But the tradition of bore riding goes on. The thrill of it has so infected Matthews that he has undertaken to surf on one of the best bores in the world, on a tributary of the Yangtze in China. Having received permission from the Chinese government to do so, he plans to make a documentary film of the phenomenon when he finds the funding. And yet the Severn is first in his heart.
"There's something about the Severn that makes it the perfect challenge," he says. "It's almost as if it was a designed course—the bends, the bore constantly changing and of course, the crowds."
Or as one of the intrepid surfers from Devon told an American visitor, "Except for the sun, the beach, the ocean and lots of lovely surfer girls, what's California got that we don't have right here in Gloucester?"