Surfer on the Eisbach in the Englischer Garten in Munich.

Eisbachwelle

Eisbachwelle: Surfing in the centre of Munich

One of Munich’s top attractions for sports fans and tourists alike. The Eisbachwelle is the largest, best and most consistent city centre location for river surfing.

The waves on the Eisbach river at the entrance to the Englischer Garten (park) attract surfers and onlookers from around the world. The spot is famous throughout the world for being the largest, best and most consistent city centre location for river surfing. People have been surfing here for 40 years.

The man-made Eisbach river emerges from underground just a few steps away from the Haus der Kunst (art gallery) on Prinzregentenstrasse in the Lehel district. A stone step at the outlet generates a standing wave about half a metre tall.

Eisbachwelle in Munich: surf or watch

The surfers’ stunts are a popular snapshot for the large crowds that gather to watch. Thanks to their wetsuits, surfers can ride the waves any time they want and in all weather conditions, even in winter. International stars of the surfing scene, like Jack Johnson and Garret McNamara, have also been spotted on the waves.

Visiting the spot to watch the action is recommended at any time; however, only professional surfers should attempt to ride the waves as the spot is not easy nor without risk and is unsuitable for beginners.

 

Address

Spectators and surfers will find the Eisbachwelle in Prinzregentenstraße opposite number 22 in 80538 Munich.

 

Frequently asked questions about the Eisbachwelle

 

For the Eisbach, you should already have a few years of experience on a surfboard. The Eisbach wave is quite difficult and dangerous to surf because the water is shallow and the current strong. Beginners are better off trying out the Floßlände in Thalkirchen - this wave is smaller and there are fewer spectators.

In the past, the Eisbach wave was completely natural - it only formed when, for example, gravel accumulated in the riverbed and blocked the current. At that time, however, the wave was only surfable for a few weeks a year and could not be planned due to its irregularity. Walter Strasser from Munich changed that in the 80s on his own initiative: he installed a railway sleeper in the lateral river bed. Today, Munich's surfers also have a mobile ramp with which they can stabilise the Eisbach wave.

The Eisbach is not entirely safe for swimming and surfing.  The low water temperature and the strong current should never be underestimated! If you go surfing at the Eisbach wave, you should definitely wear a helmet, because there are stones in the water below the wave.

 

 

Photos: Sigi Müller, Frank Stolle, Sven Kolb

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