The Gironde tidal bore near Bordeaux, France, may well take the cake for best party wave of all time. Aerial footage of surfers, SUPers, kayakers, even a topo-duo, riding what the French call a mascaret provides an up-close taste of the action. It’s not clear when exactly this video was filmed, but one thing is certain: whoever called it a tidal bore clearly didn’t have their priorities straight.
Sidebar: Bore Basics
A tidal bore occurs along coasts where a river empties into an ocean. It’s a strong upriver tide flowing against the current, while encountering a sudden change in depth. To form, the river or inlet must be shallow and have a narrow, flat outlet, and the tidal range between high and low must be large, at least 20 feet. Their development depends on everything from the tides to wind and river depth. They can occur every day, like the Benak bore on Malaysia’s Batang River, or annually like Brazil’s famed pororoca bore, which forms during spring tides between new and full moons. Some are benign and some ferocious, like the Dragon on China’s Qiantang River, the world’s largest at 30 feet high which has killed thousands of bystanders over the years (the first attempt to surf it came in 1988 when a team of surfers was given permission by the government to ride it, as featured in the documentary “Jaws of the Dragon”).
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