You may not be aware of this, but there are folks down on the Texas coast who will surf the wave in the wake of tankers for as long as 15 or 16 minutes. I'm sure if you're into things that are Zen, then this must be a very Zen thing. It's quirky, but it quite fits Texas, I find. True, there's a great tradition the world 'round for surfing, but these guys have probably done it in a cowboy hat, and I suspect at least one of them has played bongos naked. Yeah, very Texas, that.
This is a commercial for a sportswear label, but you get a good idea of tanker wave surfing. Good stuff. Also, if you have a little more time, you don't have to be a surfer to appreciate the superb surfing film Step Into Liquid.
Tankers diplace bunches of water, which leads to some tsunami mechanics as they pass.
In the narrow Sabine Neches Ship Channel, the waves are more severe and there isn't any buffer of open water, which probably prevents surfing. I've never seen anyone try, but that doesn't mean it hasn't happened. In that area, a mistake may mean being slammed against the bottom of the shallows, which are full of broken concrete and whatever else may have been dumped to hold the bank.
From what I understand the consistent bow wave off a tanker and the calm open water makes for super-long surf-sessions - I saw this in a surf-movie a while back. The main/only issue is you have to get towed-out/have a boat to pick you up - and after a 30-minute surf you're pretty wiped. The longest wave indeed!
Yeah, anywhere there's a wave in the free world, there are surfers.
Heck, in Yakutat, you'll find guys who paddle over near a glacier in their drysuits and wait for an iceberg to calve, so they can surf the resulting wave.
As long as they aren't interfering with anyone or hurting anything, more power to them!
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