Research and other investigations by Matthew Niederhauser out of Beijing, China.

Surfing Hangzhou: Riding the Silver Dragon Tidal Bore

Surfers ride the Silver Dragon tidal bore through Hangzhou

A tidal bore is a rare natural phenomenon when the leading edge of an incoming tide propels a wave that runs up a river in the opposite direction of its current. These massive bodies of water are true tidal waves as opposed to a tsunami which runs over open ocean. The tidal bore in Hangzhou, known as the Silver Dragon, has been customarily watched by locals for over two thousand years. It is also the largest in the world and can climb up to 9 meters in height while traveling 40 kph. In the past few years, however, a new tradition is taking root. Surfers from all over the world are flying into Hangzhou to ride the longest wave in the world. Using jet skis and boats, the surfers can enjoy up to ten kilometers of continuous action. Even the bureaucratic Chinese sports administration is getting in on the action and promoting it as a blockbuster event for extreme sports in the country. Thousands of people come out everyday to watch the tidal bore at its height around the mid-autumn festival. Check the photos of gawkers below as well as this excellent video.

Gawkers crowd against the railings to see the Silver Dragon tidal bore in HangzhouGawkers crowd against the railings to see the Silver Dragon tidal bore in Hangzhou

Gawkers crowd against the railings to see the Silver Dragon tidal bore in HangzhouGawkers crowd against the railings to see the Silver Dragon tidal bore in Hangzhou

Gawkers crowd against the railings to see the Silver Dragon tidal bore in HangzhouGawkers crowd against the railings to see the Silver Dragon tidal bore in Hangzhou

Gawkers crowd against the railings to see the Silver Dragon tidal bore in HangzhouGawkers crowd against the railings to see the Silver Dragon tidal bore in Hangzhou

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7 Responses

  1. dom

    Hi. Just wanted to ask, how can we try surfing this year at the bore? Like to try it since i saw it at youtube. Im living in Beijing now.
    Thanks.

    July 13, 2011 at 3:33 pm

  2. Really not sure on the details or how to surf. The official Chinese surf association controls it all somehow.

    July 14, 2011 at 5:36 am

  3. SICK. who is in charge of the tours?

    Thanks,

    dave

    February 24, 2012 at 11:11 am

  4. Al Udwin

    I will be in guanzhou in 2 weeks. How do I find out when the Silver Dragon breaks and who do I talk to to ride it?

    June 2, 2012 at 3:35 am

  5. Gerry

    I am in shanghai and want to try as well. Does anyone have more information?

    September 9, 2012 at 7:10 pm

  6. Loukas

    To all,

    You MUST have permission from the Chinese government to enter the water.

    April 15, 2013 at 1:34 am

  7. wayne

    I would to surf the tidal bore
    any info out there I will be in Hangzhou in august

    June 16, 2014 at 10:25 am

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