River surfing

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
River surfer on the Eisbach in Munich
River surfers in Graz on the Mur
Rope-assisted surfing on an otherwise too small wave on the Pegnitz

River surfing is a form of surfing that involves surfing standing waves or, less commonly, tidal waves . Other surfing sports that are practiced on the same waves (especially canoeing with its sub-form of play boating ) or other river waves (canoeing or rafting ) are generally not referred to as river surfing.

There are two different types of river surfing based on the origin of the waves.

Standing waves

When surfing on standing waves, the current of a river is used. In order to be used by river surfers, standing waves must reach a certain size, be as uniform as possible and have sufficient water depth. This in turn depends on the amount of water and the flow rate. Non-breaking waves are preferred.

The conditions necessary for river surfing are only achieved on a few rivers. Usually these conditions are created by human hands (concrete tub, weir).

One example is the standing wave in the Eisbach in Munich .

In Graz , around 2002, by inserting stone blocks below the main bridge, to the left of the bridge pillar, a surf roller was created in the free flowing river on which the 2003 Canoe Rodeo World Championship took place. The roller under the Radetzky Bridge is also in the city center. Both will be displaced from around August 2019 by the impoundment of the Graz-Puntigam power station on the Mur . As a replacement, the energy supply company Energie Steiermark promised paddlers an hourly route to the left of the power plant. In 2019, however, a system above the main bridge and the dam and to the left of the stream line and the Murinsel was targeted.

In the summer of 2016, a shooting surf wave was set up as a commercial event arena on Schwarzenbergplatz in Vienna .

In August 2019, the ground-breaking ceremony for the private construction project of a wave for river surfing in the Traun near Ebensee was celebrated.

Since standing waves do not move, some surfers tie a rope to the shore or a bridge to be carried to the wave with its help. The surfer either holds the free end of the rope in his hand and climbs onto a surfboard , or he attaches it firmly to a board and holds on to it with a bracket.

Bungee surfing

When bungee a soft-elastic rope is used (also known as bungee surfing) -Boarding which stretches the flow Surfer by utilizing the flow resistance. When the rope is tight, the river surfer gives up the resistance to the current and is pulled by the contracting rope across the water surface in the direction of the rope attachment. Sometimes quickly.

Occasionally a rope is also used if the wave is not big enough to hold a surfer on it. Then the rope is also held while surfing, preventing the surfer from drifting with the current downstream over the crest of the wave.

Tidal waves

Tidal waves, which arise on some rivers when the rising tide presses into a river, are seldom surfed . Such waves are often not suitable for surfing in all parts of the river that they reach. Decisive for this are factors such as the subsoil or the width of the river at a certain point and the strength of the tide (including stronger at spring tide ).

In this type of river surfing, the surfer sits on the river and waits for the wave and then tries, like on the ocean, by paddling to achieve the necessary speed to be carried along by the wave.

One of the most famous tidal waves is the Pororoca on the Amazon . There, the Brazilian Picuruta Salazar is said to have succeeded in surfing the wave for 37 minutes, covering a distance of more than 12 kilometers.


  • 2009: Keep Surfing by Björn Richie Lob, a documentary about river surfing on the Munich Eisbach

Surf the river

In 2017, Upstream Surfing GmbH in Wädenswil , Switzerland developed a system for rivers in which 2 athletes lift an underwater sail into the water to exert a powerful pull on typically 4 strands of a pulley. The rope tamping out of the pulley system can then pull a third athlete 300 m upstream with a wakeboard, which can reach speeds of up to 35 km / h relative to the flowing water when traveling at an angle .

A video from August 2017 documents upstream surfing in the Reuss River in Mühlau AG , Switzerland, around 25 km southwest of Zurich.

The drive is therefore purely mechanical by water power and, like the use of the pulling force on the board, is controlled by people. The operator emphasizes the teamwork of the 3 water sports enthusiasts. If the underwater sail is not pushed into the water, it is possible to reverse the movements, to pull the system back up, so to speak, and thus make it ready to start again. The powerful ride takes 1 minute, the winding up 3 minutes.

The fixed anchorage over the river is typically on the underwater side of a bridge. Trainers, who are also trained water rescuers, look after the participants, who are equipped with wetsuits. Structurally, the river is not interfered with, the energy is obtained from the current through the water resistance of the sail or board.

In August 2018, such a system was operated in the Inn in Innsbruck, at Airport Reef, Kranebitter Allee 202, 6020 Innsbruck. May 9 - July 31, 2019, the ÖH Innsbruck acted as the organizer and called it a mixture of river surfing and wakeboarding.

On August 12, 2019, upstream surfing was documented in Pfunds , Tyrol in the Inn. The green steel lattice girder bridge built in 2015 in the Stuben district, which serves the Via Claudia Augusta cycle path, was used.

Stations that have already been surfed upstream are Kufstein , Tirol (Inn); Ingolstadt (Danube); Ulm (Danube).

Web links

Commons : River Surfing  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Waimea River Surfing - a standing wave at its best! , planetsurfcamps.com
  2. Riverbreak Editorial Team: River Surfing Spots: Eisbach. In: Riverbreak: The International River Surf Magazine. Retrieved September 4, 2016 .
  3. Salzkammergut: Groundbreaking ceremony for the country's biggest surf wave nachrichten.at, August 12, 2019, accessed August 12, 2019.
  4. Welcome to the world of BungeeBeaver's ( Memento of the original from December 19, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.bungeebeaver.ch
  5. Pororoca - Amazonas / Sao Domingos da Capim (BRA) , with surf dog
  6. Zurich UP STREAM SURFING Up Stream Surfing, August 22, 2017, accessed August 12, 2019. Video (2:37).
  7. Surfing in Innsbruck at Airport Reef oehweb.at, accessed August 12, 2019.
  8. City Tour Pfunds UP STREAM SURFING Up Stream Surfing, August 12, 2019, accessed August 12, 2019. Video (2:25).
  9. ↑ A successful bridge in Pfunds tt.com, September 2, 2015, accessed August 12, 2019.
  10. Surfing against the current at the Inn orf.at, July 22, 2018, accessed July 22, 2018.
  11. The new way of river surfing upstreamsurfing.com, accessed August 12, 2019.