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Kickass Surfing and SUP Adventure in the Amazon

Windsurfing champ sets Guinness World Record for widest ride of over 1,476 feet.


The pororoca (Portuguese pronunciation: [poɾoˈɾɔkɐ]) is a tidal bore, with waves up to 4 metres high that travel as much as 800 km inland upstream on the Amazon River and adjacent rivers. Its name comes from the indigenous Tupi language, where it could translate into "great roar". It could be also a Portuguese version of the term poroc-poroc, which in the native indigenous' language was a way of expressing the act of destroying everything. It could be also a /wiki/Portmanteau">portmanteau of the words poroc (to take out, to tear away) and oca (house) It occurs at the mouth of the river where its waters meet the Atlantic Ocean. The phenomenon is best seen in February and March.

The wave has become popular with surfers. Since 1999, an annual championship has been held in São Domingos do Capim (on the adjacent Guamá River). However, surfing the Pororoca is especially dangerous, as the water contains a significant amount of debris from the shores of the river (often entire trees), in addition to dangerous fauna. In 2003 the Brazilian Picuruta Salazar won the event with a record ride of 12.5 km lasting 37 minutes. The longest time captured on tape riding the wave is also by Picuruta, lasting 43 minutes.








Surf potentially the largest wave in the world.

For surfers around the world the ultimate aim is to find the world’s best surfing, there are many criteria people would use to define the greatest place to surf, most of them totally subjective. One aspect can be defined – size, and without doubt the longest wave in the world is the Pororoca, a wave that sweeps up the Amazon and adjacent rivers.

In places the wave can go on for half an hour and travel 16 miles inland and stand 4m high. This terrifying sight for local fisherman, the word Pororoca means ‘great destructive noise’ in the local Tupi language, is nevertheless a dream come true for surfers. Even the biggest waves break after a few seconds, but here they can surf for what seems like eternity.

In what seems to us a terrible misnomer, the phenomenon is technically called a ‘tidal bore’ and is caused by a particularly large tide meeting the water flowing the opposite direction down the river. The result has become a great draw for surfers, many of whom descend on the river annually between February and March to try and ride the world’s longest wave.

Although the wave manifests itself in many rivers, we recommend the Rio Araguari, just north of the Amazon. The dangers are many and varied, firstly there is the wave itself, the wall of water is intimidating enough but it also sweeps up debris from the river banks as well as snakes and alligators, not what you want hurtling towards you if you don’t get up on your board. There are also reports of sharks and piranha lurking behind the wave to catch whatever it sweeps up.

The dangers just add to the adventure though, and if you get up on your board you are sure of the ride of your life.

Visit Wanna Surf for information on the Pororoca wave and other surfing adventure.