Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Attentive readers of PLB will remember an extraordinary story we ran about nine months ago (Vol 14#3) on surfing Sumatra's Bono River bore, written and photographed by the world's leading bore-rider/explorer and regular PLB contributor, Frenchman Antony "Yep" Colas.
Recently though, coverage of The Bono seems to have sprung up everywhere after being "discovered" by Rip Curl's the Search. Named The Seven Ghosts, there've been clips all over the web, magazine articles, movies, photos, blogs, twits, the whole caboodle – no doubt you've seen it somewhere. Anyhow, thanks to Antony, PLB was there first - and now he's asking you to come join him and actually surf this amazing wave phenomenon. All you'll need is some $$s and a real sense of adventure. Yep explains:

"After four trips on the Kampar River in Sumatra, I am proud to present my  new surfing territory open for operations (well, I discovered it so I guess I can claim some rights): BONO surfing is now a reality for everyone. Technically speaking, it's a tidal bore and has nothing to do with winds and swells, it runs on a timetable like trains. But The Bono is not any tidal bore. This wave can reach 10-foot face on some breaking sections and it runs upriver for as long as four hours on the highest tidal phases. You can surf as many as 15 various sections, where you can surf as long as 20 minutes . . . beware the jelly legs!"

"That liquid slope never ends, you just make heaps of turns, carves, occasional off-the-lips and the odd tube if you're a barrel-master. Here, you travel while you surf, just like a snowboard in a mountain resort. But, you're gliding on warm water, in the middle of the jungle. Unreal but so true when you're there."

"A dozen of my good friends invested some money over the winter to set up Bonosurf operations, with two brand new Rigid Inflatable Zodiacs, and we've trained two local pilots in rescuing techniques and various safety issues. Eddy from the village and Rio (ex-Mentawaii surfguide) from Padang will be stoked to cruise around the river to take you to the best take-off spots. With a small friendly hotel and a fairly decent restaurant, everything is now ready for your stay. Starting late August, choose your periods - end of months in 2011 - guaranteed surf!"

"For sure, the water is not crystal clear like say the Maldives, but it's not polluted. Mud is not filth - only sand, silt and clay. Hardly anyone lives there, no industrial wastes and little human activity. Health risks are really low, and the mosquito factor is below 1 on the scale 1 to 5 (no need for anti-malaria pills). About crocodiles and snakes, that gives everyone goosebumps but in reality, you forget about those rampants very quickly!"

"Longboards, hybrids, and SUPs are welcome, and boards are available if needed. In groups from two to seven guests, you come for five to six days of surfing, and believe me, you will be surfed out after that. Departing early morning, you cruise one hour downriver until you meet the Bono heading your way, which is always a bit intimidating. And then you turn around, and here begins the BIG FUN!" 
- Antony Yep Colas (Author of World Stormrider Guides)
 - Maldivesurf trader:
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