9 Best Tidal Bores To Surf in 2024!

For surfers seeking new adventures and challenges tidal bores are a perfect option! 

There are many tidal bores to surf across the globe. We name the best waves that you must try while on this planet!

What is a Tidal Bore?

A tidal bore is a natural phenomenon where the incoming tide forms a sudden and powerful surge or wave, often travelling upstream in rivers or estuaries.

1. The Silver Dragon

Location: China

Wave Height: 10-30ft

Fun Fact: The Silver Dragon on the Qiantang River is one of the world's largest tidal bores, attracting surfers and spectators from around the globe.

2. The Severn

Location: Bristol, Great Britain

Wave Height: 5-25ft

Fun Fact: The Severn Bore is famous for its power, and during spring tides, it can produce waves suitable for both experienced surfers and enthusiastic spectators.

3. The Bono

Location: Kampar River, Sumatra, Indonesia

Wave Height: 13-20ft

Fun Fact: The Bono is renowned for its high waves and is considered one of the most impressive tidal bores in the world.

4. Turnagain Bore

Location: Cook Inlet, Alaska

Wave Height: 3-10ft

Fun Fact: The Turnagain Bore is known for its unpredictable nature and can reverse its direction abruptly, creating a challenging environment for surfers.

5. The Pororoca

Location: Brazil

Wave Height: 3-14ft

Fun Fact: The Pororoca is one of the longest tidal bores, travelling up the Amazon River for over 500 miles, providing surfers with an extensive and thrilling ride.

6. Bay of Fundy Tidal Bore

Location: Bay of Fundy, Canada

Wave Height: 2-11ft

Fun Fact: Every 12 hours, the Bay of Fundy puts on a tidal show, creating a tidal bore.

7. The Dordogne Tidal Bore

Location: Mascaret, France,

Wave Height: 2-10ft

Fun Fact: The Dordogne tidal bore is celebrated for its picturesque surroundings as it travels through the scenic Dordogne Valley.

8. The Benak Tidal Bore

Location: Malaysia

Wave Height: 3-12ft

Fun Fact: The Benak is known for its strong and consistent tidal bore, attracting surfers seeking challenging wave-riding experiences.

9. The Baan

Location: Hooghly River, India

Wave Height: 5-10ft

Fun Fact: The Baan tidal bore is known for its cultural significance, attracting attention during festivals and events along the Hooghly River.

Surfing Tidal Bores

Many surfers switch it up and seek tidal bores and river breaks when looking for a different challenge. Finding these breaks is one thing, surfing them is another! 

How To Surf a Tidal Bore

Surfing a tidal bore requires careful planning and skill as itโ€™s a little different to surfing the world's oceans

Choose a river renowned for tidal bores, such as the Severn or Qiantang, and check tidal charts for optimal conditions. 

Position yourself in the river during the incoming tide, using a reliable board suitable for bore surfing. 

Anticipate the bore's arrival, paddle with its flow, and enjoy the exhilarating experience of riding the powerful upstream wave. 

Safety is paramount, so ensure you're well-prepared, aware of the bore's behaviour, and equipped with proper gear for a thrilling tidal bore surfing adventure.

What Causes a Tidal Bore

A tidal bore is caused by the gravitational interaction between the moon, the sun, and the Earth. 

When the incoming ocean tide collides with the river's current, it creates a sudden surge of water that moves upstream against the natural flow of the river. Not to be confused with ocean currents, this is river currents we are talkign about!

This phenomenon is influenced by the topography of the riverbed, the shape of the river's channel, and the gravitational forces exerted by celestial bodies, particularly the moon. 

The alignment of these factors results in the formation of a tidal bore, creating a distinctive and powerful upstream wave.

Where Are Tidal Bores Found

Tidal bores are found in various rivers and estuaries worldwide, typically in areas with specific tidal and geographical conditions. 

Some notable locations include the Qiantang River in China, the Severn River in England, the Pororoca in Brazil, and the Bay of Fundy in Canada. 

These regions are known for their unique places with unique topography waves and tidal patterns that contribute to the formation of tidal bores.

How Many Tidal Bores Are There In The World?

There are several (10+) tidal bores around the world, occurring in rivers and estuaries known for their unique tidal and geographical conditions. 

Prominent examples include the Severn Bore in England, the Qiantang River Bore in China, and the Pororoca in Brazil.

Are Tidal Bores Dangerous

Tidal bores can be dangerous due to their powerful and unpredictable nature. 

The surging water, often moving rapidly upstream, poses risks for both surfers and spectators. Additionally, the strong currents and turbulent conditions associated with tidal bores can make navigation challenging and potentially hazardous.

Largest Tidal Bore In The World

The Qiantang River Bore in China holds the title for the largest tidal bore in the world. 

Known as the "Silver Dragon," it can reach impressive heights, with wave crests sometimes exceeding 25 feet (approximately 7.6 metres).

Summing It Up: What To Do Now

Great! Now you're ready to surf a tidal bore send us a photo of your experience we would love to share it!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can you surf a tidal bore?

Yes, tidal bores, like those on the Severn River in England and the Qiantang River in China, offer surfers a unique experience riding powerful upstream waves.

What are two areas where tidal bores most commonly occur?

Tidal bores are commonly observed in the Qiantang River in China and the Severn River in England due to their unique tidal and geographical features.

Can tidal bores be predicted?

Yes, tidal bores can be predicted to some extent using advanced tidal charts and lunar-solar cycle forecasts, though local factors can still influence timing and intensity.

Do tidal bores happen every day?

No, tidal bores are not a daily occurrence; they typically occur during specific tidal conditions, often associated with spring tides.

What causes tidal bores?

Tidal bores result from the collision of incoming tides with river currents, creating a sudden surge moving upstream, influenced by the river's topography and gravitational forces.

How common are tidal bores?

Tidal bores are relatively uncommon, occurring in specific tidal rivers or estuaries influenced by factors like riverbed shape, width, and estuary presence.

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