Sunday, 16 December 2012

Riding the Bore (at least trying to.....)

A 0430 start to meet Taran, Jay and Kate at Newnham for 0630. The reason - to have a bash at riding the famous tidal wave - the Severn Bore.

Saturday saw a predicted 3 star wave hitting Hewnham at around 0800, but many factors affect the wave such as weather, wind direction and water levels in the river. Thus height and time predictions are merely a guide - mother nature may well have other ideas....

Arriving at Newnham for close to 0630 I was surprised to find we were the only people there. However by the time the wave was due the place was buzzing with sightseers, kayakers and surfers!

This was he first time both seeing and riding the famous Severn Bore wave, and I have to admit to starting to get apprehensive about the idea. Was I going to simply get mashed up?

We got ready, sorted the shuttle, and got onto the river. Some experienced kayakers were on hand and I quietly quizzed them for advice!
Contemplating my fate..... Picture by Taran
The river levels were high and the current strong. Sand banks that were normally exposed were covered. Taran was in his sea boat and we joked about the expected bongo slid clearing a path on the wave!

You hear the wave before you see it - a distant rumble becomes apparent and then you see this river wide ridge of whitewater approaching. Ahead and amongst it a throng of surfers and kayakers.

Nerves clear as you get entranced by this amazing natural wonder thats sweeping towards you. No option now but to have a go.......

Taran of our group is first to greet the wave and is immediately swept into a bongo slide, all captured on his Go Pro. Enjoy the video!

Taking my cue from the other guys I start my paddle and the wave sweeps into me. An initial bit of bongoing and then I turn onto the top of the wave and hey I'm surfing... A bit of playing and I'm back on the wavefront and again sideways so get back onto the top of the wave. However I let myself drop a little too far back and can't regain the wavefront... My ride is over.

I regroup with Taran an we discuss options. Briefly we see if we can get back to Newnham on the current edges, but no chance against the tide. We notice Jay and Kate further upstream on the river edge and join them, and soon a group of us are whizzing along the tidal current to the get-out at the Severn Bore Pub.
Enjoying the 10 mile paddle to the get-out point. Picture by Taran

The paddle to the Pub proves an enjoyable trip, ripping along the tidal current and enjoying the scenery, company and varying weather. Both me and Taran finished with silly grins on our faces!
Journeys end. Picture by Taran

So whilst I was only on the wave for a few hundred metres it was a great experience and one I will try again. Well worth the 'stupid o clock' start!


  1. Hey Jules, why didn't you use your delphin ?, thought it would be perfect for a bit of surfing.


  2. Still gots lots to learn with the sea boat and surf and didn't fancy the bongo ride! Reckon a trip to the bore on a one or two star with the sea boat would be worth doing though.

  3. Whats with the muddy knees? didnt realise it was that sort of car park meeting ;D