A few issues back, The Surfers Journal ran an article about surfing in Hangzhou, China. The Qiantang River is home to the world’s largest tidal bore and Jamie Sterling, Rusty and Greg Long, and Mark Healey as well as hundreds on onlookers were there to witness the “Silver Dragon” in action. Not to mention the four surfers taking apart this natural wonder.
I have been to Hangzhou and seen with my own eyes this tidal bore tearing down the river. The host of my trip was more excited about showing me the “Silver Dragon,” as they call it, then anything else we did while in China. And I’ll tell you, it was not a let down. People gather in grandstands along the waters edge and are counting down the seconds until you can see a wall of water moving towards you at 25 mile per hour.
“Bores occur in relatively few locations worldwide, usually in areas with a large tidal range (typically more than 6 metres (20 ft) between high and low water), and where incoming tides are funneled into a shallow, narrowing river via a broad bay. The funnel-like shape not only increases the tidal range, but it can also decrease the duration of the flood tide, down to a point where the flood appears as a sudden increase in the water level. Note the tidal bore takes place during the flood tide and never during the ebb tide.”
Check out some footage from the first ever surfing experience on the Qiantang River!