River Surfing in Munich – all you need to know

In this guide you'll find all the insides regarding Munich's surf spots, help in finding the right equipment as well as answers to the most common questions about river surfing in Munich.

Munich enjoys the reputation as the world capital of river surfing. Although, in this regard Munich is primarily know for the famous Eisbach Wave, which has been portrayed in films, featured in commercials and used in uncountable social media posts, there are other river waves in the city as well, each one unique and suited for different surfing styles and skill levels. Unlike in the ocean, where surfing often depends on tides and seasonal weather phenomena, river surfing in Munich is possible all year round. Today, at any time of the year you will meet cyclists with a surfboard under their arm, heading for one of the waves. Seeing surfers roaming around town has become part of everyday life in Munich. The local community of surfers is probabaly the largest landlocked community in the world and there seems to be no end to the rise in popularity of river surfing and surfing in general.

Table of contents

The surf spots in Munich

The standing river waves in Munich are spread across the city area. Each wave is unique and has different demands on surfers and equipment. Since surfing in a river is a challenging task and security should always come first, there are certain things worth knowing about each spot before jumping into the icy cold water. Please be aware that surfing is only tolerated in Munich and is at your own risk! We recommend to follow the local surfers’ advice always, if given.

The Eisbach Wave

The Eisbach Wave has become a popular tourist attraction in recent years and it’s an accelerator for the popularity of river surfing not only in Munich, but it inspires many other landlocked places all over Europe to create their own surfable standing wave. The wave is named after the small, man-made river Eisbach, which is a side arm of Munich’s main river, Isar. Eisbach Wave is centrally located next to museum Haus der Kunst and at the entrance to Munich's large inner-city park, Englischer Garten. Whether during the day or at night, in summer and even in the deepest winter, you will always meet surfers at the spot.

  • Who surfs here: this wave calls for pro-level surfing skills! Surfers need to have a good amount of river-surfing experience under their belt in order to be able to surf safely.
  • When to surf: 24/7 and all year round. Only exception: once a year the river bed gets a clean-up and the river will be dry for a couple of weeks in autumn. Exact dates for the clean-up get announced online.
  • What to look out for: Be aware that there are large concrete objects in the river bed right behind the wave, which can cause severe injuries when hitting them. Always try to get off the wave by jumping in a flat angle.
  • What kind of surfboard to use: due to the power of the Eisbach wave and its short and small wave face a small board length is recommended. For men typically between 5’ – 5’8’’. Women can go for even shorter boards between 4’10’’ – 5’5’’. The width of a board varies between 18’’ and 21’’. The rocker line of river surfboards is typically flat and the rails are thin in order to allow sharp turns.
  • Good to know: You can buy drinks and snacks at the nearby kiosk Fräulein Grüneis or hang out on the large terrace at Goldene Bar at the back of museum »Haus der Kunst«. Here you can also find paid parking spaces. There is plenty of space to relax and lie in the sun nearby on one of the many meadows of the park. The metro station Lehel (U4, U5) is only a few minutes walk away.

E2 Wave (Dianabadschwelle)

E2 Wave is the little sister of the Eisbach Wave and it’s located only a few hundred metres downstream. This wave is more mellow and not as powerful and steep. It’s popular among surfers, who enjoy a more laidback style of surfing. Although, getting into the wave is more of a challenge here. Most surfers use a drop-in (front-side for regular stance surfers) jumping in from the wall on the left side of the canal. However, a take-off is doable also on the far right side of the wave.

  • Who surfs here: local surfers, who prefer a mellow surfing style and intermediate river surfers.
  • When to surf: 24/7 and all year round. Only exception: once a year the river bed gets a clean-up and the river will be dry for a couple of weeks in autumn. Exact dates for the clean-up get announced online.
  • What to look out for: before dropping into the wave, you should always double check if a swimmer or surfer is approaching the wave from upstream. Anyone coming from upstream has right of way! Especially in summer, hundreds of people swim down the river every day. In case you notice a swimmer, who needs help getting out, please don’t hesitate to save that person. Also, always be aware of objects under water.
  • What kind of surfboard to use: the shape and power of the E2 wave requires a longer surfboard with more volume. A minimum length of 6’ is favourable. In recent years soft-top surfboards have become very popular here for a few good reasons: modern foamies generally have lots of volume and are more stable, they don’t cause bad injuries in case you get hit by your board, they don’t catch dings as quickly as epoxy or polyester boards and they come at a good price.
  • Good to know: Surfing here is very technical and tips from experienced surfers can help along nicely for making progress faster. If you have problems to climb out of the canal due to injury, there is an easy exit (looks like a ramp) only ca. 100 metres downstream on the left side of the canal (looking downstream).

Floßlände Wave

Floßlände Wave is the place where river surfing was first invented 50 years ago. Since then, it has become the spot where many of Munich’s river surfers made their first attempts and caught the surf bug. There is a real sense of community here and generally the vibe is friendly and people are open and supportive towards beginners.

  • Who surfs here: surfers at Floßlände are a mix of experienced locals, intermediates and beginners.
  • When to surf: unfortunately, surfing here is only possible between the beginning of May until the end of September. Also, the amount of water in the river is regulated and therefore surfing is only possible at certain times during the day. You can find the latest news and timetable here.
  • What to look out for: Swimmers, rafts, inflatabels and canoes coming down the river always have the right of way and surfers must get out of the wave as they approach. The leash must be attached to the wrist or just below the knee so that you can quickly release it if you get stuck somewhere underwater. If in doubt, ask the surfer next to you.
  • What kind of surfboard to use: the Floßlände wave is compact and steep and you need to be able to do rapid turns. Therefore, surfboards shouldn’t be much longer than 5’6’’. The wave has considerably less power than the Eisbach wave, therefore boards should have slightly more volume. A wider outline of the board should do the trick.
  • Good to know: There is a large lawn where you can take a break from surfing and lie in the sun. There is also a camping site with a kiosk right next to the wave, where you can get drinks, snacks and a decent pizza. The camping site offers parking spaces for 3 €/day to be paid at the reservation desk.

Isar River Waves

Although, since the renaturation of the river bed most of the popular high tide river waves have vanished, there are still a handful of spots left where surfing is possible during flooding. These spots are located between Brudermühl Bridge and Wittelsbacher Bridge. When the amount of water reaches a certain level, surfable waves are created at certain spots in the river and only the most savage surfers then dare to conquer them. For all others it’s a fun spectacle to watch.

  • Who surfs here: experts with vast river-surfing experience.
  • When to surf: during flooding of the river Isar, mostly in spring and summer. Each wave only works at certain water levels.
  • What to look out for: large objects, like tree trunks, float downstream. Also, surfers need to keep in mind, that there are objects below the muddy water surface as well. Strong currents can drag surfers underwater for several seconds. During floods the water quality is very poor and can cause infections.
  • What kind of surfboard to use: at the Isar waves surfers choose whatever surfboard they feel comfortable with.
  • Good to know: surfing on river Isar during a flood bears high risks and is illegal and those who dare are going to risk being fined by the police.

Jochen Schweizer Arena indoor wave

Since river surfing is becoming more and more popular the demand for more waves in Munich is increasing as well. Therefore, it doesn't come as a surprise, that Germany’s first artificial indoor wave opened its doors a couple of years ago. At Jochen Schweizer Arena you can surf all year round at summerly temperatures under controlled and save conditions. From special beginner courses to an expert wave, here you can try your first attempts on the board as well as work on improving your surfing skills.

  • Who surfs here: the indoor wave has become a popular spot for people giving river surfing a first try. However, you’ll also meet experienced surfers here, who want to avoid the crowds at the other waves or surf in warm temperatures during the winter months. The wave has different settings: when booking a slot you can choose between a beginner-, intermediate- and pro-wave.
  • When to surf: the indoor wave is open all year round. Check their website for opening hours. Try to book a slot at an unpopular time in order to avoid too many people.
  • What to look out for: the indoor wave is the safest way to try out river surfing in a controlled environment. However, since the wave is narrower than the other waves in Munich, experienced surfers need to adapt to the limited space and avoid getting too close to the walls when doing turns, otherwise they risk breaking off their board's fins. Also, surfers shouldn't stay on their board behind the wave, since their weight will push down the board to the ground in the shallow water and its pressure will snap off the fins.
  • What kind of surfboard to use: all equipment (surfboards and wetsuits) is provided by Jochen Schweizer Arena. If you’re used to surfing the Eisbach or Floßlände you can use your own equipment. When the shaft is fully open the wave has a similar size and power as the Eisbach, however, with a clean face.

Our map with all surf spots in Munich

We have compiled a collection of all river surf spots in Munich, that can also be displayed as a map. It's the perfect guide for you when exploring the river waves in Munich.

River surfing etiquette in Munich

There are no written rules for river surfing in Munich, however, there is a common understanding on how to respectfully interact with other surfers in order to maintain a positive vibe, even on crowded days:

  • Choose the spot that suits your skills.
  • Line up at the back of the queue after a ride.
  • Go alternately from both sides of the wave (Eisbach and Floßlände).
  • When other surfers start knocking on their boards it's definitely time to get off the wave.

Surf shops in Munich

Munich has a thriving community of landlocked surfers. It’s said, that there are more than 2.000 regular river surfers populating the local waves and when you visit one of the waves during summer this number seems not to be exaggerated. All these surfers need boards, pads, leashes, wetsuits, wax, boots, gloves, bike racks…. the list goes on. To meet this growing demand there are surf shops as well as local surfboard companies providing the necessary gear. 


SantoLoco is the designated surf shop in Munich with the best selection of river (and ocean) surfboards and all related items (fins, pads, leashes, etc), a wide range of wetsuits for all seasons and water temperatures, as well as surf wear. In addition, you can find skate- and snowboard fashion and gear. The people working at SantoLoco are surfers and skaters themselves and can provide solid advice. Also, SantoLoco offers a professional repair service and they surely are able to fix damaged boards back to river-worthiness. If you surf regularly in Munich, you will quickly learn to appreciate this service, as major dings are rather common unfortunately.

If you want to rent a surfboard or wetsuit in Munich you can pop in at the store and they will help you out with the right equipment.

Part of the shop is SantoLoco Surf Café, where you can enjoy great coffee, snacks and drinks after shopping or just hang out when you are in the area. 

Address: Eisenmannstraße 4, 80331 Munich | Tel: + 49 89 2322 5925 | Website

Blue Tomato

At their new shop location in the centre of Munich Blue Tomato offers a large selection of skate, snowboard, ski and surf suff.

Address: Oberanger 16, 80331 Munich | Tel: +49 89 82088614 | Website

Quicksilver Store

Quicksilver and Roxy brand store in the centre of Munich.

Address: Sendlinger Strasse 20, 80331 Munich | Tel: + 49 892 388 65 81 | Website

River surfboard companies

Since the river waves in Munich require surfboards that meet specific requirements, local surf companies have emerged over time that have recognised exactly these challenges to board design and implemented them in production accordingly. This is a selection of Surfboard Companies that sell surfboards, which have been optimized for river surfing. The boards can be purchased at some of the local surf shops or directly (made to order) in the online store of the manufacturer. Ordering directly from the manufacturer you have the advantage to adjust the shape of the board to your individual needs.

Munich’s non-profit surf organisation IGSM

The local non-profit surf organisation, IGSM, represents a large community of surfers in Munich. It supports the creation of more waves for Munich and helps maintaining and improving the existing ones. If you want to support the cause you can become a member on their website.

Frequently Asked Questions about River Surfing in Munich

Where can I start river surfing in Munich?

Traditionally, surfers start with their first river surfing attempts at Floßlände wave. Here surfing season runs from May to September. At Floßlände you’ll find a wave that allows beginners to start river surfing at a safe spot with a supportive community. In order to be able to surf at Floßlände you need a suitable surfboard (board length max. 6’) and most of the season also a wetsuit (4/3mm or 3/2mm). Alternatively, beginners can book a surfing lesson at Jochen Schweizer indoor wave, where surfboard and wetsuit are included in the price already.

What surfboard do I need for river surfing in Munich?

There are different river waves in Munich. Each wave has its own characteristics and requires specific surfboard features. Also, every surfer is unique. Therefore, there is no standard answer to this question, unfortunately. What can be said is that most river waves in Munich have a short and small wave face and therefore short surfboards (max. ca. 5’8’’) are preferable in most cases. The rocker line of river surfboards is typically flat and the rails are thin in order to allow sharp turns in the limited space. An exception to these rules is E2 wave. This specific wave has less power and is very flat. Here surfers need a longer board (6' +) with a lot of volume to fully enjoy surfing.

What wetsuit do I need for river surfing in Munich?

The right choice of wetsuit depends on the season. The river Isar feeds all of Munich’s rivers and canals. Its source lies in the Alps and the water temperature varies throughout the year.

Wetsuit for spring to autumn: During spring and summer the water temperature varies between 15 degrees and 23 degrees. A 4/3mm wetsuit is a good choice and works well from spring all through autumn. On hot summer days you won’t need a wetsuit at all.

Wetsuit for winter: During winter water temperatures can go below 5 degrees. You will need a thick wetsuit (5/4mm or 6/4mm) with a hood, surf gloves and surf booties.

The current water temperature (Eisbach and Schwabinger Bach) can be found here.

Is river surfing the same as surfing in the ocean?

River surfing requires different skills than surfing in the ocean. On a standing wave in the river the water flows underneath the surfer whereas in the ocean the surfer gets pushed by the wave. However, surfing experience in the ocean will definitely give an advantage in learning river surfing.

Where can I buy or rent surfboards and surfing equipment in Munich?

You can purchase a new river surfboard directly from one of the local surfboard companies or visit a local surf shop. We have put together a list of surf shops and surfboard companies above. If you’re are looking to buy a used surfboard search for local facebook groups dedicated to preowned surf stuff. Sometimes you can get lucky at one of the waves, too. Especially at Floßlände people are offering old boards at a reasonable price regularly. You can rent a surfboard in Munich at the surf shop Santo Loco in the city centre.

Where is the river surfing / Eisbach Wave in Munich?

There are several river waves in Munich. The most famous wave is called the Eisbach Wave. It’s located right in the centre of Munich next to the art museum »Haus der Kunst« and at the entrance to Englischer Garten. Here you can come and watch surfing all year round. There is a paid parking lot behind the museum. Lehel metro station (U4/U5) is only a few minutes walk away.

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