Europe, Germany, Munich, Weird & Offbeat

Weird and Offbeat Sites – River Surfing in Munich.

July 14, 2013
Munich River Surfing

When thinking of Munich, rather stereotypical images of beer, sausage and Oktoberfest outfits often come to mind. Surfing in a river certainly does not. A city located 500 kilometers from the coast and 1,100 kilometers from any surfable waves, it’s hard to believe that an extreme sport like this is possible within an urban setting.

River Surfing in Munich.

Walking through the English Gardens (Englischer Garten auf Deutsch), you get a general sense that locals love soaking up the rays in the Eisbach River.

Take for example, these boys waving an enthusiastic hello when they spied me taking photos.

Munich River Surfing

This guy even looks like he’s perfecting his surfing moves. Whooo hooo!

Munich River Surfing

While these older men lazily floated along the river’s strong current.

Munich River Surfing

Yet there’s one place where the current is especially strong. Located below a six lane highway in Munich, enthusiasts from around the world come to surf the one meter wave.

Munich River Surfing

Munich River Surfing

They surf by day and even at night, much to the admiration and respect of onlookers like myself. I was amused to see a bride-to-be celebrating her bachelorette party personally congratulate this surfer while others watched from the bridge above.

Munich River Surfing

Munich River Surfing

Although it may look like a fun thing to do (even little old me was tempted to jump on a board and give it a go), only experienced athletes are allowed to surf in the narrow 12 meter wide river. Water flows at a fast and furious pace of around 25 square meters per second!

Munich River Surfing

Munich River Surfing

Munich River Surfing

It’s easy to get caught up in all the action and stand there for hours staring at this very weird and wonderful site. I stayed for about an hour and snapped more than 150 photos!

Munich River Surfing

Munich River Surfing

River surfing is regarded as a new sport by some but the river surfing in Munich has been happening since the 1970’s. There’s even a strong Munich Eisbach river surfing community and the Santoloco Surf and Skate Shop which sells specialized boards for surfers eager to hit the river wave.

In fact, the surfers are so hard core that they even surf during winter months. You can see the crazy surfers in action in this video.

Munich River Surfing

To really get a feel for what it’s really like, give this river surfing video a watch or best of all, go see it for yourself.

Looking for other strange things to do in Munich? Then check out this Michael Jackson memorial.

English Garden
80538 München, Germany ‎


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19 Comments

  • Reply Debbie July 15, 2013 at 12:04 am

    You’re right — Surfing in a river in Munich …. never would have thought of that. That is so cool. Looks like a great time! Great photos.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard July 15, 2013 at 10:40 am

      Debbie – Thanks for your kind comments. It’s one of the most awesome things ever!

  • Reply Lance | Trips By Lance July 16, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    This is really fascinating. I think if I stumbled upon this I would have stayed for more than an hour snapping photos as well. I’ve never heard of river surfing. Of course I live next to the Mississippi River and, well, that’s not exactly the type of river to surf!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard July 16, 2013 at 1:51 pm

      Lance – Agree. It’s awesome that you can surf in a middle of a city. 🙂

  • Reply Chasing the Donkey July 16, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    Who knew?? I never saw this on my trips to Munich. I have friends heading there next month – rushing off to share this with them now… BRILLIANT.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard July 16, 2013 at 9:06 pm

      Chasing the Donkey – If you go back, you HAVE to check it out. Apparently, they even surf during the winter! 🙂

      And thanks for sharing. Hope your friends will enjoy the fun.

  • Reply Surfing In Munich - Traveling with Sweeney July 17, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    […] I’ll try surfing in the summertime. Or […]

  • Reply Ali July 22, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Surfing in a river is definitely a weird concept!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard July 22, 2013 at 11:27 am

      Ali – Yeppers! Weird but super fun and totally cool. 🙂

  • Reply Rob July 25, 2013 at 7:45 am

    I’ve seen something similar in Berne (Switzerland) where people just float down the river on the current.

    Never heard about this in Munich though.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard July 26, 2013 at 11:09 pm

      Rob – That sounds great as well. I’d love floating down the river like that! 🙂

  • Reply Stephanie - The Travel Chica July 25, 2013 at 11:55 am

    I’ve heard of river tubing not river surfing. How bizarre!

  • Reply James July 26, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    In a bizarre coincidence I also wrote about the river wave in Munich. Which isn’t all that odd as it is quite a cool unique thing to go see. The coincidence is we published on the exact same day! Great photos!

  • Reply Cheryl Howard July 27, 2013 at 10:03 am

    James – Ha ha, funny!

  • Reply Mary @ Green Global Travel August 2, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    Great story! What an intriguing phenomenon! I am sure that surfers love having access to a wave in the center of the city and I can’t help but wonder if some travel to Munich just to surf it?

    • Reply Cheryl Howard August 3, 2013 at 11:53 am

      Mary – Thank you so much! Appreciated. 🙂

      I bet some do come just for the surfing. It’s a challenge so I’m sure that draws them in.

  • Reply VideoPortal March 22, 2017 at 2:09 am

    This is really interesting and not to mention quite creative. Who says surfing is only on the beach now, right? ??

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