Bombora is an indigenous Australian term for an area of large sea waves breaking over a shallow area such as a submerged rock shelf, reef, or sand bank that is located some distance from the shoreline and beach surf break. In slang it is also called a bommie.
As the wave passes over the shallow area its shape is raised and steepened, creating a localised wave formation. The size and shape of bombora waves makes them attractive to surfers willing to take the risk of riding what is generally considered a hazardous pursuit.
These formations can pose a significant danger even in good weather as a bombora may not be identifiable because it may not always have breaking waves.
The term Bombora was given wide circulation by the airing on ABC TV in 2009 of a documentary titled Bombora - The Story of Australian Surfing, which received a nomination for the 2010 Logie Awards in Australia. The documentary explored historical dimensions of the relationship between surf culture and Australian cultural identity.
The term bombora is also used for a sketchy surf spot where waves seem to break on the outside.
Well known instances
- Cowaramup Bombora ("Cow Bombie") - near Margaret River, Western Australia, location of the 2011 and 2015 Oakley Biggest Wave award-winning rides.
- Dobroyd Bombora - in Sydney Harbour, New South Wales.
- Jibbon Bombora - at Bundeena in the south of Sydney
- Outer Bombora - at Yallingup, Western Australia.
- "The Bommie" - on the northern side of The Penguin's Head, Culburra Beach, New South Wales.
- Collins Dictionary. Example, "Manly itself has [...] the offshore Queenscliff “Bommie” (bombora), joy for big wave riders.", Australia's 8 greatest surf spots Archived February 3, 2015, at the Wayback Machine., Australian Geographic.
- Bird, Eric (2008). Coastal geomorphology: an introduction. John Wiley and Sons. p. 17. ISBN 0-470-51730-1.
- "Boating Handbook: Safe Operation" (PDF). NSW Maritime. Archived from the original (pdf) on May 20, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-18.
- "Bombora". Screen Australia. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
- "Bombora - The History of Australian Surfing". ABC Commercial. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-05-20. Retrieved 2014-02-06.
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-10-02. Retrieved 2014-02-06.
- Arjun Ramachandran (2008-08-25). "One dead as boat hit by wave". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2009-06-18.
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