Last week I got an email from Rusty Long, it read: "Getting ready to go back to China tomorrow to surf the river, and hopefully some other ocean waves too. Wondering if maybe a little report on this could be something that works for ESPN?"
I promptly gave Rusty a ring to see what the scoop was. Of course we wanted to hear the latest and greatest from his travels through the Orient. Turns out Rusty, his brother Greg, and Jamie Sterling had planned to ship out to the Qiantang River, also known as the "Silver Dragon" tidal bore in Hangzhou. It's the largest tidal bore in the world, boasting legit surf in the five to fifteen-foot range. The "tidal wave" travels at an upwards of 25 mph, and up until last year had never been surfed. In 2008 the Long brothers, along with Mark Healey, pioneered it, and they've now returned to get a little deeper below the surface.
"We worked very closely with the government there to get access to more of the river this time," explained Rusty, in the midst of picking up new boards and packing for a flight to China early the next morning. "There were a lot of hoops we had to jump through, but we have more than twice as much river to surf this time around, so it should be good."
Not really knowing what their Internet connection would be like or how often they'd be able to beam across updates, Rusty left for China with the understanding that we'd run his stories or updates when he had the time or ability to get them out. In the meantime, we're happy to update you with what we know.
"I rode the longest wave of my life today, 10 minutes non-stop," wrote Jamie Sterling in an email over the weekend. "We are having a great time in China."
Introduction out of the way, click here to see the first webisode from their trip.