. But the lower areas need that extra depth to be at their best, and they were. This is my footage shot from Arlingham on Thursday morning.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fzPu7_jP2I

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    April 29, 2010, 5:24 pm

    i like this part of the blog:”Although the frequency and quality of the bore will peter out this spring, things will pick back up in late summer and early autumn. If you are interested in riding, bring at least a 3/2-mil wet suit and a board that paddles quickly and has lots of volume to float you through the flat spots.” is very good, you should add some pictures….

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    February 25, 2011, 4:04 am

    Surfing really rocks but then I don’t know how to surf. I have a fear on big waves. So, What I merely do is just to appreciate the thing that I want to do but can’t possibly do. Hope I can manage this fear so that I can be able to take away that surfing envy.

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    July 28, 2011, 12:10 am

    Wednesday saw a few three-star beauties grind up the banks—and even send spectators running for cover.

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    December 2, 2011, 7:13 am

    Severn lose interest is one of the more well known, bigger and far more highly effective ones are available in China’s quiantang stream and in the Bay of Fundy.