Free Surfer

Surf discovery is not dead. It very much continues in some parts of the world you’d least expect. Photo: Córdoba

The Inertia

Accompanied by tidal bore hunter Antony Colas and his extreme pilot Patrick Audoy, I recently crossed the Burmese jungle in search of a spectacular phenomenon for the purpose of surfing.

After a big week of crossing the country by truck, motorcycle, cattle trap, and even an elephant, we found a small village by the Sittang River where we established our camp.

The Sittang is more than 260 miles long, and is said to have a tidal bore that can be more than 7 feet at times, which makes it one of the top 3 largest tidal bores in the world.

Locals call the bore “Lhaine lone.” They are suspicious and do not know how to swim. Still, they treated us the odd Westerners hoping to ride the bore with the utmost hospitality.

Housed in a bamboo fishing village, in the jungle along the river, we spent 2 weeks immersed in their lifestyle. And twice a day with Pat and Anto we ran after the tide, every time to observe a wave, a ripple , or the slightest indication that indeed a bore would form on this river. And there, during the rising coefficients, by 74, a magnificent wave, lined with pagodas gilded. We became the first to surf this wave.

Surfing a bore is magical. The wave is almost infinite, it goes up the river against the current and we fall because we are tired. The only objective is to try to leave the part that sweeps to get the lip that does not stop to move a port, a starboard shot. When you add 90°F water to the equation, not to mention the kind villagers and Buddhist monks that greeted us on arrival, you realize that in reality, we spent 3 weeks in paradise.


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