The Zambezi River, as it flows through Zambia, produces one of the most unique waves on earth. It’s a standing river wave that breaks only when the flow rate is high enough, and though there are other standing river waves around the world that get surfed, none can match the Zambezi’s wave’s muscular quality. A fast-moving current, powerful whirlpools, and unseen boulders all contribute to the strange thrill of surfing a wave that’s only two-three feet tall but packs a scary punch. In this short, South African surfers Koby Oberholzer and Roydon Bryson don helmets and lifevests and put on a waveriding clinic. Unfortunately, this wave may not be around much longer. A hydroelectric power plant may go in upstream that would seriously lower the flow rate and the Zambezi wave would disappear forever.

ADVERTISEMENT