Exploring the tidal bores of Indonesia

The Bono: riding endless waves | Photo: Rip Curl

"The Bono" is not a typical wave. It is a tidal bore, as it is only found in a few rivers around the world.

Located in the river Kampar, Sumatra, Indonesia, this wave has been secretly ridden by locals on their canoes for more than 70 years.

Deep in the jungle of Sumatra, 80 kilometers away from the sea, "The Bono" is one of the best tidal bores in the world and is easily accessible by land or sea either via Pekanbaru (a short flight from Kuala Lumpur) or via Singapore.

"The Bono" is situated along one of the last remaining peat swamp forests in Indonesia.

Its surfing potential was first discovered by World Stormrider Guide's mastermind Antony Colas together with a group of French bore riders, in September 2010.

After realizing he only hit a smaller version of "The Bono" (due to unequal diurnal tides), Antony came back in December 2010 with another group of friends to witness the Big Bono with wave faces of more than three-meter and waves breaking for a total distance of 50 kilometers.

Back then, the whole surfing arena was mapped out using Garmont GPS devices for future expeditions.

In March 2011, a team of international surf professionals, among them legendary Tom Curren and Billabong Pro Tahiti winner Bruno Santos, hit "The Bono" in all its glory with massive waves, including the first-ever tube rides recorded on tidal bores.

Six Consecutive Days of Surfing

Bonosurf has announced the establishment of a tour operator to experience and surf the great natural phenomenon of the Bono.

Starting its operation with the beginning of the next tidal bore period (end of August 2011), any surfer that wants to experience the longest rides ever can now book what is possibly the trip of a lifetime.

Guests are welcomed in the friendly village of Teluk Meranti, situated along the Kampar river bank.

Bonosurf works with local hotels and restaurants to provide a full all-inclusive package that includes boat rental with fuel and trained pilots, accommodation, food and drinks, daily briefings, and the necessary local permits.

Bonosurf uses special boats to position the surfers in front of the wave and to pick up the surfers once they fall, miss a wave, or let the wave fade out due to muscle fatigue.

Depending on the moon phase and tidal ranges, Bonosurf offers up to six consecutive days of surfing, with possible riding times of around two hours per day.

In any case, you can expect the longest waves of your life.

Bonosurf can guide you through the best surf spots in Indonesia.

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