Riding the Seven Ghosts at Bono Wave, Kampar River


Indonesia has many wonderful spots for surfing. In fact, surf breaks and barrels in Indonesia are very popular worldwide due to its challenging nature. And yet, the most unique one that you might find probably is located at Ombak Bono on Kampar River.

Surfing on a river. via Instagram/eddiebono

Kampar is one of the main rivers in Sumatera. Located mainly on Riau Province, Kampar has two main tributaries; Kampar Kanan and Kampar Kiri. This river is popular for its waves, attracting many surfers from all over the world. Here are some facts about Bono Wave at Kampar River, Riau.


Kampar River. via Instagram/weekendhype

The popular Ombak Bono (Bono Waves) of Kampar River is located at its estuary. The location is in Teluk Rimbapiatu, Teluk Meranti District, Pelalawan Regency. It’s not exactly located by the sea, but it is where the freshwater of the river first meet the saltwater from the sea. At this spot, the river is more than a kilometer wide, making it an ideal place for a surf.

Tidal Wave (Scientific Explanation)

The waves. via Instagram/eddiebono

Some locals believe that the Bono Wave is caused by a spiritual or powerful being. In the actuality, this huge river wave is caused by normal tidal water movement from the sea. The tidal wave causes the sea surface to rise. At the estuary, that means that the water flows back inland via the river. The clash between the sea wave and the river current is creating that magnificent waves.

Best Time

Riding the waves. via Instagram/ankgie_sukmawan

Most surfers who come for a challenging surf is expecting huge waves. The biggest wave usually formed during the peak of the rainy season, commonly in November and December. The water volume in the river is huge during this season.

They must also come near the full moon when the moon gravity creates the strongest tides. The surfing activity is only safe during the day even though the tide is strongest at night.


Enjoying the river. via Instagram/eddiebono

The Bomo Wave can reach up to three meters and can travel up to 50 kilometers. In theory, you can ride the waves here for 50 kilometers! Many surfers from all around the world have visited this river. Many have tried to compete for the longest surf they can record in this river.

Many people surfing the river. via Instagram/eddiebono

Locals know the Bono Waves as the Seven Ghosts waves. It was a feared feature of the river before professional surfers from France taught local youngsters about surfing. After that, Bono Wave was no longer a threat, but a playground. It is now a popular spot for surfers who want to test their stamina and durability on challenging river barrels.

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