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Surf the Severn Bore

Listed under Surfing in Bristol, United Kingdom.

  • Photo of Surf the Severn Bore
  • Photo of Surf the Severn Bore
Photo of Surf the Severn Bore
Photo by flickr user the sea the sea
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The Severn bore is an incredibly long wave running up against the current into the river from the sea. Like normal waves it rolls across three or four crests following on another and like normal waves you can surf on it (thought you‘re not supposed to, it‘s probably the longest ride you can get, there’s currently a record attempt being planned.). It’s a fairly gentle ride with a good wave on a few nights each month and the biggest waves coming in at around 6 foot in height around the equinoxes, especially the spring and autumn equinoxes.

The mouth of the Severn River has the world’s second largest tidal variation of almost fifty feet and the funnel shape of the Severn’s estuary improves the height of the bore in that the narrowing channel getting shallower forces the wave to compress and retain it’s shape which is wouldn’t if it’s path was broader and it’s force could spread out further as waves do on the coastline.

Science aside, the best vantage points are at Ministerworth and around Lower Parting and it's something that people who live along this stretch of river have been fascinated with for hundreds of years. Even if you understand why it's happening scientifically it's still a lone wave ploughing the wrong way along an otherwise calm river. Definitely worth stalking. Check out the timetable to get the best time to see the bore, obviously the evening experiences are the best when you hear the wave coming up on you out of the darkness

Written by  Blair Metcalfe.

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