New Brunswick

4 surfers will ride Petitcodiac River's tidal bore

Four professional surfers will be in Moncton this week to ride the rolling waves of the Petitcodiac River's tidal bore.

Moncton's tourism director says the tidal bore is becoming more popular

Four surfers will be in Moncton this week to ride the Petitcodiac River’s tidal bore. (CBC)

Four professional surfers will be in Moncton this week to ride the rolling waves of the Petitcodiac River’s tidal bore.

France’s Antony Colas will be joined by American surfers JJ Wessels and Colin Whitbread and Canada’s Yassine Oulihal in Moncton this week.

The surfers are hoping to ride the larger-than-normal tidal bore.

Colas has been riding tidal bores around the world for 15 years.

"It's a changing game because every day is a new tidal range and everyday is new conditions," he said.

"You know, like, where you're going to start but you never know where you're going to finish."

The French surfer said he’s excited to ride the tidal bore this week and plans to stay clear of the edge of the river.

"The thing is you try to avoid the banks because the banks sometimes got the rocks. I mean that's all. You need to just stay away like two to three metres from the bank, and that's it," he said.

"You just have to be just calm. Sometimes it gets pretty rippy because after the bore, you know, it's a strong current."

Moncton’s tidal bore has been a tourist attraction in the city for years. But tourism officials have said interest in the tidal bore had waned in recent years.

But the popularity of the tidal bore increased after the causeway gates were opened three years ago. The size of the tidal bore has continued to grow.

In June, more than 1,000 people lined the banks of the Petitcodiac River to watch a phenomenon known as the "super bore."

The moon was 13 per cent closer than usual on June 25, meaning the gravitational forces on the tides were stronger and made for a bigger bore than usual.

Boosting tourism

The international surfers are also expected to draw a sizeable crowd this week.

Ben Champoux, the director of tourism and culture in Moncton, said riding the tidal bore comes with some risk.

"This is not necessarily for everybody. Those are professional surfers that have done that all over the world on some of the biggest rivers, biggest waves," Champoux said.

"We have to do our due diligence, so be careful out there for regular people like myself and others."

In June, Champoux said he has big hopes for the tidal bore in attracting more tourists to the Moncton area in the future.

The first surf is expected on Tuesday at 10:52 a.m.

The surfers will also be attempting to ride the tidal bore on Wednesday at 11:45 a.m., Thursday at 12:36 p.m. and Friday at 1:27 p.m.