There are different types of waves that occur in rivers. One type is the standing wave caused by a high volume of water constricted by flowing over a rock, the stationary wave can then be surfed by facing upstream just beyond the rock. River waves can also be caused by incoming tides that cause tidal bores.
The long waves in rivers are created by a high volume of water that is constricted by flowing over a rock and thus creating the wave behind it. They last so long because there is not much space in a river for that volume of water to outlet. Because of this, river surfing is very popular in location where theses rivers are known to have waves.
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