Many internet users speculated that the photo was fabricated, but a reporter with Qianjiang Evening News witnessed the “impossible” and testified that the legendary Kung Fu of “yiwei dujiang”, or crossing the river on a reed, is more than just a legend.
The man pictured is 51-year-old Fang Shuyun, a local of Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province.
Thin yet muscular, Fang pushed a seven-meter-long bamboo stick into the river. Holding a second bamboo stick, he stepped onto the middle part of the bamboo, and rowed the stick in accordance with the changes in wind, current and gravity center. As on-lookers held their breath, Fang’s special boat darted against a headwind. Within 20 minutes, he was about 300 meters away.
Fang told the paper that it all started in 2014. One night, he missed the bus heading home. A floating bamboo stick appeared, and the idea struck him. Of course, he fell into the river that night, but he realized that the bamboo’s buoyancy could bear his weight if he was balanced well enough.
He began practicing and cannot remember how many times he fell into the river. “Now, I can go home even if there is no ferry or bus,” he said.
Sharing his experience, Fang noted that the bamboo should be at least four meters long and that the key is to keep your balance. Flappy clothing should be avoided to reduce drag and close attention should be paid to the directions of the current and wind, he added.
“You just step onto the bamboo and take advantage of the forces of the current and wind,” he summarized.