waves of the river – pesta benak @ tidal bore.

 A tidal bore (or simply bore in context, or also aegir, eagre, or eygre) is a tidal phenomenon in which the leading edge of the incoming tide forms a wave (or waves) of water that travel up a river or narrow bay against the direction of the river or bay’s current .. (source: wikipedia ) ..

say what..? .

okay.. maybe my english is not that good… In my own words.. it’s when the level of the sea rise higher than the river.. (is that it.?) and thus forcing the water to flow against the normal flow of the river…. Everybody knows water will flow from high to low… since the sea water is stronger, the opposite direction current will clash and cause turbulence form waves that go in opposite direction of the normal river flow.. (in BM: ombak tu melawan arah air sungai.. ) .. that’s basically just it. Further comprehension you can refer to wikipedia.

Anyway, it’s a cool phenomena.. where a nicely flowing river stream, suddenly got cool waves that we can surf, no need to go to the beach. yea-ha.. !!

Actually no.. there are no surfers and locals do not ride the waves.. but they are interested in looking at the phenomena when it occurs and enjoy the scene for a brief moment..  once a year, the town hold’s an event called “pesta benak” . The tidal bore festival, normally held in the month where the waves are predicted to be at it’s highest.


This year, it is in April, which the king tide, as it is called is at the highest…  suddenly the small town of Sri Aman came to life at full swing as thousands of people come and witness this event. On occasion, even high-ranking officials attend. There’s no need to elaborate more here as there are hundreds of article if you want to get details about this event.. Just google or yahoo search. “pesta benak”.. and you’ll be surprised at the hits you can get…

Once when i was there just sight-seeing and doing my thing,  photographing.. I was lucky.. there was a French surfer who wanted to surf the benak.. it  was fun to watch.. he did quite a good job and managed to surf for quite a distance considering the twisting and curves of the river that he had to navigate. As far as I know, it was a historical event as this is the first time someone try to surf here…

get more info about him at my flickr site and his pictures… he was nice enough to pose for me..his flickr site 

What i always wonder when he was in the water is..

  • River’s here are brown because of the mud, sediments… zero visibility under water..
  • logs, woods debris in the water.
  •  Not so very clean river, I wonder what it must have feel in that water, yuck..
  • Sarawak river, especially this one,  sg. btg lupar is popular with crocs population…

this all, and plus his courage to try the waves what makes his feat an incredible and amazing one..

not too close..

It’s not as big as the tsunami or what but normally boats and ships, carrying rock/ logs, don’t want to be close to the side of the jetty when the “benak” come as it is sure to smash them into the concrete.

5 thoughts on “waves of the river – pesta benak @ tidal bore.

  1. Thankz for ur explanation…for the 1’st, i also cannot understand….ur explanation make me more understand the meaning of Tidal Bore from Wikipedia…
    Anyway…the festival is in April…uuhh…it’s my birthday…hehehee…
    and credit for that French surfer, and I think he don’t know about croc population in that river… and no one try to stop him, because this is for the first time they watch people surfing in the river…heheehee…Nothing bad happen to him right…??? huhuhuu…

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