About Zhegiang

Located to the northwest of Taiwan on the east coast of China, Zhejiang province faces into the East China Sea and is somewhat open to swells. The proximity of Hangzhou (the province’s capital) and Shanghai make this a highly populous area with relatively easy access to the surf. Zhujiajian Island (which is part of the Zhoushan chain) has a number of breaks, and typically receives more consistently powerful surf than the better-known Hainan Island due to a wider swell window that allows for longer-period ground swell from North Pacific storms. Putuoshan Island also has a number of setups, as well as the cultural appeal of being a major pilgrimage destination for those paying homage to Guanyin, the Buddha of Mercy. Despite the presence of a number of surfable waves on the coast, the province is best known for the Quintang River bore tide in Hangzhou, which is the largest in the world and hosts an international team surf competition each year. While it is illegal to surf the bore tide most of the year, due to the perceived danger of the pursuit, thousands of spectators line the river during the state-sanctioned contest, which typically includes teams from Hawaii, the US, South Africa, Europe, Indonesia, and other regions. Recent research suggests that some of the world’s first “surfers” may have actually ridden the bore tide in Hangzhou during the Song Dynasty of the 12th and 13th centuries AD.

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