Discover the world of river surfing in Munich

You wouldn’t expect to see surfing in the land-locked city of Munich on a must-do list of local tourist attractions – but thanks to the perseverance of a dedicated surf community and the attention of global thrill seekers, it’s now possible for holiday-makers to catch killer waves in the Bavarian capital.

Surfing Munich’s Eisbach River

The river surfing phenomenon was born in Munich during the early 1970s, after local residents discovered that the Eisbach River’s fast currents and slower waters were colliding to create the prime conditions for surfers. Despite waves reaching just over a meter in height, the craze grew in popularity thanks to a dedicated few and today, extreme sport enthusiasts around the world flock to the city and ride its waters.

Arguably, the Eisbach’s most popular stretch can be found running through English Garden – a large public park found in the centre of Munich. It was here in the 1970s that river surfing hit its stride, with over 100 visitors tackling the waves each day. Inspired by those early daredevils, a vast community has emerged to conquer other sections of the river, and use the hobby as a launch pad for various cultural events all year round.

river surfing Munich - surfing in Eisbach river, people watching.

Munich’s waves hit the headlines

This new form of inner city sport has become so popular in fact, that it has spawned its own digital fanzine in the form of Eisbachwelle, a thriving online hub charting 35 years of surfers taking to the Eisbach, complete with a calendar of competitions and urban art projects, as well as appearances from the world’s seasoned pros.

River surfing goes global

Thanks to the involvement of Munich surf veterans Wolfrik Fischer, Thomas Mayr and Yoyo Terhorst (to name a few), the river surfing craze has gone global, and today surfers have identified similar spots along China’s Qiantang River and Switzerland’s Thun River. But perhaps the Eisbach’s shining moment was the appearance of surfing’s 11-time World Tour Champion Kelly Slater, who traveled to Munich to ride the river’s famous waves.

Although it may seem odd to ride waves just mere feet from roaring traffic and pedestrians walking back and forth, surfing in Munich has become something of a cultural fingerprint in the city. It’s just another of many exports Germany can proudly call its own, and it shows no signs of slowing down.

river surfing Munich - a surfer enjoying the waves of Eisbach river, with spectators watching.

Push your boundaries in Munich

Feeling adventurous? Why not give river surfing a try the next time you’re in town? Just make sure you’ve got a comfortable Munich hotel to retreat to. Located in the heart of the city’s popular Schwabing district, the Park Inn by Radisson Munich Frankfurter Ring is the perfect place to wind down – and the hotel’s delicious buffet breakfast is just the thing to prepare you for a day on the waves!

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