A Mighty Noise: Kayak Surfing into the Amazon

What

Kayak surfing the Porocora (“Mighty noise” in the local Tupi dialect), a two-metre-high tidal bore wave up to two kilometres wide. 

Tidal bore waves form when the ocean’s incoming tide pushes into a river’s mouth and collides with the river’s outflow. With the weight of the ocean behind it, the tide forces itself over top of the river and a single wave moves upstream as fast as 25 kilometres an hour. Bores in some Amazonian rivers travel as far as 200 kilometres inland. 

Where

The Mirian River, at the end of a long seldom-travelled road in Brazil’s Amazon Jungle.

When

Twice a day, but best around new and full moons. 

Who

Corran Addison, Dan Campbell, Rusty Sage, Steve Fisher and Mirco Garoscio.

How

Corran Addison: “Surf kayaks were best for the wave. Playboats lacked speed and flushed quickly. We had support boats to drop behind the wave and pick us up when that happened, but you could be in the water for 20 minutes waiting for the boat to get through a break in the wave.”

How many

Even when all five paddlers were on the wave at once, there was still room for another 661 kayaks.

Why

Addison: “We had 15-minute rides that were a mix of surfing both a river wave and an ocean wave. The wave shape, and the way we surfed it, was much like a river wave, but you could actually see the riverbank zooming past you as you surfed, and you had the sensation of moving across the water like on an ocean wave.”

“The sheer roaring size of it as it worked its way upriver is guaranteed to make any man’s heart beat faster.”

Why not

Addison: “The dangers are the stuff of jungle legend, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t on your mind. In the water there are anacondas, piranhas, crocodiles and candiru fish, which colonize your urinary tract. There’s a lot to think about when you’re sitting out there all alone waiting to be picked up after flushing.”

 

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