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Sunday 2 June 2024

The most unlikely surfing destination in the world: Munich

When you think about great surfing destinations you probably think Hawaii. Or maybe Bells Beach in Australia, Jeffreys Bay in South Africa or Biarritz in France.

But what about Munich? Yes, Munich in Germany.

The capital of Bavaria, home of Bayern Munich and the Oktoberfest, also has an unlikely surf scene thanks first to a natural river wave and now to an artificial surf lagoon that is pumping out ocean-like waves on command.

First there was the Eisbachwelle: the largest, best and most consistent city centre location for river surfing.

The strong waves on the Eisbach river at the entrance to the Englischer Garten (park) attract surfers and onlookers from around the world. People have been surfing here for over 50 years.

The man-made river forms a standing wave about one metre high. The water is cold and shallow, making it only suitable for experienced surfers.

E2 Wave, meanwhile, 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.

And now Munich is to get its own serious surf park with ocean-like waves (below).

Endless Surf, the wave technology featured at O2 SURFTOWN MUC, recently showcased its first waves.

From high-performance to beginner waves, the technology is capable of crafting waves to suit all surf levels, offering training potential for athletes while also making the dream of surfing attainable for those living far away from surf-producing coastlines.

"This is a game-changer for the future of surfing" says Leon Glatzer, a professional surfer who was among the lucky few to experience the first waves in his home town.

"It was incredible to experience the power that Endless Surf holds while working alongside their engineers to customize waves. They've already created insane wave settings and have barely scratched the surface in terms of possibilities with this wave-generating technology."

Endless Surf president Paul Chutter says: "Witnessing the flexibility of our technology in action is a special moment. Not only for the dedicated teams behind this project, but for numerous destinations worldwide set to showcase our technology. The vision we've had from the start is proving itself and we're only just getting started."

This project is the first of over a dozen in development worldwide for the Vancouver-based company that is a brand under WhiteWater, the world's largest supplier of aquatic attractions.

With finishing touches now being added to Germany's first surf park, the grand opening of O2 SURFTOWN MUC is slated for this summer, when public surf sessions will be available.

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