River Surfing in Munich Germany, A Landlocked City

River Surfing in Munich Germany, A Landlocked City – Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

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 such an extreme sport like this is possible within an urban setting.

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River Surfing in Munich Germany, A Landlocked City

Walking through the English Gardens (Englischer Garten), you get a general sense that locals love soaking up the rays in the Eisbach River. Take for example, the boys in the photo above, waving an enthusiastic hello when they spied me taking photos. Then there was one guy standing in river, perfecting his surfing moves. Some older men also lazily floated along the river’s strong current.

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

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.

River surfing is regarded as a new sport by some, but the river surfing in Munich has been going strong 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 (see this video).

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!

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! 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.

Have you seen this river surfing in Munich? What else did you do in the city? Leave our readers with your best tips in the comments down below!


Good To Know

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Founder of cherylhoward.com. Canadian in Berlin. Frequent traveller now at 43 countries and counting.


  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

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

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