The D.J.Files

  Severn Bore Rider  

  A surfer gets a cold Severn Bore ride: Feb '96 See the Bore page for more pics.  

Disclaimer : the 'Files are fiction, often bearing a remarkable similarity to reality.

The D.J.Files #46

"Rollin....rollin...rollin on the river"

About 4-6 times a year, the tide is big enough and other conditions conducive enough to push a rideable wave up the River Severn, which runs between Wales and England...

"You gonna ride it on that?", said one of the guys from the other van. "Yeah, why not?", said D.J., holding his sub-6' board out at arm's length and admiring its curves. Conventional 'wisdom' said you rode the river wave on the longest board you could beg, borrow, or steal. In the vanload of surfers D.J. had arrived with, the next shortest board was a 7'. D.J. didn't follow convention tho. Normal universal laws of physics were all he followed...and some of them had been put under pressure by him.

Not far away, a camera crew, several surfers and a couple of 'judges' from the Guinness Book of Records, were setting up to record an official "Longest ride on a surfboard" in natural conditions. They had a nice clear straight stretch of river picked out, where the surfers could take off as the wave rounded a bend _and_ could easily be seen by the camera boys. It would be pot-luck which of em got into the record books.

But at the end of the next reach down river, D.J. and his mates were waiting on another curve. Having been dropped off by today's designated driver, they were sitting on the bank at roughly 25-30metre intervals. As the wave banked around the curve, the idea was for each to take off in turn and then ease out toward the center of the river to allow the subsequent guys to take off too. They sat there, watching all manner of flotsam, organic and otherwise, drifting downstream: live and dead rats, plastic bags, even a dead-and-very-bloated sheep went past.....and then the furthest guy called something. The rest of them heard the rumble.

It's a weird sight, seeing a wave peeling off a river bank, knowing the nearest surfable beach is about 100km away. One-by-one, the surfers slipped into the river and paddled for the wave. In the end, out of this group, only 3 caught it for any distance: D.J., Russ and Steve-O. As the others lost it over the back, one paddled for the bank and one allowed himself to be carried upriver in the maelstrom behind the wave, to come ashore later.

Russ was on the inside, D.J. in between and Steve-O on the outside. Steve-O moved into the center of the river. O.K, who's paying attention and remembers the sheep carcass and the dead rats??? Yep, they were now being carried back upstream in the rolling off-white water which was now breaking on a mud bank. Steve-O didn't see until too late: he overrode the sheep and his fin sliced open the bloated horror. PHoooohhhrrr!!, thought all three, but Steve-O was the only one who actually got covered. And lost the wave.

With the wave flattening out, as it often does (hence the longboard tradition) the other 2 were forced to prone out and paddle again. About 40-or-so metres further on they were back on their feet tho, but shortly afterwards, Russ, riding a board around 7', lost it over the back too. D.J. glanced back and realised he was on it alone. On a nice straight stretch of 45degree river bank, the curl just rolled in on itself. A non- peeling wave, with about head-high face, but only about 2 metres across, the rest being just a flat swell across the river. So D.J. did a series of hard bottom and top turns, to "S" up and down in 'one spot'. No-one ever did hard turns on the bore: too easy to lose it!

When he reached the bend after this series of turns, he stayed with it as it banked higher with the centrifugal force exerted on the bend. He slammed a turn and zipped out with it as it sloshed across to the opposite bank.....where our intrepid record-getters were assembled.

"NO! No!, not him, _them_!" shouted an 'advisor' as the cameras began to roll at the sight of D.J. The cameras panned slightly and a handful of very boring longboarders took off and, well, stood there, sliding quietly up-river, like a senior citizen on an airport walkway. D.J. had lost the wave by now anyway, perhaps as much because rent-a-crowd were sitting there as any other reason. But it was a member of rent-a-crowd who boringly (ha! sorry, no pun intended) slid his way into the record book.

....and when everyone was being picked up by the driver, Steve-O was forced to walk alongside the van until they reached a servo with a carwash, where he and his wetsuit could be _Seriously_ hosed off!! ***

btw, Russ became a very regular bore-rider. A combination of working shifts and the peculiar character of the bore, kept him going several times a year for years on end. Personally I think he may deserve a record as the guy who surfed the most bores...even if he never got the longest ride. Oh, and I think only maybe twice he got gastric enteritis and had to have several days off work. What a hero!

The record went again earlier this year too, btw.

Mirrored from Bears page.