Every year, thousands of surfers flick the Beach of Araguari River in the Minas Gerais state in Brazil just to catch Pororoca – world’s longest tidal wave. The river, situated in the basin of Amazon, provides probably the longest surfable wave twice a year – between February and March when the Atlantic Ocean overflows the Amazon River causing the phenomenon that has been named Pororoca.
In the indigenous Tupi language, “pororoca” means “great, destructive noise” or “the great roar” which seems to be appropriate words to use in order to describe the approaching wave. The wave that has an incredible capability of destroying and taking everything on its way with itself can be heard half an hour before it arrives. Some people might misunderstand it to be a tsunami whereas it actually is a tide wave.
The Pororoca wave can reach the height of 20 feet and last for approximately 30 minutes which make it a particularly great opportunity to keen surfers who always try to catch the incredibly long wave despite all the safety risks that occur.
Since 1999 National Pororoca Surfing Championship is held every year in Sao Domingos do Capim. The record of the longest duration surf was set in 2003 when a Brazilian surfer Picuruta Salazar managed to hold on to the top of the Pororoca wave for stunning 37 minutes and thus travelling a distance of 12.5 km!
However, the surfers are being continuously warned about the high risks that surfing the Pororoca has. The wave is so powerful that it carries huge trees, ship waste and wreckage, poisonous snakes and many others which make it very easy to harm yourself while surfing the Pororoca waves. Therefore, catching the waves during the Pororoca season can be considered as an extreme sport that is suitable for very experienced and skilled surfers only that are lucky enough to surf in the jungle for unforgettable half an hour. In addition, the water is not all clear blue as you would like it to be – instead it is all brown and turbid due to all the debris it carries.
However, the unbelievable strength and duration of Pororoca is one of the most stunning phenomena of the Amazon River and it will not leave you unmoved. In 2003, a movie called “Pororoca: Surfing the Amazon” was released depicting the unique and unforgettable experience of surfing the massive and powerful Pororoca waves.