Jungle Surfing

I first surfed the Amazon in 2000, when a group of us went to find the pororoca, one of the longest continuous waves in the world. Created by a tidal surge from the sea, the wave appears as if by magic on rivers throughout northern Brazil. Its name means "mighty noise" in the native Tupi language, and it easily reaches 15 feet, allowing surfers rides of 10, 20, 30 minutes as it pushes upstream. But a single pororoca comes just twice a day (if at all) so you have to be perfect. Riding is difficult—and dangerous. The waters are filled with debris, snakes, piranha, crocodiles, and a small parasitic fish called the candiru, which is really scary (they say it can lodge inside the penis). In June of last year I set the world record for the farthest ride anywhere—6.3 miles, lasting 33 minutes—on the Araguari river in Amapá. Pororoca surfing is an experience that offers uniquely intimate contact with the Amazon. The air is the purest on earth and the silence is broken only by the roar of the wave itself.

Serginho Laus, Guinness Record–holding surfer